Category Archives: Government

CORE MPO seeks citizen input on Total Mobility Plan

The Coastal Region Metropolitan Planning Organization is hosting a series of meetings to solicit citizen input on the Total Mobility Plan:

“The Total Mobility Plan is an in-depth planning effort which will emphasize sustainability, Complete Streets, Context Sensitive Design, non-motorized transportation and transit. The Plan will address the transportation network and specific facilities, but also the interaction between transportation and the community as a whole.  The thoroughfare planning component will address facilities for auto traffic, bicycles, pedestrians, and public transit vehicles, including intersections.  Workshop attendees will map context areas, creating a vision of the desired character in each community. The thoroughfare standards will then be shaped to achieve that vision.”

It’s encouraging to hear the phrase Complete Streets used in this context, as many of the area’s most important streets are woefully incomplete when it comes to safely accommodating pedestrians, bicyclists and transit riders. The meetings will be held at the following times and locations from 5-6:30 p.m., and will use a “Drop in when you can!” format.

Tuesday, Jan. 10
Islands High School Career Counseling Center, 170 Whitemarsh Island Road

Tuesday, Jan. 17
Armstrong Atlantic State University – Armstrong Center, 13040 Abercorn St.

Thursday, Jan. 19
First Presbyterian Church, 520 Washington Ave.

For more information, contact Mark Wilkes at (912) 651-1451 or wilkesm [at] thempc.org

Nov. 14 mayoral candidate forum will focus on transportation and sustainability

Savannah mayoral candidates Edna Jackson and Jeff Felser will field questions about their positions on transportation and sustainability issues Monday, Nov. 14 at 6:30 p.m. Hosted by the Savannah Bicycle Campaign, US Green Building Council-Savannah Branch and League of Women Voters, the forum will be held at the Coastal Georgia Center, 305 Fahm St.  The forum will start at 6:30 p.m., following a brief reception, and will be moderated by Jim Morekis, editor-in-chief of Connect Savannah.

“As we choose our next mayor, it’s more important than ever to ensure that Savannah grows into the future and grows wisely,” said Mark Fitzpatrick, Chair of the US Green Building Council-Savannah Branch. “Through this forum, candidates can express their vision for how Savannah can be a leader by demonstrating responsible stewardship of our environment while incorporating innovative strategies as part of that solution.”

“We’ve seen a tremendous increase in the use of bicycles for transportation in the community. The City of Savannah government has been a positive influence in that growth, and we hope this forum allows candidates the chance to address how they will help continue this trend and also make transit and pedestrian options more viable,” said Drew Wade, Chairman of the Savannah Bicycle Campaign. “Several long-term transportation planning efforts are reaching the point where those decisions become a critical part of the community we live with for the next several decades; we need to make the right decisions.”

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Frank McIntosh at 912-272-1074 or frank@bicyclecampaign.org.

Sept. 27 forum will probe aldermanic candidates’ positions on sustainability

A forum for Savannah’s at-large aldermanic candidates is scheduled for Sept. 27 from 6-8 p.m. at the Coastal Georgia Center. The event is organized by the Savannah Bicycle Campaign and The Savannah Branch of the U.S. Green Building Council. Details from the Savannah Bicycle Campaign:

Alderman At-Large candidates will gather to field questions regarding their positions on transportation and sustainability issues. The forum is free and open to the public, will be moderated by Orlando Montoya, news producer with Georgia Public Broadcasting in Savannah, and Jim Morekis, editor-in-chief of Connect Savannah. Candidates will answer formal questions delivered by the moderators during the program before taking questions from the audience and from the media.

More information is available here.

In search of pure transportation

A family embarks on a "purely recreational" car trip.

A Sept. 6 story in the Savannah Morning News, “Regional body considering transportation tax projects Wednesday,” contains an interesting quote from a Georgia Department of Transportation official describing why the Coastal Georgia Greenway does not qualify for TSPLOST funding:

David Spear, spokesman for the department, said the tax is meant to fund transportation projects and the bike trail did not qualify because it was “purely recreational in nature.”

This is, of course, untrue as CGG leader Jo Claire Hickson points out. As in other parts of the country, where similar facilities have been built, they are used by commuters and are never “purely recreational.”

Sill, Spear’s quote got me thinking. If trips that are “purely recreational” are not appropriate uses, then a lot of traffic should be banned from roads and bridges that would be funded by TSPLOST. Recreational vehicles would be prohibited from using transportation facilities, right? After all, their purpose is “purely recreational.” It’s right there in the name of the thing. Passenger cars carrying families on vacation or even local folks heading to a picnic in Daffiin Park or a day on Tybee could be excluded, too. Again, these trips are “purely recreational” in nature. Savannah would lose millions of visitors and the local tourism industry would evaporate overnight, but at least we can be confident that TSPLOST funding won’t be wasted to facilitate “purely recreational” trips.

 

Lawmakers propose disastrous, job-killing, backwards-looking transportation plan

In a July 5 article called “How the Great Reset has Already Changed America,” for the Atlantic, Richard Florida describes how our elected leaders are lagging behind and even moving in directions that suggest a disconnection from our current reality. He writes, “… our political and business leaders continue to look backwards, wasting precious time and resources on futile attempts to resuscitate the same dysfunctional system of banks, sprawl, and inefficient and energy-wasting ways of life that brought about the crisis in the first place.”

It’s hard to imagine a better example of backwards-looking ideas than House Transportation Committee Chair John Mica’s proposed transportation reauthorization bill, which he announced yesterday. It will eliminate dedicated federal funding for bicycling and walking. Mica apparently deems spending in these areas to be “not in the federal interest.” Meanwhile Sen. James Inhofe, the lead Republican negotiator on the transportation bill in the Senate, has stated one of his top three priorities is to eliminate “frivolous spending” on bicycle facilities, according to the League of American Bicyclists.

These merciless cuts are not aimed at reducing the deficit, reviving the economy, creating jobs, improving transportation choices or serving the American people.

It’s clear they did not.