Denton Mobility Update to Tackle How People Get Around Growing City

The city of Denton is holding a pair of public meetings this week, seeking input from residents about the best way to get around in the growing city in the coming decades.

Denton officials are updating the city's mobility plan, updating strategies to address transportation citywide. Unlike a previous update four years ago which dealt mainly with motor vehicle travel, the Denton 2020 Mobility Plan addresses all modes of transportation.

The dictionary defines mobility as "the ability to move or be moved freely and easily." In Denton, the concept has its challenges – especially through seemingly never-ending construction.

"It's pretty easy to get around if you're driving," said Cara Walton of Denton.

But when it comes to the complete picture – including people who ride or walk to get to where they need to go, mobility can be more complicated.

"I have a lot of friends that don't have cars," said Walton. "And being able to get to places to get things you need or buy groceries, those things are really helpful."

City leaders are seeking the thoughts of community members, in developing the latest mobility plan. Meetings were scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, and an online survey is available for those who cannot attend.

"It's very important," said Pam Alummoottil, Denton traffic engineer. "Each trip, you're not just using a vehicle, not just walking."

To that end, bike lanes are one big topic. Advocates and enthusiasts have pushed for more of them in the city.

"A safer place for people to bike ride," said Denton resident Sara Finkle. "It shouldn't be scary for people to get from one place to another."

That same sentiment can also apply to people who walk. In some neighborhoods, there are no sidewalks -- forcing people to walk on dirt or grass trails, near busy roads. Portions of Colorado Boulevard provide one example.

"Safety is definitely an important part of the study," said Alummoottil.

City leaders say they hope to hear from as many Denton residents as possible. They say everything -- from traffic patterns to additional bike lanes -- is on the table. The changes are driven, in part, by Denton's unprecedented growth, which is only expected to continue.

"The city is growing so much," she said. "We definitely want to provide people options for moving around the city."

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