Macon Action Plan seeking input on improvements to urban core
Downtown Macon is always busy at lunch time. Large groups of people are walking to restaurants, and people are bicycling down the street. Everyone here has a stake in downtown.
“Downtown and the urban core is the part of town that belongs to everybody,” Alex Morrison, the executive director of the Macon-Bibb Urban Development Authority said.
That is why Morrison wants the community to share their thoughts on downtown’s future.
“We want to make sure that we’re addressing the concerns of everybody and importantly we want this plan to reflect this community,” Morrison said.
Morrison is talking about the Macon Action Plan. It is an effort to coordinate the development and growth of the city’s urban core.
“Roughly the area from the Ccmulgee National Monument to Mercer University and everything in between,” he said.
Morrison says some key elements of the plan include creating better connections for pedestrians and bicyclists.
“Enhancements to bring the river trail into downtown and that’s been very well received,” he said.
Improvements on parking and bringing more events to the area are also on the list. But Morrison says the biggest concern he’s heard from the community is making sure this plan creates jobs.
“Whether it’s just straight up attracting new jobs or if its building in the support for the public to provide for that.”
It is just a rough draft for now. Morrison says they still need to hear from you.
“I just feel like we should get more nightlife down here cause a lot of people think its too bland or there’s not a lot to do,” James Bundy said.
“A lot of people work downtown so there should be more so the people that work can just take a stroll on their lunch break,” Marquisha Hargrove said.
“Without actually having the people of the city involved in it, it’s really not going to go anywhere,” Jessie Wilson said.
Morrison hopes the community will follow the plan’s road map to the end goal.
“A fully revitalized and vibrant urban core.”
You can view the MAP online or check out a hard copy of the plan at the Macon-Bibb Economic & Community Development office, NewTown Macon, College Hill Alliance, and the Washington Memorial Library. You can leave your thoughts and comments on the MAP at those locations or also on online.
The deadline for public comment closes on Friday, August 14th. The final plan, incorporating the comments and edits, will be published and announced in September.