Sustainability and transportation explored at Coffee with Planners

 Dozens of people attended the Coffee with Planners event in Rapid City.
Dozens of people attended the Coffee with Planners event in Rapid City. (KOTA)
Published: Feb. 5, 2020 at 5:32 PM CST
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Rapid City is growing with plans for the future from transportation updates to sustainability efforts.

"We're trying to forecast our growth out to the year 2045 which is always a challenge since we don't really have a crystal ball but trying to accommodate where people are going to work, and live, and shop in 25 years and figure out how they're going to get there," said Kip Harrington, long range planner for the city of Rapid City.

Not only is the city's Metropolitan Transportation Plan tackling traffic flow but it aims to add alternative routes at major roadways.

"We had a lot of talk about bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and sidewalks are always a hot topic, we get a lot more people walking than you'd expect that are out walking, and so we need to provide those facilities so that everybody has safe travel," Harrington said.

Speaking of the future, Rapid City's Sustainability Committee joined this Coffee with Planners event for the first time.

"We're trying to protect the dark skies resources that we have here in Rapid City, and the Black Hills area while also improving energy efficiency, reducing emissions, reducing costs for businesses and homeowners, taking advantage of a lot of the new LED lights, so we just want to make sure that as we transition to new LED outdoor lightening we're doing that in the right way," said Kevin Crosby, volunteer for Rapid City's Sustainability Committee.

This committee aims to improve environmental, social, and economic sustainability in the community.

"We had several people at our table just kind of scratching their heads and saying why aren't we already doing this, why do we need to talk about this, why isn't this already something that's happening, so that was encouraging to hear," Crosby said.

Coffee with Planners happens four times a year to gather the community's input on current and future city projects.