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Decatur Diary | October 12, 2010

“Going Mobile”: Talking Walking, Biking, Driving and More

Despite a too-beautiful-to-be-inside evening, some 60 Decaturites gathered on October 5 at the Holiday Inn Convention Center to take Decatur’s getting-around discussion to the next level. Conversations can move faster now, because so many folks are veterans of the Round Table discussions over the last year.

The “Going Mobile” meeting kicked off a string of four Community Academy sessions, designed to focus broad ideas from the Round Tables into the to-do list that will shape Decatur’s update of its 10-year Strategic Plan. Get the overview of this whole process in the column to the immediate right. And read about what we’ve covered so far by checking out the news posts preceding this one. They’re in chronological order, with the most recent postings on top.

Transportation expert DeWayne Carver talks with Planning Director Amanda Thompson.

At the Oct. 5 Community Academy opener, guest presenter, transportation planner DeWayne Carver from Hall Planning and Engineering in Tallahassee, outlined industry best practices for addressing some of the mobility goals coming out of the Round Tables.

High on the presentation agenda, in accordance with round table goals, were options for addressing  community preferences for:

  • Better managing traffic congestion and parking;
  • Making streets safer and more inviting for walking and biking;
  • Increasing connectivity between neighborhoods;
  • Expanding transit options, including options for shuttle services.

To see Carver’s PowerPoint presentation, go here (3.1mb .pdf).

Carver reminded attendees that he was not on hand to prioritize transportation options for Decatur. That was up to citizens working with the City. He was merely laying out the alternatives and explaining what seemed to work in other places with similar goals and similar challenges.

One of the seven discussion tables at work.

Following Carver’s presentation, attendees broke into discussion groups and began drilling down more deeply into specific options, often naming streets, intersections, MARTA stops, and other locations that presented particular problems or opportunities for improvement. For a sense of how those conversations played out, look at the summary lists from the discussions and at attendees’ notations on area maps here (4.7mb .pdf) and watch the video below.

That drilling-down exercise was important, because community preferences taken to the street, block, and neighborhood level will inform the next stage of the process. That will be when the consulting team converts the increasingly focused discussion into specific proposals for the Strategic Plan Update.

Meanwhile, the community discussion will continue. In fact, even if you can’t be at one of the scheduled sessions now through early December, we invite you to keep the conversation going online.

At the bottom of each of these posts is comment space. Let us know what you think, starting here with your thoughts on our transportation priorities. Add your suggestions for the consulting team’s to-do list. And spark a discussion among your neighbors.

We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

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