Work continues on a strategy to improve walking and bicycling safety in two areas of town. Community input is being requested.
It’s time to give your 2 cents, says McMinnville Community Development Department community planner Katie Kemezis, on a draft recommendation called the South Downtown Bicycle Pedestrian Master Plan.
The master plan is a study on how to improve walking and bicycling to make sidewalks and streets safer for all users – those who walk, roll, stroll, and drive. South Downtown focuses on the area south and east of downtown which connects Pepper Branch Park to downtown and then to Rocket Park.
Public inspection of the draft can be done online at www.mcminnvilletn.gov or in-person at Magness Library or the first floor of City Hall. Comments can be left on the document. The comment period ends next Friday, July 2.
The draft recommendations are based on an analysis of current conditions, input from a steering committee, and the feedback from community members. Community members shared their preferences through over 300 responses to an online survey and wiki-mapping tool in March and April.
Community feedback indicated the top obstacles to safer streets and sidewalks were lack of infrastructure, difficult intersections, and the volume or speed of traffic. In terms of improvements to Colville Street, the top three preferences were sidewalks on both sides of the road, crosswalks at Chancery Street, and a shared-use path for both bicycles and pedestrians.
In their responses, citizens highlighted intersections at Colville and S. Chancery Street and Beersheba Highway and East Main Street as most in need of improvements.
Planners from CDM Smith Inc. are developing the master plan, and a TDOT Community Transportation Planning Grant program provides all the funding. These master plans position the city to be more competitive for grant funding.
TDOT and other state agencies have many grants which fund the construction of crosswalks, greenways and other pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure.
A second study focuses on the neighborhoods on both side of N. Chancery Street around Bobby Ray Elementary School and down Garfield Street. That master plan is not yet ready for this stage of the process.
The city's Community Development Department is available at (931) 473-1204 for questions.