In advance of the Mayor and Commission Regular Meeting on Sept. 1, at which they will vote on the repaving of Chase Street between Rowe and Newton Bridge, we signed-on to the following open letter:
“Dear Mayor Denson and Commissioners:
The undersigned request that you suspend plans to resurface Chase Street until a more comprehensive approach to Athens-Clarke County’s Complete Streets Policy can be developed.
While ACC has a Complete Streets policy, we also have other policies that work to limit the types of improvements being considered in this instance. Other initiatives, such as safe Routes to School, seem to carry little weight in infrastructure improvements as currently planned.
We understand that Chase Street, which bisects the Boulevard neighborhood and is an important connector for the city, is in need of resurfacing. We are frustrated that current policy does not require, much less encourage, ACC to use this resurfacing project as an opportunity to implement a wider array of changes to make the roadway safer and more comfortable for all users.
Small-scale improvements, such as signage, signal timing, and crosswalk upgrades, not to mention accommodating bicycle traffic — all of which could have a dramatic improvement in the safety at intersections and along the entire corridor — are not being considered under current plans, even though they embody the purpose and intent of our Complete Streets policy.
In order to provide a safer roadway for all users, we ask that you suspend repaving Chase Street until we have developed comprehensive Complete Streets ordinances that capitalize on every opportunity to make our streets safer and accessible to everyone.
Athens for Everyone
Chase Street School Council
Complete Streets Athens
Historic Boulevard Neighborhood Association
Historic Cobbham Foundation”