MATS Technical Meeting
July 21, 2021
A meeting of the MATS Technical Committee was held on July 21, 2021, in the Macon-Bibb Planning & Zoning Commission conference room. There were twelve voting members in attendance thereby establishing a quorum. A motion was made by Greg Boike and seconded by Robert Ryals to adopt the minutes of the previous meeting with a minor change which was subsequently approved.
The first item discussed on the agenda was the Title VI Plan Update by Mike Greenwald. This concerns Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits discrimination against anyone that is a participant in a federally assisted program. The Macon-Bibb Planning & Zoning Commission prepares a Title Vi Report Update each year for the local Transit Authority. The most recent Title VI Plan and other documents were submitted in June 2021. This also involves a plan to ensure meaningful access to services for individuals who have limited English proficiency (LEP). Translation services and documents are required for each LEP group if they constitute 5% of the population or 1,000 persons, whichever is less. A Language Assistance Plan (LAP) is needed to show compliance with the LEP requirements if they are applicable. Currently, the MATS area is below the population threshold required . However, MATS has been advised that in the future a LAP will be required regardless of the population threshold. Therefore, a review of the necessary requirements is currently underway in order to address this issue. Wanzina Jackson from Economic & Community Dev. stated that her office has to provide documents in other languages in some cases. Robert Ryals remarked that MATS could possibly utilize the resources that other departments have in terms of providing language assistance.
The next agenda item was the MATS By-laws and Participation Plan presented by Mike Greenwald. The GDOT Planning Office has asked the MPOs in the state to change the voting membership on the Policy Committee from the GDOT Commissioner to the GDOT Planning Director. This change will require a revision to the MATS By-laws and the Participation Plan. This item was only presented for discussion because any changes to by-laws can’t be adopted until the next series of MATS meetings later this year.
The next item on the agenda was the Pedestrian Safety Review Board (PSRB) which was discussed by Rachel Umana. This board was formed in 2015 and has been designated by the Macon-Bibb Commission to find ways to keep pedestrians safe along the county roads and streets. The board is made up of individuals from governmental and nonprofit organizations and has received grants from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. The PSRB meets monthly and two of their priority areas are Public Communications and Policy & Legislation which focuses on Complete Streets. The concept of Complete Streets is designed and operated to enable safe access for all users including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and public transit riders. People of all ages and abilities are able to safely move along a complete street. Recently, the Macon-Bibb Commission passed a complete streets ordinance which provides safety and health benefits for people of all age levels.
The next agenda item was the Project Status Report presented by Harland Smith of Georgia DOT. He reviewed the projects currently under construction and gave an update of the recent project changes. Under New Business, Nigel Floyd discussed the synchronization of traffic lights in the downtown area. The CAC members had mentioned that there should be a better synchronization of lights in order to improve the traffic flow downtown. Mr. Floyd stated the traffic lights were originally synchronized but there is now a need to move the cycle length of the lights up because of the traffic increase. Mike Greenwald then discussed the LRTP Subcommittee which is being formed at the request of FHWA and GDOT. This Subcommittee will provide input regarding the 2050 future developments patterns and air quality conformity. There will also be regularly scheduled meetings during FY 2022. Being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned.