Sparks is designated as an Honorable Mention community due to impressive public involvement, a remarkable sidewalk network and engineering treatments, and an excellent traffic calming program. Highlights of Sparks’ application include:
- Sparks represents a great example of involving the public in planning. Not only does the City have a standalone Citizen Participation Plan, which endeavors to engage residents of all types for the purposes of input on projects as well as monitoring performance. The plan’s website has web and smartphone applications for contributing map-based feedback on the City, design alternatives of treatments and amenities for online discussion, and details about all public input sessions and workshops.
- The Sparks Comprehensive Plan shows a strong commitment to walkability by having an entire chapter devoted to connectivity and Complete Streets. Goals of the chapter represent positive ideals for communities such as recommending block sizes of 300–600, ensuring that facilities are designed to meet the needs of all users, and requiring developers to provide multi-modal circulation patterns that integrate new uses with the surrounding area.
- The City has excellent guidelines for traffic calming. Following an extensive literature review of best practices, the Sparks Traffic Division produced this guide, which provides detailed descriptions of the traffic calming process and methods to be considered in Sparks. The traffic calming measures are separated into non-physical, volume control, vertical speed control, horizontal speed control, and narrowing measures. Each measure contains detailed information about the design, cost estimates, pre/post data analysis, photos, diagrams, and advantages/disadvantages for each alternative. The City also provides explicit details on the scoring criteria as a transparency mechanism