Georgia Walks Summit: Program Preview

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Georgia Walks Summit Program

The 2017 Georgia Walks Summit Program is packed with sessions about walk-friendly safety treatments, street designs and community programs. These are opportunities you won’t want to miss.

Thursday activities will begin at 535 Telfair Street in downtown Augusta. Friday sessions will be at the Partridge Inn at 2110 Walton Way.

Thursday, May 4, 3:30 – 7:00 PM

3:30 – 4:00 PM: Registration

4:00 – 5:30 PM: Mobile sessions

  • Walking audit of Downtown Augusta, led by Gary Warner, Cooper Carry
  • Historic Augusta walking tour, led by Eric Montgomery, Historic Augusta

5:30 – 6:00 PM: Refreshments

6:00 – 7:00 PM: Gary Warner, Cooper Carry and Ron Huffman, AMEC Foster Wheeler: Re-imagining Broad Street

7:00 PM:  Networking and refreshments (food and beverages not included)                  

Friday, May 5, 8:00 A.M – 4:30 PM

7:30 AM – 10:30 AM: Registration

8:00 – 8:30 AM: Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 10:00 AM: Morning plenary: Welcome and Keynote speaker

Peter Norton: Back to the Future: Streets for People

Peter  is a historian of engineering and society and is known for his prize-winning article, “Street Rivals: Jaywalking and the Invention of the Motor Age Street” and his book, Fighting Traffic: The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City. Peter will describe how motorists and auto makers united and organized in the 1920′s and 1930′s to clear the streets of pedestrians and make way for cars. He’ll also share strategies and tools that enable us to take back our streets.

10:15 – 11:00 AM: Breakout session A

Expanding Your Walkable Design Toolbox

Learn about a broad array of engineering treatments that improve walkability, how these treatments work together and how state and federal guidance allow for flexible design. Also learn ways to increase “buy-in” for walkable communities.

Presenters: Katelyn Digioia, Georgia Dept. of Transportation; Jonathan Digioia, AECOM

Making and Implementing the Call to Action on Walking

Learn about the Surgeon General’s Call to Action on Walking and Walkable Communities and how to conduct a comprehensive audit that assesses how well community design supports walking. You’ll also learn how the Walk Georgia Program is helping rural communities in Georgia increase physical activity.

Presenters: Emily Ussery, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Erin Peterson, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Matthew Smith, University of Georgia; Marie Bowie, Walk Georgia

Strategies and Tools for Inventorying Sidewalks and Developing Transition Plans

Learn about ADA Transition Plan requirements, best-practice case studies for sidewalk inventorying and asset management, and an overview of the Georgia Tech sidewalk tools. After a brief presentation, the group will proceed to the sidewalks and use the Sidewalk SentryTM and Sidewalk ScoutTM tools to collect sidewalk condition data.

Presenters: Jack Cebe, PLA, Georgia Tech Graduate Research Assistant; David Boyer, EIT, Georgia Tech Graduate Research Assistant

 11:00 – 11:30 AM Break

11:30 AM – 12:15 PM: Breakout Sessions B

Placing Pedestrian and Bicyclists at the Forefront of Traffic Signal Operations

Learn about the Midtown Traffic Operations Program and the Augusta-Richmond County Engineering Department, which are implementing strategies that prioritize people who walk or ride bicycles without disadvantaging motorists. Tools include half-cycling, lagging left turns, exclusive pedestrian phases, leading pedestrian intervals and SmartWalk detection. Also learn about signals that are accessible to people who are visually impaired.

Presenters: Christopher Puglisi, P.E., Jacobs; John Ussery, Augusta-Richmond County Engineering Department

Taking it to the streets! Innovative ways to create and sustain walking clubs

Learn how partners in Fulton County have engaged 28 interfaith organizations in launching walking groups, adopting wellness policies and evaluating behavior. Also learn how the 50+ Walks program PEDS launched in 2016 is engaging older adults in walking groups that inspire people to walk more, walk together and have fun.

