Wednesday, November 14, 2007

ATT Pedestrian/Cyclist Bridge over I-40 - Your Feedback is Needed

There has been a lot of buzz within the local bike/pedestrian community about the American Tobacco Trail bridge over I-40. The first public meeting for the bridge project was held last night at City Hall and was a success. Organizers were hoping 60 people would attend, the city estimates the attendance was actually over 110. Bill Bussey of Triangle Rails-to-Trails was counting, but I haven't heard how accurate 110 is. And, to top it all off, the brownies were pretty good too.

There's an excellent summary at Bull City Rising, so I'm not going to spend time re-typing it. Tanner Lovelace made a comment at BCR that echoed my thoughts exactly. Architect/Engineer Steven Grover really seems to get it. He went to great lengths to illustrate that great bridges don't necessarily require a lot of money, nor do they need to be "flashy." They need to meet the aesthetic goals of the community, make sense in context, and function effectively.

But the degree to which form is measured against function is up to us. Grover re-iterated numerous times the importance of stakeholder feedback in designing this bridge. Quite simply, he's from California. He'll learn what he can about the area, but the project is best-served with copious, robust input from those of us who will actually be using the bridge. And, at a more practical level, this is an expensive project, we need to make sure its done right and he is committed to doing so. But, again, "right" is up to us. I'm linking to below where you can download a PDF of his portfolio.

The city handed out a survey last night, and it is also available online at the city's website. Please take the time to download and complete the survey and return it to Byron Brady in Public Works at the address on the bottom of the survey. Mr. Brady asks that the form be returned by Tuesday Nov 27, so fill it out over your long Thanksgiving weekend and drop it in the mail Monday the 26th.

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