CH Transit hearing


Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - 2:00pm


Chapel Hill Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Chapel Hill

@chtransit seeking input on routes & schedules.Thanks to this flyer I spotted on the bus last week, I went to the first of two public hearings held by Chapel Hill Transit this week. The second one is tomorrow (Tuesday) at Chapel Hill Town Hall.

I was running in and out of the meeting after my son who also likes buses, but isn't very patient with meetings. I did get a chance to say my piece, which included advice about making the time between buses ("headways") more consistent and supporting longer service hours. But it wasn't until chatting with Loren Hintz after the meeting that I learned that part of the purpose of the meeting is to get feedback for a major study that Chapel Hill Transit is undertaking,

The town website says that "The Comprehensive Operational Analysis (COA), a joint effort of CHT and its funding partners, Town of Chapel Hill, Town of Carrboro and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will lead to recommendations for service improvements for overall system efficiency and effectiveness." Apparently this includes major realignment of the routes, which is probably a good idea. Many of the routes haven't been updated for over a decade, and I think the community might be better served by rethinking how to create a web of service that includes more of a service grid (think: east-west connector along Estes Drive and linear routes on Greensboro, MLK, and Franklin, for example) and reduces the number of franken-routes like the J bus where you could ride for half an hour to go a distance that could be walked in 20 minutes.

Apparently this week's meetings are just the first in a series of events to collect and share information. If you can't make the hearing tomorrow, Chapel Hill Transit would still like your input via one of these methods: 

1. Call CHT at 919-969-4900, press 1
2. Email us at 
3. Fax to 919-968-2840 (Attn: COA)
4. Mail to CHT, Attn: COA, 6900 Millhouse Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27516-8175 

What will you tell them?


Ruby’s recent column in the CHN on public input on the Downtown Plan made me wonder how citizen feedback will be collected for this effort. I have just read through the SOW/Schedule for the comprehensive transit plan study. First of all, it’s encouraging to see a public participation plan spelled out to the extent that this one is. A couple of thoughts:- This public participation plan, like most the Town is involved with, appears to lean heavily on face-to -face meetings. Attendance at public meetings in Chapel Hill is generally poor, so I hope the Town and AECOM will consider alternative strategies for engaging the public.- For the majority who are interested but will not attend the formal public meetings or drop-in meetings, a public participation option that falls somewhere between general comments and the stakeholder interviews would be nice. In order to get rich input, citizens will benefit from a more targeted set of prompts. What is the context for this comprehensive planning process? What are the major transportation goals for the next five years? What are the constraints, the likely trade-offs? What specific topics is CHT interested in? Encourage citizens to make choices based on the best information available to them.- At the very least, a 1-2 page overview with guided questions could accompany all efforts to solicit general comments. A more engaging online approach might be a set of web modules/surveys focused on targeted issues.- Under Website Options, it is not clear how interactive the website for the project will be. Will public comments be gathered via a webform and simply emailed to staff, or will citizens have an opportunity to learn from each other and staff through a forum/blog interface?


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