News from Around the State – District 5

Macon-Bibb is one of four communities named four new grant recipients of Georgia Tech's Smart Communities Challenge.

Middle Georgia-Robins Air Force Base Sustainability Plan

The Middle Georgia Regional Commission and Robins Air Force Base, along with local and federal officials and the surrounding community, have teamed together to develop a sustainability plan for the future of Middle Georgia’s military base and surrounding area. The effort aims to identify compatible land uses and growth management guidelines on and near the military base. The study team and the community adjacent to the military base are working collaboratively to minimize impact to the surrounding area and to the base considering future growth both on and off the military installation. 

Study elements include encroachment, transportation, infrastructure, operations, economic and community development, and environmental and cultural resources. Robins Air Force Base has been operating in Houston County since 1941 and employs over 23,000 civilians, members, and contractors, creating an annual impact of over $3.5 billion to its surrounding community. The sustainability planning process kicked off in May 2021 and is anticipated to be complete in June of this year. To follow the planning process, visit this website.

Bike Walk Macon Made a Big Impact in 2021

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Bike Walk Macon continued to advance their mission to create a more bikeable, walkable Macon-Bibb County. The organization, founded in 2015, recently released an informative 2021 Impact Report highlighting the accomplishments within the community.  The year 2021 saw remarkable accomplishments and changes, including the adoption of a Complete Streets Policy ordinance, installation of painted crosswalks and murals on City streets, green sharrows, bumpouts, and a sensory sidewalk pathway throughout the Beall’s Hill, Downtown, Greenwood Bottom, and Napier Heights neighborhoods. The “Open Streets Macon” program was also expanded to include two additional neighborhoods. Bike Walk Macon hosted several first-time events like Rolling Town Hall, the My Bike Photo Series gallery, and the Macon Mobility Maker Awards. Also, new staff joined the organization to expand educational programs in 2022. Follow the exciting work underway at Bike Walk Macon.

Connect 2050 – Macon MPO Updates Transportation Plan

The Macon Metropolitan Planning Organization is currently updating its Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP), known as Connect 2050. The Connect 2050 plan update guides future transportation improvements in the Macon Area Transportation Study (MATS) area.  The update will assess the existing transportation network, gather community feedback, and update goals, objectives, and transportation priorities for Macon-Bibb County and parts of Jones and Monroe Counties. 

Based on feedback received from survey participants at this current stage of the MTP development, the following transportation priorities (and percentage of respondents indicating each priority) were regarded as “High Importance”:

  • Improve Travel Flows (26%)
  • Enhance Public Transportation (20%)
  • Enhance Travel Safety (20%)   
  • Add & Widen Roads (19%)
  • Enhance Bicycling & Walking (19%)
  • Incorporate Smart Technology into Road Infrastructure (18%)
  • Improve and Maintain Road Surfaces (17%)

Please visit the Macon MPO’s website to stay informed about the Connect 2050 MTP update! 

Planning for Progress in Perry

The City of Perry has seen rapid growth over the past few years. There has been an influx of new residents and commercial development as the City has been identified as a desirable place to live, due to its high quality of life, amenities, and reliable services. The City of Perry recently completed several community planning initiatives, including a 5-Year Strategic Plan, Perry Pathways Connectivity Plan, Sewer Master Plan, and an update to the Joint Comprehensive Plan for Houston County and the Cities of Centerville, Perry, and Warner Robins. 

For the Joint Comprehensive Plan, Perry began by implementing a robust public engagement process through surveys and community meetings for four specific topics – housing, economic development, land use and growth, and city services. With the surveys’ 700 Perry-specific responses and the topic-driven community meetings, respondents and attendees generated input that directly informed the final plan. The planning process also led to an extensive update of Perry’s land use character area map to direct the City’s growth and development for the next five years.

The City of Perry Sewer Master Plan is a proactive planning effort that has been initiated in direct response to recent significant growth and changing development patterns. Using a consulting engineer, the City of Perry is finalizing the plan, which will detail and prioritize sewer projects for the next 20 years. The plan takes into consideration desirable growth areas and the sewer capacity required to serve new residents, commercial development, and new industries. The plan details the process for constructing and bringing online a new wastewater treatment facility which will spur additional growth in the eastern portion of Perry and alleviate sewer capacity concerns city-wide. Visit the City of Perry’s website to follow ongoing planning initiatives in Perry!

GPA wants to hear from you and feature news from around the state. This month, we are showcasing GPA District 5. Thank you to Mary Huffstetler, AICP, GPA District 5 Director for this update!