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Morrow Walkable Communities study to be discussed

By Ed Brock

Jeanell Bridges wants to make it easier for senior citizens to walk around Morrow, while Stephanie Lucas wants to see narrower lanes on Jonesboro Road to discourage speeding.

Those were some of the ideas put forward last week during a workshop held at Morrow City Hall to discuss the Walkable Communities Initiative that is sponsored in part by the Atlanta Regional Commission. Amanda Day, the city's grants administrator, will present a report on the workshop to the Morrow City Council at tonight's council meeting.

"It could become a prioritization of projects our citizens would like to see done," Day said.

Morrow is one of eight communities in the Atlanta area chosen to participate in the program that is also sponsored by the National Center for Bicycling and Walking and the Georgia Department of Human Resources. Participants in the workshop studied "pedestrian design, safety, education, enforcement and encouragement" and even took a walking tour of Jonesboro Road.

The walking tour brought about surprising revelations even for Day.

"We have a lot of curb cuts," Day said. "Even if you're on the sidewalk you have to pay attention because so many cars are turning in and they're not paying attention to you."

Day was also impressed by the results of the city's requirements that whenever a business is sold to a new owner the new owner must upgrade the property.

"It's nice to see we have these upgrades coming to make it a prettier area," Day said.

Along with slowing down the traffic on Jonesboro Road, thinning the lanes would be aesthetically important, said Lucas, manager of the Reynold's Nature Preserve that is in the city.

"If we thin the lanes that would allow us to have a wider green space between sidewalk and street," Lucas said.

Lucas said she also wants to see a traffic circle of some kind on Jonesboro Road and a nicer sign for city hall.

Bridges said the walking tour was her favorite part of the workshop.

"Walking down and seeing what could be, to see it from (the workshop leaders') perspective," said Bridges, president of the Northridge Condominiums property owners' association. "I think the thing that is most important is that people want to make Morrow a safe walking community, not just for school children but for senior citizens."