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Eyes on the Road: Planning group gives its OK to "complete streets"
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A group of area planners has given its OK to a policy that requires considering all modes of travel in road construction.

“The design and construction of new (roads) should anticipate likely demand for bicycling and pedestrian (uses),” states the policy, which was approved last week by the Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Technical Coordinating Committee.

The committee, a group of area planners, engineers and other government officials, can only make recommendations within the MPO. The decision-making body is the policy committee, made up of top elected officials. That committee is set to meet May 12.

The policy states that every public right of way should be planned, designed, built and maintained with all uses in mind.

Also, project plans should consider appropriate Georgia plants and landscaping materials as often as possible.

The policy does note that “not all
roadways are suitable for complete streets treatment,” but at least, “sidewalks should be installed unless local conditions dictate otherwise.”

Sam I. Baker, senior transportation planner for the MPO, encouraged area governments to adopt a similar policy. He noted that Oakwood has approved one.

“The policy doesn’t state that each road have multi-use paths or bike lanes, just that we look at them in the design process and incorporate the amenities that make sense on that project,” said Hall County road projects manager Jody Woodall.

Rusty Ligon, Gainesville’s city planner, said the issue was addressed in the city’s 2012 comprehensive plan update.

“Unfortunately, there are still some people who think every time we do a project in the city, they’re going to get all of that stuff — the sidewalks, the trees, the bike lanes,” he said.

Hall commission set to vote on 2015 resurfacing plan

The Hall County Board of Commissioners is set to vote Thursday on its 2015 resurfacing program covering nearly 25 miles on 64 roads.

The funding source would be the new five-year round of special purpose local option sales tax, or SPLOST VII, approved by voters in March.

The commission’s meeting is set for 6 p.m. Thursday at the Hall County Government Center, 2875 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville.

Jeff Gill covers transportation issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with him:


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