A thrilling press release from our friends at NewTown Macon:
Macon Connects Street Makeover Will Bring Temporary Bike Network and Public Space Improvements to Downtown Macon
On September 16 and 17, 2016, Macon will launch the largest network of temporary bike lanes ever constructed. The connected and accessible grid of bike lanes are coming to Downtown Macon as part of the Macon Connects Street Makeover. The Street Makeover route covers more than six miles and runs along eight corridors in Downtown Macon. A complete map of the route is available athttp://tinyurl.com/maconconnectsconcept.
The Macon Connects Street Makeover is a massive undertaking, requiring the help of hundreds of volunteers. Community members interested in volunteering to help build the bike network or host street activities can sign up online at http://tinyurl.com/streetmakeover.
The Macon Connects Street Makeover will enhance connectivity and mobility in Macon through creative street activations in addition to the temporary bike lanes. Residents are invited to come and experience what it would be like to have safer and more vibrant streets for walking and biking. The ribbon cutting will be held Friday, September 16 at 5:30PM on the corner of Poplar and Third Streets. A bike tour of the infrastructure will leave at 6:00PM, with a family-friendly bike parade following at 6:30PM.
“The Macon Connects Street Makeover is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for people to make their ideas to improve our city come to life,” says Josh Rogers, President and CEO of NewTown Macon. “With these temporary prototypes, we can experiment with new and creative ideas to improve safety, livability, and connectivity in Macon. This is an exciting chance to show that small, inexpensive changes can dramatically improve conditions for walking and cycling in our community.”
The on-street experiments will be evaluated based on reactions and feedback from community members, which will be recorded in a final report along with recommendations for next steps that local leaders can take to make permanent improvements to urban mobility and street life. This initiative builds on the data and directives that came out of the 2015 Macon Action Plan (MAP), funded by the Peyton Anderson Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. MAP set out four overarching goals for Macon’s Urban Core, one of which is to Cultivate Connectivity.
The Macon Connects Street Makeover is the second phase of the Macon Connects initiative, which is designed to improve connectivity and civic engagement in the city. Macon Connects began with an Ideas Festival in June 2016. The Ideas Festival invited residents to provide ideas to improve mobility and connectivity in Macon. More than 1,100 people attended events during Ideas Festival, and contributed 430 creative ideas to improve mobility.
For updates on the Macon Connects Street Makeover schedule and to access the community engagement report, visit the Macon Connects website at: newtownmacon.com/macon-connects
ABOUT MACON CONNECTS
The Macon Connects team is led by NewTown Macon and Macon-Bibb County (Macon-Bibb County Urban Development Authority, Main Street Macon, Department of Parks and Beautification), with support from Bike Walk Macon. Rapid urban prototyping and community engagement services are being provided by Better Block Foundation and 8 80 Cities, respectively. The project is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation through their Knight Cities Challenge. Macon Connects was selected from a pool of more than 4,500 entries into the nation-wide competition.
Josh Rogers, President & CEO, NewTown Macon