Decatur Next

Decatur Diary | January 27, 2011

Circulator Shuttle Makes the List, but What Else?

After almost a full year of collaboration — collecting ideas, weighing trade-offs, measuring applicability to city goals, and evaluating feasibility — a decade’s worth of proposed Strategic Plan projects is now ready for community review. And, as came up frequently during Decatur Next meetings and has been discussed informally around town, a circulating shuttle is among those proposed.

Now, again, we turn to you. Join us for our Drop-By Open House Monday, January 31, between 6 and 9pm at the Holiday Inn Conference Center. Review the full list, along with background on the process that got us here, and levy your own opinions.

“So much of what we’ve heard reaffirms the work we’ve done since the city’s 2000 Strategic Plan,” said Assistant City Manager Lyn Menne, “and yet, just when you least expect it, new ideas emerge and really clarify where we’re headed.”

What form would a Decatur circulator shuttle take? That remains to be seen, but it's definitely up for consideration.

The circulator shuttle, for example, came up in a variety of contexts. It was suggested as an economic development tool, increasing the ease with which residents come downtown or visitors travel between downtown, Oakhurst village and East Decatur Station. It was also proposed as a contributor to larger aging-in-place goals, offering seniors in existing neighborhoods greater mobility and options for daily needs, and free-range kids a wider circle of accessibility.

So what does inclusion on the Strategic Plan’s project list mean? Actually, a lot. The adopted plan defines the focus of city leadership and staff for the next ten years, and sets out the areas where our money will be directed.

Inclusion on the list doesn’t guarantee the shuttle, or anything else, will come to fruition but it does ensure attention and resources. That means looking at the various ways such a system could be approached, who could run it, and how much the various scenarios would cost. Then, a decision can be levied one way or another based on the merits.

The better our feedback on the list, the better our focus through 2020. So please, make plans now to drop by Monday evening, the 31st. See you there!

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