[tabi] from today's Democrat: Lack of quorum stalls vote on bus changes

  • From: "Chip Orange" <Corange@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 22 Jan 2010 13:53:34 -0500

January 22, 2010

Lack of quorum stalls vote on bus changes
By TaMaryn Waters

The city of Tallahassee's Transit Advisory Committee, a citizen-advisory
board, couldn't
vote on StarMetro's proposed Nova 2010 plan Thursday night since it
didn't have a
A special meeting is now set for Thursday so the committee can vote on
whether to
support the plan, which includes changes in how the city's bus system
operates. StarMetro
planners will use the vote as a guide for finishing a draft report and
map, which
has had eight revisions since August. It's slated to go before the City
in March.
During Thursday's meeting, several concerns were brought up by committee
and riders. Those include safety, particularly when crossing busy
the elimination of a route into Governor's Square mall and a need for
more audible
"The safety concerns are riding over everything," Kevin Davis, a
committee member
and StarMetro rider, said.
Davis said he supports some of the proposals, but he said the safety
concerns are
"overwhelming" compared to the plan's benefits.
Owen McCaul, a bus rider, agreed, especially since the new plan has 39
transfer points
but only two audible signals, which he says are helpful for people with
"I really feel like they are not giving adequate attention to the safety
McCaul said.
Sam Scheib, a senior StarMetro planner, said the plan, which is designed
to decentralize
the bus system, would create bus-transfer spots across town rather than
run all routes
through the C.K. Steele Plaza. It would increase the number of buses
coming to a
bus stop during peak hours, and it would reduce routes in some areas.
He said planners are looking into safety and logistical issues. The
draft has been
changed several times as a result of input from riders. For example,
service to Trojan
Trail was added instead of backtracking on Conner Boulevard, and a "loop
route" was
divided into two different routes in an effort to increase connectivity
between the
south side and Lake Jackson areas.
Some riders were worried about the lack of sidewalks at some of transfer
Scheib said the city is working on that, although he couldn't guarantee
they'd be
complete by nova2010's target launch in December.
As for a route into Governor's Square mall, Scheib said it would cost
$46,000 per
year. He said the plan must remain "cost neutral."
"If we can get Governor's Square mall to pay for it, then we can do it,"
he said.
Or, Scheib said, some other service will be affected.
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