Downtown Advisory Committee to hold meeting on transportation

By Marissa Novel

Whether by foot, bicycle or bus, Carbondale residents need to get around, and some think the process could be easier.

Downtown traffic and alternative transportation will be discussed at the second Downtown Advisory Committee meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Old Train Depot, 111 S. Illinois Ave., in Carbondale.

Meghan Cole, committee member and director of Carbondale Main Street, said the meeting will begin with information on the types of transportation, traffic flow, parking and public safety. She said the committee will take public comments at the meeting.


Jessica Pike, a junior from Decatur studying marketing, said she would enjoy the creation of a bike rental service in Carbondale.

“I drive everywhere in Carbondale,” she said. “I don’t personally own a bike, but if I had access to one, I would use that over driving any day. … If we had the option to have a bike rental system, it would give students an extra means of transportation that may be more reliable based off of their schedules.”

Pike said purchasing a bike would be counterproductive because of her financial situation, as well as the challenge of traveling home for summers.

“Bike share programs cut that issue out,” she said. “There is the issue of me shelling out money to buy a bike only to have the bike stolen.”

Columbus, Ohio, home to Ohio State University, offers the bike rental program CoGo Bike Share. It has 30 stations with 300 bikes available year-round, according to its website. The program offers $6 day passes and $75 annual ones.

Dominique Crespo, a junior from Quito, Ecuador studying speech communication, said she wants the bus system to become more functional.

“The main issue is the sometimes unnecessary stops the bus has,” Crespo said. “I’ve seen a pattern where people never get in or out at a certain stop.”


Crespo said she would also like to see additional bike routes throughout the city, especially from where she lives, The Reserves, as well as a carpooling system for students.

Cole said there were 165 business owners, city representatives and general community members at the committee’s first meeting and she encourages people to attend the second.

“All we’re there to do is to listen to the public voice any transportation issues or any transportation opinions they may have,” she said.

Cole said the transportation focus group consists of herself, Kris Schachel, sustainability coordinator at the university, and Nathan Colombo, the committee’s marketing consultant.

Marissa Novel can be reached at [email protected]on Twitter @marissanovelDE or at 536-3311 ext. 268.