Weigh In On Birmingham's Multi-Modal Transportation Plan at Visioning Workshop
Learn more about what will go into the city's new transit plan at a workshop scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at Baldwin Public Library.
Do you want to learn more about bike lanes in Birmingham? How about ways to make downtown Birmingham more accessible to pedestrians or strategies for getting more kids to walk or ride their bikes to school?
More importantly, do you have an opinion on these issues?
Then you'll want to attend a workshop being held from 7-9 p.m. tonight at Baldwin Public Library where city officials and consultants will present their early findings on alternative transit in Birmingham.
Thursday's "project visioning workshop" is just one more step towards crafting a multi-modal transportation plan for Birmingham. It's a plan, city officials hope, that will help guide future planning and development in Birmingham around multiple forms of transportatation.
Behind the process is Greenway Collaborative, Inc., a consulting firm out of Ann Arbor that focuses on non-motorized planning. Birmingham hired Greenway last summer to develop its multi-modal transporation plan after the Birmingham City Commission voted in support of the state-mandated Complete Streets program in July 2011.
Complete Streets requires municipalities to accomodate alternative forms of transit when planning road construction and development projects.
In November, Greenway asked residents to complete a survey about transit options and opportunities in Birmingham. Sixty-nine percent of survey respondents said they drive on a regular basis though 73 percent said they would walk to work if transportation facilities were available.
Plus, survey respondents said there's a lack of understanding between cyclists and motorists in Birmingham — a big reason why biking isn't more popular.
On Thursday, Greenway representatives and city officials will outline best practices used with plans such as these. Then, residents will have the chance to help refine the city's goals and objectives going forward, as well as identify areas where different types of multi-modal elements — such as more bus stops or better sidewalks — would fit around town.
Meanwhile, Planning Director Jana Ecker said the results of the survey will be posted on the city's website, and then presented to the Birmingham City Commission, on Jan. 28.
Once an early draft of the plan is complete, the group will hold an open house for the public to view the draft on Feb. 28 at the library. Two sessions are scheduled: from 3-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m.
Ecker also told commissioners at their long-range planning session last Saturday that the final multi-modal transportation plan should come before city commissioners for approval in early summer, with updates in March and April.
For more information, visit the website for Birmingham's Multi-Modal Transportation Plan at Greenway Collaborative. The group also has a Facebook page and Twitter account.