Athens City Council met on Monday night to discuss city business per usual.

Athens City Council Mulls Over Transportation Changes to the City

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Athens City Council is considering establishing a “Complete Streets” policy in Athens.

“‘Complete Streets’ is an idea where you are looking at that public right-of-way. It’s something that every citizen is going to use and every visitor that visits our city uses every day. It’s looking at it in a way that makes it more accessible for more people,” said Council Member Peter Kotses , who introduced the ordinance to the council on Monday.

“Complete Streets” is looking at certain streets in Athens in a complete way so that every one can be safe and use these streets in the most efficient way possible.

City Council members listen to ordinances that could change Athens for the better.
Mayor Steve Patterson [WOUB File Photo]
This meeting was packed full of important city information.

And “Complete Streets” are not going to look the same wherever you go. There are many different types of roads in Athens that have different kinds of uses. Therefore, one “Complete Street” can be completely different than a “Complete Street” a few blocks away.

“You have to look at what that street does. East State Street, delivering people to all those businesses, is quite different than, say, Palmer Street, where that one is somewhat of a through street, but it also has a lot of residents on it. So you have to look at the people who come in contact with that street and see how they are utilizing it,” Kotses said.

“To do this right, you have got to make sure it’s ADA accessible for someone to be able to go through this passageway. You need it look at is it bike-able for bikes to be able to ride through, and pedestrians certainly,” Athens Mayor Steve Patterson said.

Council had their first reading on the “Complete Street” ordinance on Monday. It will go through two more readings before it can officially be recognized as policy, but members of council say they expect this ordinance to pass.

Council also discussed “active transportation” for a little bit at the meeting, which includes electronic scooters and electronic types of transportation, and they say Athens could see an increase of these e-scooters in the near future.

The city is hoping to bring in more revenue by inviting e-scooter companies to come to Athens and set up shop. But how would these e-scooters fit in with the possible “Complete Streets” policy?

“I would contend that if, with your ‘Complete Street,’ you are making a bike lane, then that bike lane is going to, by default, be a lane that can be shared by bicycles, as well as e-scooters, and you’ll see e-bikes on there as well,” Mayor Patterson said.

Many of the ordinances on the agenda fit in with all of these new ideas about transportation and how the city can change policy to incorporate the standards of today’s society.