Rome will open up the development of a new transit plan to public comment later this month with a couple of public sessions slated for the last week of February.

“We want to hear that they would like in a transit system,” Assistant City Manager Patrick Eidson said Wednesday.

Commissioner Sundai Stevenson, who chairs the Public Works Committee, said it would provide an opportunity to think about the clean slate transit now has, after losing the tripper service for city school students.

Consultants working on the new plan will hold open house sessions in the Sam King Room at City Hall on Thursday, Feb. 27, from 3 to 7 p.m. and again Friday, Feb. 28, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.

Transit is also one of the items on the agenda for the city commission’s retreat Thursday.

“My feeling is that the commission is all over the map on transit,” said Commissioner Jamie Doss.

Stevenson said transit is very important to a large segment of the community and the city should work toward what it could mean in the future, not what it has been in the past.

“We’ve got decades of history with transit,” said City Manager Sammy Rich. “And we’ve got millions of dollars in infrastructure.”

As part of the infrastructure, new bus shelters are being put up at strategic locations along the current network of bus routes. Many of the bus stops have space for advertising that could generate revenue for the system, Transit Director Kathy Shealy said.

Also on Wednesday, a pilot program to improve crosswalk safety downtown got underway, City Engineer Aaron Carroll also told the panel. New LED lighting was installed in the median at the crosswalk in the middle of the 200 block of Broad Street.

They’re lighting the walkway, Carroll said, because the tree-shaded walkway can be very dark — making it difficult for motorists to see pedestrians — in the spring, summer and fall.

The city tried flashing yellow lights on the sides of the crosswalk last year, to mixed results. The LED system will brighten up the median area without casting a lot of light out into the street — a possible distraction to drivers.

The committee also approved a request from One Community United to close the pedestrian footbridge across the river at the Town Green for the organization’s annual community dinner on Sept. 20. The use of the bridge also must be approved by the county.

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