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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Students not present to discuss city’s plan

In the first of two meetings, the City of College Station informed citizens of its comprehensive plan for city development.
Students make up nearly half of College Station residents and three are on the Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee, which put on yesterday’s meeting. However there were no students present to review the effects of city development on student life, or to give input of the plan as is.
The event, which showcased local government’s policy suggestions for city development, included potential future city changes from transportation to renewed green space to mixed-use residential/commercial real estate growth.
When asked directly, several city officials encouraged student attendance at a similar meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Grace Bible Church in College Station. Those who cannot attend can visit the city’s Web site to review plan details and submit their ideas in writing at cstx.gov.
Bob Cowell, the director of planning and development, said only two portions of city’s plan address student need: the development of mixed use property to include residential and commercial activity and the development of more thorough bike/pedestrian routes.
When asked if students are lacking access to retail and other commercial activity that mixed-use plans would address, Cowell said retail access is currently adequate: “Students get around really well. Its easy to travel around town here.”
Cowell shifted his description of the plan’s impact on students to bike and pedestrian path development by acknowledging his view that mixed-use development views student as consumers to businesses and not residents with resident-like needs,
“We often have to actively seek student input if we want it,” he said.
He explained that students were actively involved in the city’s current plans for the creation of new bike paths via the “Bike/Ped Master Plan.”
Pointing to a map on display at the meeting Cowell said, “If you look online – all of these maps are online. If you look online you can see how there are corridors for bikes and pedestrians.”
Cowell said the University has a large impact on city transportation development plans.
“Texas A&M’s transportation system greatly impacts the city,” he said. “In fact, we save an incredible amount of money in road repair because so many people get around using A&M’s bus system.”
Cowell said future city plans include trying to increase ridership among A&M’s off-campus bus system by possibly creating a partnership with the University. He said such a partnership is not in place but might include College Station picking up the tab for some bus stop improvement projects if A&M ridership hit certain benchmarks.
More informationFor more questions regarding the City of College Station’s Master Plan for city development, visit http://www.cstx.gov/CompPlanUpdate.

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