Envisioning a Complete Streets Prioritization Scheme for Georgia’s Small and Medium-Sized Cities
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This paper explores the policy implications of implementing a prioritization methodology exclusively for Complete Streets projects in Georgia urbanized areas (UZAs) with a population range of 50,000 to 200,000 people, or those UZAs that are not defined as transportation management areas (TMAs) by the United States Census Bureau. It is partly based on past work the author completed with the Valdosta-Lowndes Metropolitan Planning Organization and Southern Georgia Regional Commission from January to July 2017 in the development of a report titled Valdosta and Lowndes County Complete Streets Suitability. The effectiveness and criticisms of this report are examined in the paper. Potential improvements to the methodology are suggested should this either be implemented in Valdosta again or in another Georgia metropolitan planning organization (MPO). This paper is written with the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) and the state’s 16 MPOs as the intended audience. The ultimate goal is to illustrate why there is a need for a Complete Streets scoring methodology for road segments in small and medium-sized cities and UZAs in Georgia and discuss how MPOs can develop and implement such a methodology for their planning areas.