Weighing in on the revised TSPLOST list

The Mayor and Commission reviewed a revised list of TSPLOST projects at Tuesday’s agenda-setting meeting, and Complete Streets Athens believes the projects on this list represent worthwhile investment in essential infrastructure—not luxuries. These projects will benefit all Athenians and make Athens a more attractive place to live and visit.

Regarding specific projects:

We’re glad to see $4 million for pedestrian improvements in the West Broad neighborhood. This is a chronically underserved neighborhood and the project will improve connectivity to the Safe Routes project at H.T. Edwards as well as opening up possibilities for the planning for this area underway by the existing coalition between ACC, Athens Land Trust and the Athens Housing Authority.

We’d like to see the same consideration for the proposed sidewalks on Jefferson River Road. This proposal would also affect residents of another consistently underserved area. By removing this project from the list you are effectively taking that money from the bike/pedestrian bucket. Why does this neighborhood need another committee (and more delay) to get this project in the works?

As for the repaving budget, we can only hope that the Bike/Ped Master Plan will result in an improved Complete Streets policy that will help make that repaving budget effective in transforming our streets for all users.

It’s worth noting that the TSPLOST Citizen’s Advisory Committee’s primary goal in evaluating projects was to give the most number of people the greatest number of transportation choices. Again, these are investments in essential infrastructure.