Infrastructure agreements, new mapping capabilities and town social media policies were discussed during the Prosper Town Council meeting July 10.
The council granted unanimous approval for a professional services agreement between the town of Prosper and Halff Associates to improve the intersection at First Street and the Dallas North Tollway. This is in conjunction with a Collin County project to expand the DNT farther north.
Collin County plans to construct a four-lane access road, running north and south through Prosper and approved a contractor for the project on July 9. The new expansion will stretch from U.S. Highway 380 to F.M. 428. The project is projected to cost $16.9 million.
The intersection improvement is estimated to cost $900,000 and would be paid for entirely by the town. There would also be approximately $60,000 in design costs. The new intersection will be at its maximum width for the east and west approaches and will feature dual left turn lanes.
“We have to transition it to ultimate capacity,” Prosper Engineering Services Deputy Director Pete Anaya said.
Traffic flow at major intersections is a concern for the town as the projected population growth remains high with several new subdivisions building up throughout Prosper.
Intersection improvements at Fishtrap Road and First Street as well as Fishtrap Road and Teel Parkway were approved by the council earlier this year. The council stated that it would like to see all new intersections open at the same time.
The council also unanimously approved a plan to implement new traffic signals meant to improve emergency responsiveness. The town currently uses infrared traffic signals, which do not receive a warning from emergency vehicles until they are rather close. The new system will utilize geographic information systems, which will guide the emergency vehicles through intersections more quickly and seamlessly.
“This is technology that’s changing, and we need to make sure we’re compatible with it,” said Anaya.
GIS will also play a role in the town’s new interactive map. The map was debuted on the town website two weeks ago and features new capabilities, such as measurement tools, points of interest, zoning information, future land use, property records and aerial images of the town.
The map was developed via an interlocal agreement with the city of Frisco. The Frisco GIS Department will manage the majority of the map’s maintenance, and the Prosper Planning Department will manage certain layers.
“They’re doing 75 percent of the work,” Prosper Planning Manager Alex Glushko said. “We’re starting to take a little more ownership over it piece by piece.”
Town Secretary Robyn Battle, discussed the town’s new social media policy that went into effect earlier this year. The town first created a Facebook page in 2011 and designated its first public information officer in 2015. In 2017, a communications specialist, Carolyn Short, was brought on full-time to manage Prosper’s social media accounts.
“She’s really been able to up the sophistication and the kinds of material we’re able to produce,” said Battle.
The town currently operates accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Nextdoor, Youtube, Pinterest and LinkedIn. The library, parks and recreation, police department, fire department and Prosper Economic Development Corporation each have their own accounts in addition to the Town of Prosper accounts.
“We feel it allows each department to create their own kind of style, their own audience, their own content,” said Battle.
Instagram is the town’s fastest growing platform, and the largest engagement demographic is women between 35 and 44 years old.
Engagement has increased at a higher rate than population growth. Since 2017, the town has seen a 38 percent increase in Facebook engagement, a 116 percent increase on Twitter and a 58 percent increase on Nextdoor.
The new social media policy is a portion of what will be a broader communications plan for the town, which will include media regulations and a logo policy.