Published on June 17th, 2015 |1
BCID executive director tells BBA traffic congestion ‘will not go away’
“We also need to invest more in MARTA so it can be better,” Durrett told the Buckhead Business Association at its breakfast meeting June 11. “We are going to have traffic congestion from
this point on in Buckhead. It will not go away,”
Durrett explained that the 16-year-old BCID, a self-taxing group of commercial property owners working to maintain and improve the area’s infrastructure, is doing everything it can to alleviate the traffic congestion problem.
Durrett’s speech was essentially an update on projects the CID has been involved with during more than a decade— completed, under way and planned —including several road improvement programs.
He spoke of the multi-year Peachtree Road corridor plan. Phase 1, from Maple Drive to the bridge over Ga. 400, and Phase 2, from the Buckhead MARTA station to Peachtree Dunwoody Road, have been completed for years now. Phase 3, Maple Drive to Shadowlawn Avenue, is in the final planning stages.
“Right-of-way negotiation and acquisition will begin this summer,” Durrett said. “That can take as long as about a year. Then you get final plans and then construction. I am guessing 2017 for when construction will begin.”
Phase 4 will go south from Shadowlawn through the Buckhead Village and end at the southern end of The Peach shopping center as far as the CID’s involvement is concerned. But the Phase 4 planning is one segment of a much larger project that extends all the way to Deering Road.
All four phases combined will cost at least $50 million, and will include private-sector donations of rights of way plus district, city, state and federal funds, Durrett said. And, there is lot of coordination involved between the CID and Georgia Department of Transportation.
He also said the $32 million pedestrian bridge connecting the Buckhead MARTA station to Tower Place and Stratford Road has spurred a 26 percent increase in usage of that station since it opened in June 2014.
And, he talked about creating a dream park “out of thin air” that the CID is studying to bridge GA 400 and the Buckhead MARTA Station from Peachtree to Lenox roads, which could cost $200 million.
He spoke of the CID’s commitment to public safety by installing cameras to view potential crime activities in conjunction with the Atlanta Police Department and providing subsidies to encourage police officers to live in Buckhead. There also is the sponsorship of police officers at key intersections during peak commuting hours to help direct and keep traffic moving.
And, Durrett spoke of the CID’s subsidizing of the Buc Shuttle program, its present expansion plans into the area known as the West Village and its participation in the redo of Charlie Loudermilk Park.
\He told the group he is presently working with Loudermilk and renowned Atlanta architect/developer John Portman to place a piece of Portman’s sculptures at the apex of the park where Peachtree and Roswell roads meet.
There were more items discussed by Durrett during his 35-40 minute presentation, virtually all updates and recounting of projects and programs that have been written about—some extensively—by BuckheadView since 2011.