Quincy News

Public pop-up gathers feedback on transportation plan

Quincy Director of Planning and Development Chuck Bevelheimer outlines recommendations included in the Quincy REgional Transportation Plan during a public pop-up event, held Saturday at Sixth Street and Jail Alley in conjunction with Small Business Saturday. | H-W Photo/Deborah Gertz Husar
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Dec. 1, 2019 12:01 am Updated: Dec. 1, 2019 12:06 am

QUINCY -- Heather Bangert thinks biking should be stressed more in Quincy.

"It just cuts down traffic so much," the Quincy woman said. "It's more economical."

But Bangert understands the challenges of trying to ride a bike in the community.

"Biking can be dangerous in this town. So many drivers just do not pay attention," she said. "If you're walking, especially, you have to really pay attention. Some drivers do not look."

Bangert emphasized the need for biking and pedestrian accommodations while learning more about the Quincy Regional Transportation Plan from Katy Shackelford, a senior planner with Lochmueller Goup, which was hired to help the city complete a transportation study. The plan is an outcome of the Quincy Next Strategic Plan and the upcoming Quincy Memorial Bridge replacement project.

A public pop-up event, held Saturday at Sixth Street and Jail Alley, shared survey results and gathered feedback on transportation needs and priorities identified for Quincy and the surrounding region's transportation network.

"We wanted to get the transportation study out in front of people, and with Small Business Saturday folks walking by, we thought we could get a little different crowd than what usually comes to a transportation meeting," said Maggie Strong, a consultant hired by the city to help develop and implement the Quincy Next Strategic Plan.

The information session with city officials and consultants reported on community feedback and recommendations from a downtown study, including converting several one-way streets to two-way and other projects, "that will hopefully improve traffic and help revitalize the community," Shackelford said. "The thing we're really stressing is helping people understand all the work that's going on to build a better Quincy."

People talked about what will happen with plans for the new Mississippi River bridge and asked about whether streets would be blocked off.

"We want people to be able to get in and around Quincy really easily," Strong said. "It's all about accessibility, not just for cars but for pedestrians and bikes."

Plan priorities include road preservation and maintenance, improving road safety and reducing congestion. A survey found 61% supported adding more on-street parking, 57% favored adding more bike lanes but only 12% supported adding speed bumps to slow traffic and improve pedestrian safety.

Quincy resident Liz Little said she was familiar with some elements of the plan but learned more about it talking with Quincy Director of Planning and Development Chuck Bevelheimer.

"It all sounds like a good idea," she said.

"I like to see any improvement in the downtown area," said Little's sister Susan Flynn, who was visiting from Michigan. "It brings in more people, more pedestrians, to revitalize the area."