​Community Council Considers Adult Transportation Remedies

Promoting Bike Safety; Honors Schlichting

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
In a discussion about the need for public transportation at the Aug. 28 Sewanee Community Council meeting, Vice-Chancellor John McCardell suggested offering a Park and Ride type service on an “experimental basis.” The council also discussed ways to encourage student bicyclists to use lights. In closing, McCardell circulated a resolution honoring recently retired superintendent of leases Barbara Schlichting.
Council representative Pixie Dozier said constituents had contacted her about not being able to drive, concerns about driving at night, and the inability to find parking spaces when they did drive.
Some residents expressed the need for transportation to doctor and dentist appointments, according to Dozier, but the need for transportation to events and event parking “was the biggest complaint.”
Provost Nancy Berner said Folks at Home offered a list of registered drivers who provided transportation on a fee basis.
“There aren’t many Folks at Home drivers,” Dozier pointed out.
Council representative Rich Barrali suggested using University vans for transporting residents to events.
McCardell said the University “wasn’t adverse” to the idea, but it raised many questions. How many vans would be needed? Where would people be picked up? And where would they park to be picked up? An event Park and Ride service could be tried on “an experimental basis,” McCardell suggested.
Sewanee Police Chief Marie Eldridge said the Park and Ride solution didn’t help residents who couldn’t drive.
Council representative Theresa Shackelford said Folks at Home Executive Director Kathleen O’Donohue applied for a grant to bring the Uber ride service to the community, but the service area wasn’t broad enough to qualify for funding.
McCardell proposed conducting a survey to determine “what the greatest need is” and “to gauge interest.”
Council representative Pam Byerly, Dozier, and Police Chief Eldridge will serve on a committee charged with investigating transportation options and soliciting community input.
Turning to the issue of bike safety, Barrali said student bicyclists who neglected to use their lights at night and during foggy weather were “an accident waiting to happen.”
Council student representative Abbey Shockley said students likely didn’t consider the danger and a reminder would be a good idea.
Council representative Flournoy Rogers suggested signs on bike racks.
Eldridge will communicate the message to students through Residential Life. State law requires bicyclists to use their lights at night. “The law hasn’t been enforced,” Eldridge said. “I prefer communication first, then enforcement and citations.”
Barrali stressed bicycle lights needed to be readily available and inexpensive. He speculated fraternities and sororities might want to “push” the project.
McCardell’s resolution honoring lifelong Sewanee resident Barbara Schlichting, highlighted her generosity and commitment to community service, noting she could “always be counted on to share her time” whether supporting organizations “or working less visibly to aid individuals in need.” Schlichting served as the University’s superintendent of leases for 20 years. See page 2 for the complete resolution.
Dozier announced the Project Funding Review Committee was behind and working diligently to catch up. The Project Funding initiative, a program of the community council, annually awards $10,000 to worthy community projects.

Resolution of Appreciation
from the Sewanee Community Council
Barbara Schlichting, a lifelong resident of Sewanee, has served our community exceptionally well for many years. From camp counselor and youth center leader as a young woman to her twenty years as the University’s superintendent of leases and her service on the Community Council, Barbara has demonstrated an unparalleled commitment to the welfare and well-being of all those who call Sewanee home.
Whether supporting Angel Park, the Legion Hall, or the Sewanee Business Alliance, or working less visibly to aid individuals in need, Barbara can always be counted on to share her time and talents. Hers is a calm, respected voice of truth and reason.

The Sewanee Community Council expresses its profound gratitude to Barbara Schlichting for her devoted service to the Council, looks forward to her continued support of our community, and wishes her many years of happiness (and camping) in a well-deserved retirement.