Friday, December 9, 2011

Back to Work

 
Like many folks, I have a day job that keeps the cash flow coming in to allow me and my family to enjoy our life. The past 3-4 months have been quite busy with the addition of local elections. I made a decision to stick my neck out and become involved. First by putting on the first ever Candidate Forum on Sustainability held in the Southeast. Second, by endorsing and supporting local candidates.

Now that the dust has settled -- and my day job and personal life allows it, I'm going to get back in the saddle again focusing on my little abode of Dunwoody on becoming a Bicycle Friendly Community like our neighbors to the north in Roswell - except that ours will first focus on kids & families, rather than the racing / spandex crowd. No disrespect to my friends in Roswell, but Dunwoody already has you beat with our Safe Routes to School programs like this at Kingsley where they received a grant of nearly $500k to improve conditions. Our ready-made grid of Mt Vernon (E-W) and Chamblee-Dunwoody  / Roberts Dr is much more condensed and accessible to link our residential neighborhoods with our "Villages". Once Bike Lanes, Paths or Trails are established and connected along these two corridors, you'll see an explosion of use.

One of the action items I'll be working on over the next 60 days is establishing a Non-Motorized Transportation Committee per Dunwoody's November, 2009 Resolution on an Action Plan to Become a Bicycle Friendly Community.  Instead of paying some consulting firm or hiring additional staff, in keeping with the theme of a small and efficient government, this is a great model to leverage citizen volunteer work and partnering with city staff and elected officials to get things done. The committee will be formed under the Sustainability Commission and notices sent out similar to other city committees. Once established, I am also working with staff to provide committee agendas, minutes on the city's website. If you're interested in joining the committee, just let me know.

Secondly, we had some great press in the Crier with the installation of Bike Racks in Dunwoody Village last month. Thanks to friends at the Dunwoody Preservation Trust, the proceeds from this year's Bicycle Ride Around Dunwoody during Lemonade Days were used to purchase and install these. Special thanks to DPT President Sam Portis and local bike-rack advocate Mitch Garber for making this a reality. Just another small example of the things we can do when you bring people together. (Off topic here -- but what's going to happen to the old rail house that is for sale where the Chamber of Commerce used to be? Would hate to see it torn down like the rest of them were.)

Lastly, it's always nice to have some more "feel good" moments and celebrations. Look for a ribbon cutting ceremony in the upcoming weeks dedicating the new Bicycle Lanes on Roberts Drive done as part of the $2M 2011 Capital Paving Project.  For more on that, go here. We're waiting for the city's contractor to paint the lane markings and installation of signage. It will be held on a Saturday mid-morning at Austin Elementary. Bring your bike and we can go out for a short out & back ride together. The city will put out a press release in advance.
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