Brookhaven, GA, April 14, 2016 – by Betsy Eggers, Guest Columnist – Q: What makes cities and towns thrive? A: It starts with planning!
Some neighbors are sounding an alarm about the dollar signs in the Bike-Ped Plan. Keep in mind, however, that the costs involved in Brookhaven’s Bike-Ped Plan are part of a 20+ year vision. Funding for public improvement projects come from multiple sources. To qualify for grants from federal, state (like GDOT), regional (like ARC), and private foundations, a city must have an approved, professional, community-supported plan in place which is the blueprint for the future.
Every cool city — Chattanooga with its easy-to-walk-and-bike riverfront revitalization and Decatur with its hometown vibrancy — started with a plan. Some folks objected to those plans, too. They are afraid of change and try to quickly sway opinion with scare tactics and even lawsuits. Creating a walkable, bikable community with public art, beautiful trees, and interesting spaces is not an easy journey.
But I just betcha that those short-sighted naysayers in Chattanooga (now Southern Living’s “best spot to take the kids”) and Decatur (where families and retirees alike are flocking) are now recognizing that spending the time, energy, planning, community involvement, and, yes, even every dollar was worth the investment!
–– Betsy Eggers, Board Chair of the Peachtree Creek Greenway