"Minimum Grid" plan unveiled to Columbus residents

minimum grid

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - City officials are looking at ways to better connect the Midtown and Uptown communities.

On Tuesday night, designers unveiled a draft proposal for a "Minimum Grid" project during a two-part presentation.

During part one, residents sat down in council chambers to look at the draft models and to get concrete information about the project.

In part two, they moved into small groups to brainstorm ideas on how to make the plan better.

The two designers from Gehl Studios surveyed the Chattahoochee Valley back in May and worked with residents to get information for the project.

They looked at the existing road and transportation network to make it work better for all people no matter how they're moving about..

Pat McHenry, a Columbus cyclist, said he's happy to see the move from cycling as an alternative mode of transportation to a way of life.

"Designing a city around people rather than around cars is the most important principle that really governs everything," McHenry said. "When you design a city exclusively around cars then you create lots and lots of problem."

Anne King, Executive Director for Midtown Inc., said the process started about a year ago when they submitted a grant proposal, and out of 7,000 applicants they're now one of 32 recipients of the Knight's city challenge award.

"Our project is to develop a minimum grid which is a network to better connect or core community of midtown and uptown for pedestrians, for cyclist, for transit riders, and for drivers," King said.

They said it's a way to make the city more accessible for people to connect with each other and to their favorite places in the community.

King said it's a long term project and many city officials are already on board saying the plan may also help guide transportation planning for generations to come.

"It doesn't matter if we have 50 miles of great paths if every mile or so there's a break in it. Even if its 100 yards we probably aren't going to use it because you can't get where you want to go easily," King said.

Midtown Inc said the group will finish final planning in late fall with the hopes of having one or two pilot projects in the next several months.

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