Town studies design of Davidson streets
by Staff Writer
DAVIDSON – Healthy streets – it sounds like an idea born out of the new healthy, green lifestyle folks are trying to live. But Davidson town staff members are using the term to describe design elements like sidewalks, lighting and other amenities that make streets more appealing in residential and commercial developments.
The town held a public meeting July 25 to get resident input on what design elements were necessary for town streets.
“It was also an opportunity discuss with our residents the ways street design can impact their health by providing opportunities to be physically active, reducing the likelihood of motor vehicle accidents and injury, and providing active means of transportation that reduce air pollution,” Cristina Shaul, the town’s public information officer, said.
This public input process is all part of an ongoing survey for the Davidson Design For Life project, which will be used to rewrite street design section of the town’s planning ordinance in fiscal 2013.
Shaul said it’s easier and cheaper to design new streets that promote healthy community design than it is to retrofit roads once they are built, which is why the new ordinance will apply to new development or roads.
“Davidson has focused on tweaking our design standards in order to get it right the first time,” she said.
Shaul said while the new ordinance will apply to future projects, the new standards will also help when existing roads are repaved or in need of improvement projects like sidewalks.
Shaul said the next step is to consolidate the comments made Thursday night with the responses to the online survey and to write a more formal report of the findings. The findings and recommendations within the report will be posted on the Davidson Design for Life website (www.townofdavidson.org/DD4L), and shared with those working on the Davidson Planning Ordinance rewrite, members of various committees, and the Davidson Board of Commissioners.
To participate in the online survey, visit www.surveymonkey.com/s/XS35WWX.