The Gilbert Town Council took a look at the town’s proposed transportation master plan May 17, but members said they want to have a chance to further digest what is in it before adoption.

The plan was the subject of a study session before the council’s regularly scheduled business meeting.

Council members asked for an additional study session, though the plan was scheduled to come before council for possible adoption June 28. The ask came after Vice Mayor Aimee Yentes sharply criticized the plan as more of an attempt at social engineering rather than addressing what residents really wanted.

"This stuff just doesn't seem rooted in reality," she said.

Yentes said survey questions asked of residents in public outreach were designed to bring about a preferred response, tantamount to asking people if they would work out more if they were given a free gym membership.

Yentes’ comments were in reference to an emphasis on getting more residents to use bicycles and to walk when in fact most residents use cars and are likely to continue relying on them.

Several council members expressed at least some degree of agreement with Yentes, though Council Member Yung Koprowski said no city has ever built its way out of congestion.

A presentation on the plan from the town’s consultants on the study showed the town putting an emphasis on completing town transportation networks for different modes: pedestrian, bicycle, vehicle, mass transit and freight goods.

The plan divided projects into six types: capacity projects, maintenance projects, intersection and safety projects, pedestrian improvements, bike and multiuse path projects, and transit recommendations.

Projects then were prioritized into Tier 1 projects that were needed most immediately, Tier 2 for medium-range projects and Tier 3 projects that also supported plan goals but because of cost and other constraints might be more long range.

Consultants also discussed the need for more flexible street design because roads can pass by areas with different land uses and the trade-offs that might be made in different projects.

Yentes said it was important for the town to evaluate those trade-offs as it chose which projects to prioritize in coming years.

More information on the plan, including plan documents, is available on the town website.