Letter: Macon’s downtown needs circulator shuttles

Letter to the editor: Reader suggests providing access to circulator shuttles to assist mobility of downtown visitors. If you have a letter to the editor or commentary that you would like to be considered for publication, please use our contact form or submit to our Facebook page. We will review it, and publish it if it meets our editorial standards.


Editor,

I grew up in Macon, I am old enough to remember the ” old days” when downtown was the center of activity. I remember bumper to bumper traffic on Cherry Street, I remember sidewalks filled with patrons because this was the retail hub of central Georgia. I remember when the Macon Mall was a lake and a swamp and The Shoppes at River Crossing was a piney forest…I remember when our once vibrant downtown sank into decay, neglect and ruin populated by the homeless, the forgotten and the rejected.

Our downtown was a place where few desired to go, even fewer desired to invest in! But in less than a single decade I remember that same downtown rise like a Phoenix from the ashes to become the shining star it is today. Thanks to the efforts of fearless city leaders and brave entrepreneurs, we have a vibrant, growing downtown and urban core that attracts patrons from far and wide….BUT….with all our success we may have seeded our downfall!

Macon Circulator Shuttle
Reader proposes circulator shuttles to help downtown patrons move from shop to restaurants to parking. Photo submitted by Gene-Faye Watson

As our businesses grow, we attract more patrons, we hire more workers who service more patrons, who become loft residents, who require more services…..suddenly that compact urban core is congested, it is unable to move all those people from point A to point B without gridlock, it becomes difficult to gain easy access and once you gain access your mobility is hampered due to gridlock and congestion. We need the multitudes creating the problem and if they return to patronize the suburbs, our downtown suffers, it declines again!

What Macon needs is A Magic Carpet Ride to provide residents, workers and visitors the access and mobility they need and desire in our downtown/urban core. The access/mobility that will enhance everyone’s pedestrian experience and provide our downtown businesses with that competitive edge they deserve. I am speaking of eco friendly compact electric shuttles operating as circulator shuttles in downtown and as on demand ride services throughout the urban core. Operating for a fraction of what even a small shuttle bus does, they provide that needed access and mobility from residences, parking or retail quickly and efficiently….and the provide fun rides….65 other cities have implemented their use, shouldn’t Macon…..they are the Magic Carpet Ride we need!

Gene-Faye Watson
Macon

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