Led by Cristina Pastore, transportation plan project manager with Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc., the plan will feature a third round of workshops in the coming days where citizens can review a draft list of projects and provide their feedback.
Initial kickoff meetings and workshops were held months ago, where residents were able to tell their concerns and wishes for future transit in the county.
“The vision and goals were developed from a combination of meetings with a stakeholder committee and the public,” said Pastore. “The vision does truly represent feedback we received.”
Pastore emphasized the need for public input in this project.
“We are really truly looking for as much public participation as possible and we want to be able to hear from the community,” she said. “Whatever they can do to provide feedback, we would absolutely love that.”
Pastore said mobility for all was the main concern of residents. A lot of what they have been hearing is that it is not just about cars, but walkability and getting to transit easily, she said.
“Some people don’t have cars, aren’t able to drive or can’t afford a car and they need to be able to get around as easily as anyone else,” said Pastore. “Also, the aging community needs to be able to walk to get to transit to get to the grocery store. That was the biggest overarching theme with this plan.”
Quality of life also plays a role in the plan, with the concern being on how efficiently residents/commuters are able to get to work. If the commute is too long it reduces the attractiveness to the region, she said.
“The biggest thing is implementation — there are a lot of planning efforts to get done,” said Pastore. “We’ve been focusing on make sure we’re prioritizing top projects we feel can be funded and having real conversations about funding.”
One of the hindrances of DeKalb is the lack of funding in the county, coupled with the current Homestead Option Sales Tax program and the inability to raise new sales taxes locally, she said.
“It can strain the county even further to resurface roadways and build a new infrastructure so the funding conversation is part of the infrastructure question,” said Pastore.
Residents are encouraged to attend one of the listed upcoming meetings to provide their feedback. If they cannot make one, they can visit www.dekalbtransportationplan2014.com to offer their feedback online.
Thursday, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Interactive College of Technology, Roberts Hall, 5227 New Peachtree Road, Chamblee
Tuesday, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Fairfield Inn and Suites at the Mall at Stonecrest, 7850 Stonecrest Square, Lithonia
Nov. 18, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center, 3181 Rainbow Drive, Decatur
Nov. 14, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., interactive online meeting — pre-registration is encouraged, but not required for the online meeting
Nov. 16, 8:30 a.m. to noon, DeKalb Neighborhood Summit meeting, The Courtyard Marriott Hotel – Downtown Decatur, 130 Clairemont Ave., Decatur.