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Decatur Diary | May 6, 2010

Let’s Talk: Can Safer Walking, Better Biking and Easier Driving Co-Exist?

With the second set of community Round Tables set to begin, let’s take the discussion deeper.

In the post preceding this one, we summarized broader topics that bubbled to the surface during the initial Round Tables. At or near the top of just about everybody’s list was mobility. How can we make it easier to get around Decatur whether we’re in a car, on a bicycle, riding transit, or walking?

Of course, we can make parallel wish lists catering one by one to the desires of drivers or bikers or pedestrians. But that would mean achieving one set of goals at the expense of others.

If we’re in our cars, we hate getting stuck in slow moving traffic and we yearn for easier parking. But, for bicyclists and pedestrians, speeding up the flow of traffic makes streets less safe and front-loaded parking makes them less attractive — which lessens the desire to use them.

On the flip side, especially for our downtown businesses, limiting or eliminating cars can hamper access and productivity and create barriers for the crucial destination visitors that help keep our shops and restaurants thriving.

Tough choices, right? So tell us if you think the city’s current approach, which is detailed quite specifically in our Community Transportation Plan, is fair. How do we integrate strategies, set priorities, assess the tradeoffs? What inconveniences are we willing to endure? How do we accommodate a mix of transportation choices without one disenfranchising the other?

Talk to us. And to one another. Let’s use this space for an on-line forum that will add to the in-person discussions during the Round Tables.

The space below is set up for comments and questions and everything submitted will be added to the mix and factored into subsequent development of the Strategic Plan Update.

So, how would you tackle Decatur’s transportation priorities?

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