The City of Oak Ridge North is considering the rerouting and expansion of Robinson Road, the creation of a town center, and other improvements as part of its comprehensive planning initiatives.
Oak Ridge North and Halff Associates, a consulting firm, presented comprehensive plan initiatives to residents April 23, the result of several months of data gathering.
"This area is growing faster than possibly any area in the country," Halff Vice President James Carrillo said. "You can either make changes or you can let changes happen to you."
Perhaps the most significant changes involve the Robinson Road area. Carrillo said the proposed plan would add a third, managed middle lane on Robinson Road. The direction traffic travels on the new lane would change depending on the time of day to address rush hour traffic needs. The plan also proposes the rerouting of Robinson to make it veer right just west of City Hall and meet up directly with the section of Robinson east of Hannah Road.
The rerouting could also create a town center area near City Hall and the old section of Robinson Road, Carrillo said. The plan suggests creating a "heart of the city" in that area with a park and new businesses, such as coffee shops and restaurants.
The plan also suggests the city continue to work with The Retail Coach—a retail recruitment firm—on business recruitment to seek higher quality developments and to look at changing land uses, including areas outside the city but within its extraterritorial jurisdiction.
Possible infrastructure improvements include a project to overlay the city's streets, Carrillo said. The plan encouraged the creation of pathways and pocket parks for residents, while the city could expand Marilyn Edgar Park and add a community center.
The plan includes a timetable for when projects would ideally be completed, but Carrillo said the plan is "not locked in stone." City Council could approve the comprehensive plan as early as May.
City of Oak Ridge North, Williams Memorial Council Chambers, 27424 Robinson Road, 281-292-4648,www.oakridgenorth.com
May 13, May 29, 7 p.m.