Presenters: Wykinia Hamblin, Fulton County PICH, Checha Reddy, Interfaith Community Organizer; Kemberli Sargent, PEDS

Show us the Money!

Numerous transportation funding sources exist, but one size doesn’t fit all. Panelists will discuss funding programs managed by the Georgia Department of Transportation, Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and other agencies. Learn how to identify which funding sources are best suited for your project and how to apply for funding. Also learn about crowdfunding and public-private partnerships.

Panelists: Jessica Driver, Governor’s Office of Highway; Katelyn Digioia, Georgia Dept. of Transportation

12: 15– 1:30 PM: Lunch Plenary:

Lauren Standish, HGOR & Steve Sanchez, HGOR : A tale of two Georgian cities: Macon and Columbus

During the late 20th century, downtown areas in both Macon and Columbus had few retail stores and even fewer pedestrians. Change is happening. Learn how creating walkable destinations and increased connectivity can revitalize a city’s historic core. Also learn how to create vibrant streetscapes that encourage increased foot traffic.

1:45 – 2:30 PM: Breakout Sessions C

Pedestrian Advocacy 101 

Participate in an interactive, small group discussion about the essentials of effective advocacy. Learn about the importance of organizing, building partnerships, providing solutions and alternatives, working with the media and celebrating progress.

Discussion leaders: Sally Flocks, PEDS, Carolyn Rader, Druid Hills SHARE, Jonathan Digioia, AECOM

Safe Routes to School Challenges: School Siting and Equity

Panelists will address the history of school siting decision-making, unintended consequences, and recommendations in the federal School Siting Guidelines that can create remedies. Panelists will also discuss the importance of equity, engaging families in SRTS programs and considering children as commuters.

Panelists: Katherine Moore, Georgia Conservancy; Doug Joiner, Safe Routes to School National Partnership

Walk-friendly Communities as a Framework for Regional Planning  / Case study: City of Decatur sidewalk inventory, analysis and program

Learn how the Atlanta Regional Commission is helping cities and counties develop action plans for achieving Walk Friendly Community status. Also learn how the City of Decatur, which was first designated a Walk-friendly Community in 2011, has inventoried sidewalks and is using its analysis to establish a budget and prioritize future projects.

Presenters: Byron Rushing, Atlanta Regional Commissior; Courtney Frischer, City of Decatur

2:45 – 3:30 PM: Breakout session D

At Your Service: How local and regional agencies plan for walkability

Panelists will discuss best practices for planning at regional and local levels. Learn about available resources and remaining gaps. The discussion will feature Macon-Bibb County’s Vision Zero program, how Savannah’s regional planning organization (CORE) is leveraging transportation dollars and how the Southern Georgia Regional Commission is integrating health and transportation planning and its guide to using public-private partnerships to fund infrastructure.

Presenters: Amy Martin, Southern Georgia Regional Commission, Jane Love, Chatham County, Brad Belo, Macon-Bibb County Planning and Zoning Commission

ADA Transition Plans: making sidewalks accessible to all users:

Learn about the feasibility of developing and implementing ADA Transition Plans and how you can do so in your community. Two plans will be discussed: methods used to research and document ADA violations in the Hotel District of Downtown Atlanta and the Augusta ADA Self Evaluation and Transition Plan. They’ll also show methods for prioritizing repairs, coordinating efforts among various stakeholders and implementing the transition plan.

Presenters: Shane Mudrinich, Georgia Tech Graduate Student; Mitchell Murchison, Cranston Engineering Group

Putting the “Safe” into Safe Routes to School 

Panelists will describe new, safety-focused approaches to student travel developed by the Georgia Dept. of Transportation and the Georgia Safe Routes to School Resource Center. Resources include guidelines for community-based road safety audits and for comprehensive plans and for safety plans that are easier to fund and implement.

Presenters: Patti Sistrunk, Patti Pittman and Carol Kachadoorian, Georgia Safe Routes to School Resource Center

4:00 – 4:30 PM: Closing plenary

Rose Chavez: Designing Active Places

Link to online registration page

To register by mail, download the registration form