Troy holds first downtown planning meeting

Published 11:04 am Friday, June 17, 2016

About 70 people gathered at The Studio Thursday night to listen to and give feedback about a long-term downtown revitalization plan proposed by the City of Troy.

The meeting consisted mostly of the results of several transportation studies conducted by the city in conjunction with third-party planning organizations that seek to increase access to the downtown area.

“You have to get all the facts before you can get to the fun stuff,” said Melissa Sanders, Troy planning and zoning administrator. “We’re really happy with the turnout and the feedback we got tonight.”

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Tracey Delaney of South Central Alabama Development Commission (SCADC) was the primary presenter at the meeting. Delaney presented some general statistics about Troy and the downtown area, and then launched into the findings of a transportation study conducted by SCADC that evaluated downtown traffic and parking. Based on the results of that study, SCADC suggested making the Square a two-way traffic square with angled parking.

Jason Fondren of KPS Group then presented the findings of a study KPS conducted to find the best way to connect Troy University to the downtown area by bikers and pedestrians. KPS found that the best route was via Elm Street, Park Street, and Madison Avenue. The Madison Avenue and Park Street portions of the route would be multi-use paths that allow for pedestrian and bike traffic. The Elm Street leg of the route would be a shared road, with bikers free to travel in vehicle lanes.

Possible amenities and aesthetics were also discussed at the meeting, using other southern downtowns as guidance for ideas. Citizens chimed in with things they liked and didn’t like about downtown, and their ideas for improvement.

Scherr Qualls, owner of Douglas Bros. Jewelry on the Square, said that he thought the meeting went well. “There was a better turnout than I thought there would be,” he said. “Usually when the city holds a public hearing, not a lot of people show up.”

Qualls said the biggest challenge will be recruiting more businesses to the downtown area.

Sanders said the next meeting, held July 7 at 5 p.m. in The Studio, will be “more hands-on.” Initial recommendations and proposed graphics and strategies will be on display at the meeting, giving the public ample opportunity to voice their opinions. Sanders said meeting schedules and downtown plan resources should be available soon on the city’s webpage for the plan at