People who work and live in the Gainesville and Hall County area weighed in earlier this year on transportation changes they would like to see. Now, area planners are finalizing some project recommendations and inviting the public to comment again.
The Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization, which covers Hall County and part of western Jackson County, hosted a survey that was open from March 8 through June 18. Almost 500 people responded.
While 90% of the people who took the survey said they live within the GHMPO area, and 71% said they work there, the survey gathered input from people who live or work as far as Fulton County.
And while 95% of people said their primary mode of transportation is a car, they don’t want to be limited — the top three requests for non-motorized transportation changes were more sidewalks, extended greenways and trails, and more bicycle lanes.
The survey data will be considered along with traffic and crash information to create the GHMPO’s 2020 Regional Transportation Plan. Steve Cote of RS&H, the consultant firm hired for the project, presented an update Wednesday to a GHMPO committee.
Cote said planners are finalizing a list of transportation project recommendations that should be available later this month.
The survey also gathered input on public transit and found that while use of it was low — 4% of respondents said they were riders — people would like to see bus service expanded to South Hall.
Survey respondents could also pinpoint areas where they see traffic and safety concerns, with those points being concentrated in Gainesville and South Hall, although some were worried about spots on the northern end of the county as well.
Community members can learn more about the recommended projects and provide feedback at two community meetings in August. The first will be Monday, Aug. 19 at Blackshear Place Library, and another meeting will follow the next evening at the North Hall Community Center.
The regional transportation plan is updated every five years and will cover transportation needs through 2050.
Public meetings on transportation needs
5 to 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 19
Blackshear Place Library, 2927 Atlanta Highway, Gainesville
5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20
North Hall Community Center, 4175 Nopone Road, Gainesville