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Tragedies Cause Delay Of Vision 2020 Display

The Walkable Communities Group was scheduled to present its design to Carrboro residents and officials Monday night as part of a weekend-long workshop to discuss the town's Vision 2020 plan.

But Carrboro Board of Aldermen member Alex Zaffron said last week's tragedies played a role in postponing the event.

Walkable Communities, established in 1996, is a Florida-based nonprofit corporation that works to develop communities across the nation and make them more pedestrian-friendly.

Zaffron also said the group's graphic design team, which was slated to join company officials who spent the weekend in Carrboro, was unable to make the trip Monday because some airports were closed this weekend.

Vision 2020 is Carrboro's growth plan to improve spatial problems, housing concerns and other downtown features. Town officials say they want to make Carrboro a town center.

Residents, aldermen and town officials will meet again when Walkable Communities finalizes its presentation for the town.

Walkable Communities representatives will then return to Carrboro and present their findings in a forum similar to the one originally scheduled for Monday.

Alderman Diana McDuffee said Walkable Communities representatives will present a graphic plan of the town's new image when they come back to Carrboro. "They will give us a conceptual plan," McDuffee said. "It is not a final product."

The group left Carrboro on Monday for its headquarters in Florida with the materials and ideas from the weekend-long workshop.

Alderman Allen Spalt said the group will develop Carrboro's plan, along with different projects from other towns.

Spalt said the process of improving the downtown area of Carrboro has not changed despite the postponement of Monday's meeting.

"The firm is very busy," Spalt said. "They are very booked up."

Spalt added that the plan will not be finalized for two months. After the committee returns, residents and officials will put the finishing touches on their new downtown. "Time is lost, but the process involved is the same," Spalt said.

McDuffee said she encouraged residents to come back to develop the town's final vision when the Walkable Communities Group returns.

McDuffee also said the town meeting, the date of which has not been set, will be an opportunity for residents to voice a final opinion, an opportunity that was temporarily lost Monday night.

"Nothing is final," McDuffee said. "We will take what we want from this plan."

Spalt said he hopes residents will come out as enthusiastically as they did this weekend.

"Lots of people participated this weekend," he said. "We hope residents turn out in similar numbers -- the more the merrier."

The City Editor can be reached at citydesk@unc.edu.

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