Sunday, June 22, 2008

Creating a Walkable Dunwoody. Is it possible?

Dunwoody_Sidewalks.pdf
(zoom in, very detailed map)

For the last several years I have harped on speeding vehicles through our neighborhoods and with the help of Peds.org (pedestrians educating drivers on safety), I have passed out free slow down signs to those who wanted them. Now with the City of Dunwoody looming, what changes could be made that would encourage our residents to get out of our cars to walk and bike for exercise and to get us to where we would want to go?

Improved sidewalk availability with accessible ramps where there are properly designed crosswalks, along all the major thoroughfares of the city would be a good first step of what would be a long and ongoing process. The Citizens for Dunwoody, Roads Committee that I Chair has been exploring this issue and we have conducted a sidewalk inventory of what we currently have, as well as where we believe future sidewalks and assessable ramps are still needed. This inventory will be presented to the Mayor and the City Council in order to assist our elected officials in budgeting for the future needs of the community.

The new City of Dunwoody will be a rather compact city with just 12 square miles of total area, which makes it ideally suited to transition to a walkable community. Once our City leaders are in charge of providing capital infrastructure improvements for the community, they will need to set design policies that would shift the paradigm away from a vehicle centric society to one that also provides its citizens the viable option of walking and biking to where they want to go.

Development of a long-range strategic plan will allow us to encourage re-development that supports live/work/play areas. We can establish zoning and land use ordinances that mandate development be designed on a scale that promotes walking. It isn't just sidewalks, the size and placement of parking lots has a big impact on walking, as does street lighting and having shops and restaurants near those sidewalks in commercial areas. These ideas aren't new, the Atlanta Regional Commission has been talking about them for years but if we decide to become our own city, it is my belief that we will be able to affect such positive changes easier & faster on the smaller scale that is the City of Dunwoody, Georgia.

The residents of Dunwoody can dream of the future, but voting yes on July 15th can start to make it a reality. Please vote.

1 comment:

Pattie said...

John; I was thrilled to find this post as I agree with you on the potential for Dunwoody to be a walkable community. I publish FoodShed Planet (www.foodshedplanet.com) and Sustainable Dunwoody (www.sustainabledunwoody.com) and write often about alternative transportation. Nice to meet you! --Pattie