The Blanco Streetscape project has taken a big leap forward! Last week, the full Committee agreed on the selection of an urban planning company to develop the Master Streetscape Plan for our city. The next step is to present the Committee’s recommendation to the City Council for their approval. That will happen at the next Council meeting in August. Once that is complete, and the Council approves, we’ll be able to officially ‘announce’ the selection and share examples of the superior work that the company has accomplished throughout Texas and other states. The Committee is excited about the selection and anxious to announce it and move forward in developing a master streetscape plan for our town. As you may remember from previous articles, our Vision is to: “Preserve and maintain the unique historical character of Blanco while encouraging and attracting economic development.” We’re confident that, once the Master Streetscape Plan is complete, we will be well on the road to realizing that Vision!
But what is the next step after the plan is complete? A very good question. The execution of the plan will be much more complex, and costly than the Plan itself. The Committee expects thattu once the Master Plan is accepted and approved by the City, we will begin the process of identifying the resource requirements, i.e., funding and other resources, seeking qualified contractors, and developing an executable plan to implement the Streetscape Master Plan’s recommendations.
In the immediate future, the Committee is working hard to identify funding sources from both private and public organizations, with which to pay the master planning organization. With the enthusiasm and support the Committee has received from Blanco citizens and local businesses, we’re confident that we can obtain the necessary funding, which will enable the City to enter into a contract with the master planner.
Finally, what is a streetscape design? There are probably as many definitions as there are people who develop designs. However, elements of a streetscape design can be street lights, landscaping, street furniture, ‘gateways’ (to the city or historical area, for example), traffic calming and pedestrian flow paths, etc. All of these elements are designed to preserve the unique history and character of the area, town, or city - and stimulate economic development.
In summary, the Streetscape Committee is excited about the progress to date and selection of an urban planning organization to present to the City Council next month. This is a major step in insuring Blanco maintains our unique and historical character! Future articles of “Blanco Tomorrow” will continue to update our citizens on streetscape progress - - and challenges!