BASIC AND FUNDAMENTAL SERVICES
Imagine Lubbock Together’s plan for the city’s basic and fundamental services is broken down into five different areas that affect every Lubbock resident.
After years of deliberation, LP&L is lighting the way to a new era of energy generation in Lubbock, Texas.
Connecting to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, ERCOT, will ensure that businesses and residents alike continue to have access to affordable energy, while simultaneously supporting West Texas jobs. Less than an hour down Interstate-27 is the groundwork for the world’s largest wind farm, dozens of new jobs and a brand new energy source that Lubbock cannot access without an ERCOT connection. In fact, almost none of the energy produced by wind turbines in West Texas is actually used in Lubbock. Instead, it is sent across the state to power cities in Central and Eastern Texas.
Until LP&L connects to ERCOT, that is.
Once a deal is struck between Lubbock’s power company and the state’s grid, we will be privy to an exceedingly diversified energy portfolio from Texas-based power plants, with access to West Texas wind as well as natural gas, solar and coal from across the state.
This move takes the idea of a multi-million dollar power plant, a project that has often been referred to as the ‘most expensive project in Lubbock’s history,’ off the table. With that, Lubbock will not be locked into a specific type of technology, so there will be fewer environmental regulations to compete with.
LP&L will now have a better chance of bypassing the uncertainty of ever-changing EPA standards on power plants.
Imagine Lubbock Together is dedicated to helping keep the community informed of the decisions made by LP&L in an effort to promote smart, logical, and efficient energy delivery for the foreseeable future and help the city achieve its goal of 20% renewable energy usage by 2020.
Water is a priority for the future sustainability of Lubbock. In fact, Lubbock residents who participated in the Imagine Lubbock Together effort named water as the No. 1 issue or challenge the city faces in the next 20 years with 62% of the votes.
The good news is that Lubbock citizens are actively conserving water. Over the past 20 years, the per person water usage in Lubbock has dropped by more than 30%. Lubbock’s larger population consumed 20% less water than Amarillo in 2014.
Lubbock also has one of the most diversified water supply portfolios in Texas. Our four existing sources of water consist of Lake Meredith, Lake Alan Henry, Roberts County Well Field, and Bailey County Well Field. The City of Lubbock has developed a 100 year water plan that provides a road map for developing water supplies for many decades to come.
Even though water remains a significant concern as portions of the Ogalalla Aquifer are rapidly declining, the City’s 2013 Strategic Water Supply Plan indicates Lubbock owns water supplies that can be utilized to meet water demand through 2025 and beyond.
While Lubbock is in relatively good shape when it comes to water supply, Imagine Lubbock Together and the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce are dedicated to reminding people that it is still our most precious resource. Through the Water Smart Task Force, the Chamber recognizes local businesses that are going above and beyond in conservation.
Imagine Lubbock Together and the Chamber will continue to keep the community informed about the city’s water usage.
More than 81% of Lubbock residents drive to work, but changing lifestyles and awareness of the health benefits of walking and biking are generating an unprecedented demand for improved walk ability throughout the city, improvements in the bike lanes network, and a demand for multimodal transportation.
The City of Lubbock currently has 8 linear miles of bike lanes, and more could be added. The problem, however, is that the roads designated for bike lanes were determined 20 years and almost 50,000 fewer residents ago.
A joint effort between the City and the Metropolitan Planning Organization will update that plan.
Because the City opted not to use $7.8 million in MPO funding for a South Lubbock Project, a portion of that money may now be used for the development of bike lanes. In mid-March 2015 the MPO decided to move forward with a feasibility study to begin the process.
Unlike most other Texas urban areas, Lubbock doesn’t have substantial traffic congestion. Thanks to the strategic planning efforts of past city leaders, commutes are short and getting shorter. The average travel time to work is a relatively quick 15.7 minutes, dramatically faster than the 25.3 minutes the average American spends commuting to work.
Credit goes to Lubbock’s street network of high-capacity thoroughfares and grid system designed to move traffic efficiently through or across town. While the arterial grid efficiently moves traffic it creates a challenge for pedestrian and nonautomotive transportation due to the arterials’ width and high speed traffic.
As a plan for bike lane networks come closer to reality, ILT will continue to support the MPO’s efforts and host public forums to inform citizens and solicit input to ensure the best plan is created. We will also continue to monitor the debt service of the Gateway Fund through the Chamber’s Government Relations Committee.
Health is key to a creating successful community, building a strong economy and just an overall good quality of life. To achieve a greater level of cooperation among public and private agencies in holistically improving the overall health and wellness of the community, Imagine Lubbock Together has teamed up with Healthy Lubbock to improve the overall health of the community and the quality of life of individuals.
Healthy Lubbock aims to:
- Provide and promote healthy activities and options for everyone in Lubbock and the surrounding communities.
- Educate individuals about healthy behavioral choices for themselves and for their families in a positive and affirming manner.
- Play a leadership role in developing, implementing and tracking various health initiatives.
- Establish relationships with community organizations and individuals.
- Increase marketing and promotional efforts for the awareness and identity of healthy programs in the community.
- Be recognized as one of the healthiest cities in the state.
What’s next: The newly established Physical Active Committee will develop an Active Living Plan (ALP) for Lubbock. The ALP will include policies and strategies aimed to increase physical activity in all segments of the Lubbock community. This will be a product of private-public sector collaboration. The Plan aims to create local culture that supports physically active lifestyles. The ultimate purpose is to improve health, prevent disease and enhance quality of life.
Residents who participated in the initial Imagine Lubbock Together conversations expressed great concern about Lubbock’s crime rate and about the extent to which it deters business development and new investment in the community.
Efforts to reduce crime in the community will enhance quality of life in neighborhoods, make the roads safer, and enhance physical and economic development efforts envisioned by this vision.
When asked to rate their overall feeling of safety in Lubbock, 79% said they were satisfied or most satisfied.
Imagine Lubbock Together is working with local law enforcement and the Lubbock United Neighborhoods Association (LUNA) to develop neighborhood watch programs in an attempt to reduce residential crime.