COMMENTARY, MOSTLY ABOUT PFLUGERVILLE

CAMPO
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CAMPO, the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Hays, Travis, and Williamson Counties, is one of many federally required MPOs in the United States. A CAMPO plan that includes placing two small activity centers in Pflugerville was reported in the October 2006 issue of the Community Impact Newspaper for Pflugerville and Round Rock. The plan was discussed at the September 26, 2006, meeting of the Pflugerville City Council. The Pflugerville activity centers would be located around the Junction of SH 45 with SH 130 and in the proximity of the old business section on Pecan Street. At the meeting, a suggestion was made that a medium activity center might be more appropriate for Pflugerville.

At the July 24, 2007, meeting of the Pflugerville City Council, Stevie Greathouse, Principal Planner with CAMPO gave a presentation about a proposed CAMPO Regional Growth Concept. The 8-page Revised Draft 2035 Regional Growth Concept dated May 16, 2007, includes a medium activity center just west of the junction of SH 130 with Pecan Street. A map showing the location of this center is found on page 2. An example Memorandum of Understanding for possible use by the City of Pflugerville in drawing up an agreement to implement the CAMPO Regional Growth Concept is found on pages 7 and 8.

For background for the "Envision Central Texas' concept of planning walkable town centers" mentioned in the Community Impact Newspaper article, one might look at a Austin American-Statesman interview with Peter Calthorpe. Fregonese Calthorpe Associates was selected as a planning consultant for Envision Central Texas according to an ECT Web page.

It might be noted that a "Design for Efficient Suburban Activity Centers" is credited to Calthorpe Associates, et al. An outline for this design is found in "Metropolitan Transportation Planning Issues: A Primer/Anthology for Small and Medium MPOs."

See an article by Phil Langdon in the New Urban News to track Peter Calthorpe's concept of a village center as of 2002.

An article describing aspects of the influence of Metropolitan Planning Organizations on the transportation system in the United States has appeared online. The article is dated May 27, 2008. The title is "Roadmap to Gridlock: The Failure of Long-Range Metropolitan Transportation Planning" and the author is Randal O'Toole.


Photograph: Taken of the Pecan Street Bridge across SH 130 in December 2007.


Planning in Portland


Regional planning in the Portland area, where Metro is the MPO, is more highly developed than it is in the Austin area.

Much of what has been happening in Portland could possibly happen in Austin (and Pflugerville) in the not too distant future. Some changes are already taking place.

In "How Not to Run a City Part Two: Planners Derailed," Randal O'Toole has recently outlined the history of planning in Portland and described the controversies that arose along the way. He has provided additional details in two of his earlier articles. These are

Dense Thinkers

Beware Metro!



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