A summary presentation for the recent Project DeRenne charrette is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. at 131 W. DeRenne Ave. The location, a former NAPA auto parts store, is fitting. The nearby intersection of DeRenne Avenue and Montgomery Street is—as one of the charrette facilitators from Kimley-Horne called it—one of the most caustic in Savannah. It certainly is scary to move through on a bicycle. This past Sunday a letter to the editor of the Savannah Morning News ponders some important questions:
Participants in the planning process as well as the affected commercial and residential neighborhoods need to be aware of measures of success of the proposed plan. Unless plans are tied to outcomes, there is no way to judge either the viability or the effectiveness of any particular part of Project DeRenne or the project as a whole.
I’m confident that city staff and citizens, who’ve been involved with Project DeRenne, understand that a host of metrics must be used for selecting a design and that those same criteria can be used to evaluating its success.
However, I fear that many may be looking for only one result and that is increasing the street’s capacity to move more cars at higher speeds. Viewing DeRenne Avenue through the windshield neglects the potential for the corridor and worse, ignores the negative effect the current situation is having on surrounding neighborhoods and the city as a whole. A solution aimed solely at shaving a couple seconds off a commuter’s return trip to Effingham County will surely be even more damaging.
What should the Project DeRenne plan accomplish? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.