[tabi] from today's Democrat: article by Ron Garrison

  • From: "Allison and Chip Orange" <acorange@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 29 Nov 2009 12:51:47 -0500

November 29, 2009
Ron Garrison: At StarMetro, we're listening (and rerouting)
Ronald L. Garrison
My View
Have you ever wondered about the difference one person can make? With
route-decentralization project, nova2010, one person can make a huge
Over the past two-and-a-half months, StarMetro staff has directly
communicated with
more than 1,500 residents about nova2010. This project is designed to make
an even better transportation system. It will allow us to change from the
hub-and-spokes system, in which all riders must go downtown to transfer to
bus, to a more grid-like system with multiple transfer points scattered
the city.
We've met with 80 special-interest groups, held 20 public listening sessions
conducted three special listening sessions with bus riders at C.K. Steele
We've also received your input through two social networking sites, an
e-mail address
and a phone hot line. The result has been many ideas and suggestions for
this system, and we've been able to incorporate over 70 percent of those
suggestions into the latest nova2010 concept map. All other suggestions are
being reviewed.
With the addition of these new changes from our community, the nova2010
concept map
has evolved and is now on its sixth version. All of these changes provide
connectivity and higher potential ridership and ultimately benefit the
entire community.
Most of these changes include service improvements to:
d Destinations.
d Employment centers.
d Low-income housing developments.
d Public schools.
The malls, Koger Center, Gibbs-Mabry Manor and Lincoln High School will now
better transit service than in the first version of the concept map. In the
of the malls, two routes were rerouted to travel closer to both the
Tallahassee Mall
and Governor's Square mall - the Meridian Road/Hartsfield Road route will
now travel
on Allen Road versus Sharer Road, to come closer to the Tallahassee Mall,
and the
Tharpe Street/Park Avenue route will now travel down Governors Square
Boulevard versus
staying on Park Avenue in order to come closer to the Governor's Square
mall. Even
though the nova2010 concept map has changed, it is not yet final, and
StarMetro planning
staff continues to consider suggestions.
Over the next several months, StarMetro staff will review additional data
and analysis
with a consultant to fine tune the nova2010 concept map and draft a final
In early 2010, the Transit Advisory Committee, a mayor-appointed
group, will review options to consider for the draft map of nova2010.
the city manager and staff will make a recommendation to the City
Commission. If
it's approved, StarMetro will begin the process of locating Star Stops (bus
along the proposed routes and begin the massive internal changeover to the
system in spring/summer 2010. A targeted implementation date is currently
set for
late 2010 or early 2011.
Even though the route structure for nova2010 has not been finalized, Star
Stop placement
is an important facet of this plan to our current customers, businesses,
organizations and prospective new customers. Questions concerning Star Stop
and customer amenities have been raised at many nova2010 listening sessions.
the various Star Stops cannot be specifically located until the routes have
finalized. Once they are finalized and approved by the City Commission, the
planning staff will begin working more intensely with interested citizens,
groups for the disabled and seniors, the Public Works Department and the
Police Department, to identify the best Star Stop locations.
In this preliminary stage, part of our work involves conducting an inventory
of each
proposed transfer intersection to evaluate the current condition and what
may be needed. For example, of the 41 proposed transfer intersections,
nearly 90
percent are equipped with painted crosswalks, pedestrian signals and
complete sidewalks
with curb cuts on all four corners of the intersection. One challenge we are
to address is the lack of audible crossing signals or chirpers at these
intersections. With the help of the blind community and the Public Works
we are prioritizing a list of intersections to tackle first and pursuing
grant monies to help pay for improvements, such as chirpers.
StarMetro staff and I would like to thank every individual for submitting
comments and suggestions via group meetings, listening sessions, social
sites, e-mails and phone calls. Your comments and suggestions have been
and will go a long way in making nova2010 a success for the entire
community. Our
long-term goal is to ensure that, through the city's overall transit system,
we meet
the needs or our community to make riding StarMetro a fast, efficient and
way to move about Tallahassee.
Additional Facts
d To learn about nova2010, provide input and follow the progress:
On the Web: www.talgov.com/starmetro (Click nova2010 on left side of page)
E-mail: nova2010project@xxxxxxxxxx
Phone: Call the nova2010 hot line at (850) 891-5283
You also can follow nova2010 on Facebook and Twitter.
d Ronald L. Garrison is executive director of StarMetro, the city's of
transit service. Contact him at Ron.Garrison@xxxxxxxxxxx

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