Growth is Coming...Let's Be Smart About It

Category: Transportation (Page 1 of 2)

City Council will set Downtown’s Future over the next 18 Months…Let’s Hope they’re Smart about it!

There are two major City projects that will be coming together over the next 18 months that will either produce a “perfect storm” or a bright future for our historic downtown and Old Town.

The City is starting the long-awaited Downtown Master Plan Update and the Austin Ave Corridor Study, in partnership the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO).  Both projects will significantly influence the potential viability and livability of the center of Georgetown.

The Downtown Master Plan Kick-Off occurred on November 15, which I attended.  The consultant, DesignWorkshop, reviewed the City Vision for Downtown and discussed community involvement in the process.  One of the more controversial issues discussed at Council this year has been commercial development density and building heights.

I know Georgetown is growing rapidly, but let’s be careful that we don’t lose the charm and uniqueness of downtown and Old Town…if we ever lose it, we’ll never get it back.

We all need to be Smart…let’s not “San Marcos” our Square!

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The New San Gabriel River Pedestrian/Bike Bridge…Let’s Get Creative with its Design!

The new pedestrian and bike bridge planned for the South & North San Gabriel Rivers gives Georgetown another opportunity to attract regional and national recognition with a new city landmark that overlooks our beautiful San Gabriel River.

Liberty Bridge in Greenville, South Carolina

Liberty Bridge at Falls Park, Greenville SC

The new bridge, which will be built alongside the Austin Ave Bridges, will connect to the San Gabriel park/trail system and link the Square & downtown to the Sheraton Hotel/Rivery development, the City’s west side, and ultimately to Lake Georgetown & Garey Park.  The pedestrian bridge also  gives us the opportunity to create a unique “gateway” for downtown Georgetown.

Instead of taking a traditional engineering approach to designing a basic utility bridge to accommodate pedestrian and bicycle traffic over the Rivers, hopefully the City will think outside the box and be creative in how they go about selecting the design for the new bridge.

Do we take the usual route and give the job to an engineering company without competitionor do we decide to be imaginative…and SMART?

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City Begins Work on New 2021 Mobility Bond Package

With the appointment of a 16 member Citizen Advisory Committee on July 14th, City Council has started work on building a mobility bond pacTraffic Backup on University Avenuekage that voters will decide up or down in May 2021.

The City has kicked off their public engagement phase with an online survey. I strongly encourage you to complete the online survey (web link to survey).

Since we will be voting on the bond package next May, our opinions and priorities are critical to the process. Feel free to share the survey site with your friends and neighbors…the more the better.

With Georgetown being one of the fastest growing cities in the nation, we need to ensure we invest our tax dollars on projects that protect and enhance our community’s quality of life. We will have to live with the decisions we make next May for years to come. Typically, mobility bonds packages build bigger, wider roads, but does that always really help us? When we build wider roads through our neighborhoods, we are inviting more traffic to travel on those wider roads.

Instead of just building more concrete infrastructure, maybe we should also be investing in new ideas that can help solve our existing traffic congestion. Enter Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) that can help move more traffic faster through our existing roadways.

Let’s be a “Smart City” and think about how and where we invest our hundreds of millions of dollars to improve Georgetown’s future. Continue reading

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