HoJin Lim has seen the impact a variety of mobility options has on a city.
Lim, a licensed civil engineer who lives in Sugar Land’s Glen Laurel neighborhood, previously lived in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Colorado and California and travels frequently to other cities in the United States with robust transportation options. Now, as the chair of the Mobility Task Force, Lim and a group of 22 other people have the chance to help shape the future of transportation with Sugar Land’s Mobility Master Plan.
“It’s convenient to be able to have options,” Lim said. “Whenever I travel around those cities, I don’t have to wonder about how I’m getting around because there are multiple ways to get from point A to point B.”
The Mobility Master Plan will be Sugar Land’s first integrated mobility plan with a focus on a variety of mobility options to move people and goods like vehicles, bicycles, pedestrian walkways, transit, freight and trucking. At the heart of the plan lies the Mobility Task Force, a group of 23 people representing how Sugar Landers move throughout the city: walkers, commuters, carpoolers, transit users and more. The task force, appointed by City Council, is comprised of volunteers who move throughout the City frequently, including residents, parents and employees who work within city limits.
“Everyone brings a unique perspective to the group,” Lim said. “We’re in the initial stages of our three-year commitment with the task force. We’ll be providing valuable input while working with City staff to create a comprehensive mobility platform. The City of Sugar Land is the only city that I know that involves residents in so many different aspects of growth, in such a degree that supports not only transparency but also brings forth the unique perspective of residents.”
Mobility Task Force meetings include discussions where city staff and Traffic Engineers, Inc., the consulting firm selected to help develop the Plan, lead upcoming phases of the project and get input from the task force. This allows the task force to remain engaged and participate in exercises to come up with the vision, goals, strategies, and metrics for the Plan.
“It’s a good collaboration of everyone’s backgrounds, their profession, as well as their life experience,” Lim said.
Because the Mobility Task Force is the sounding board for the project, input from its members is very important, said Monique Johnson, the City of Sugar Land’s Transportation & Mobility Innovation Manager.
“We have a wide variety of representation from the Sugar Land community,” Johnson said. “As a whole, we want to make sure that as we develop this plan, we incorporate all of those different perspectives into it and come up with goals and strategies on how to address a lot of the issues we may have.”
And while members of the task force understand that not all of their ideas may be used in the final iteration of the Mobility Master Plan, Lim sees value in allowing residents to have seat at the table during these discussions.
“We just hope that they take advantage of our bigger picture ideas,” Lim said. “So if we want to focus more on the pedestrian side of mobility, for example, I hope they take that into consideration. At the end of the day, it’s a matter of how we communicate from residents to staff and I think it alone gives a transparency that will prove to be a more collaborative city effort from the residents.”
But it’s not only task force members and residents who can provide input. The City invites people work, own a business, or visit Sugar Land to complete a mobility survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/SLMobility2020 to provide insight into their transportation habits and preferences.
Read more about the Mobility Master Plan at www.sugarlandtx.gov/MobilityMasterPlan.