Published on June 17th, 2015 |3
LBI board hears of progress on PATH400 pieces, connection plans
Those were two reports the Livable Buckhead Inc. board heard Wednesday morning at its monthly meeting, along with reports from Executive Director Denise Starling that the PATH Foundation had raised about $500,000 to get started on Phases 3 and 4 in south Buckhead.
“That is an example of the benefits of working with a partner like the PATH Foundation,” Starling told the board.
Starling said Phase 4 “is getting permitted right now,” so work should be able to begin on it almost immediately. She said Phase 3 is almost ready to be permitted as well. Both, along with Phase 2, are to be started in 2015 and be completed in 2016.
She also said a one block segment from Greystar to Morosgo is underway at present and was one of the quickest segments to get approved to move forward. Starling said there are holdups in Phase 3 because of problems with discussions with MARTA over security issues.
Starling announced to the board a breakthrough in negotiations with the Norfolk Southern railway system that has resulted in the signing of a contract with the railroad and the city that will permit construction of the trail on Norfolk Southern property. Best of all, she said, it was free.
Starling also reported to the board a breakthrough with the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) concerning the I-285/GA 400 intersection project. “Where GDOT had previously said it would not exclude PATH400 from consideration in the project, it now has changed that to it will include it in the project.
Starling said the city of Sandy Springs has already committed $1 million to the project and the Perimeter Community Improvement Districts also has committed funding, but she was not sure to what extent. PATH Foundation also has committed to help funding the project.
“We still have a gap between Loridans” (on the northern end of the present PATH400 plans) and the PATH at the Perimeter,” Starling told the board. She said
that will have to be addressed in later plans.
LBI staffer Kym Estes, who is heading up the marketing/education programs on PATH400, said that the capital campaign will be coming up shortly and it will emphasize raising funds to link all the segments of PATH400 together.
Estes said two important items they are using in marketing PATH400 are calling it a “greenway” through Buckhead instead of a trail and emphasizing the regional connectivity that is created by PATH400 and its links to other trails for biking and walking.
LBI board member Robert Hughes, principal with HGOR urban design firm, said his firm is working with Atlanta Memorial Park Conservancy on a complete trails plan. He talked about PATH trails in that area are designed to link up with the BeltLine as part of a major trail system.
In fact, he said those trails will link to a new PATH that is being put in up Northside Drive and will go for now up to West Wesley Drive. He said eventually there are plans to continue it up past Mt. Paran and have it link up to the Silver Comet Trail that goes all the way to Alabama.
Along the same line of discussion, Starling told the board she is in the initial stages of starting up a parks council that would include the people in charge of running the major parks in Buckhead, including those in both City Council Districts 7 and 8.
She also announced that she is in the process of getting a design for the parkland LBI acquired at Old Ivy—a site that is less than an acre. She said the city is leading this design and implementation effort. The site previously had a home on it.