ROSWELL, Ga. — The City of Roswell is collecting feedback on its first Bike and Pedestrian Master Plan.
As a part of the process, city officials held two open houses, one May 7 at Hembree Park and the other on May 9 at East Roswell Park, that gave dozens of residents a chance to voice their preferences.
This is the first master plan the city has ever crafted specifically to address bicyclist and pedestrian concerns, said Transportation Deputy Director Rob Dell-Ross.
“This was inspired by residents, passion, need and requests for improved bicycle and pedestrian facilities and connections around our city,” Dell-Ross said. “Residents love their parks and they also love being able to walk and bike to their destinations. It’s a very common request we’ve received.”
The open house sessions are the first round of meetings to introduce residents to the idea and collect feedback. From there, city staff will use people’s comments this summer to craft possible solutions to present this fall. The team is hoping to have it adopted by the mayor and City Council by the end of this year, Dell-Ross said.
“But for the first round of meetings, we’re in a listening mode,” he said. “We want to hear what problems and what requests we have from the residents.”
That’s good news for residents like Carol and Gary Long. Gary, an avid cyclist who has lived in Roswell for over 35 years, said he attended the meeting to make sure the city knew people were in support of the master plan.
“I want improved safety and connectivity in this city,” Gary said.
Those at the open houses looked at Roswell’s topography, population density and other statistics such as pedestrian and bicycle crashes. Attendees could mark which corridors they’d most likely walk and bike along as well as different bicycle road treatments. Some options include exclusive bike lanes, multi-use paths or sharrows — pavement markings that indicate a roadway, usually a low-speed, low-traffic area, is also a cycling corridor.
Attendees could also identify areas or facilities they would like to have greater walking access to, which could potentially feed into the greater Roswell Loop.
The Roswell Loop system was created as one of the city’s first master plans and includes several looping paths around the city. The idea is to eventually connect all of the city’s parks and schools through a continuous trail, Dell-Ross said.
“We have a lot of segments that make up portions of those loops, but we haven’t had a lot of success building the entire ring,” Dell-Ross said. “We’re piecing together portions of the loop.”
The Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan could potentially tie into the loop system or provide feedback for a new type of trail system altogether, he added.
City staff and some partner organizations like Bike Roswell! are also hoping to use the study to raise the city’s Bicycle Friendly Community designation from the bronze level to silver by the League of American Bicyclists. Roswell was the first municipality in the state to receive the status in 2006 and has stayed at the bronze level since.
“We are hoping to use some output from this study for the next time we submit for that reapplication to bump it up,” Dell-Ross said. “It’s something that Bike Roswell! has wanted to do for a long time.”
The city is working with Pond consulting on the master plan.
For more information or to leave feedback on the master plan online, visit roswellgov.com/bikepedsurvey.