Published on August 18th, 2015 |0
North Buckhead survey shows wide support for PATH400, greenspace
“We are really glad to see such a positive reaction to PATH400,” said Denise Starling, executive director of Livable Buckhead.
“A lot of the credit goes to the extensive public engagement process that we followed during the design phase,” she explained. “We received really good input from residents, and many of those suggestions were incorporated into the final plans.”
Starling added, “A project of this scale is never going to be 100 percent satisfactory to everyone, but we’re glad to see that – on the whole – the community has embraced PATH400.” The survey was conducted by the North Buckhead Civic Association in July.
PATH400 is a 5.2-mile walkable, bikeable greenway being constructed on public land adjacent to GA400 extending from the bank of Peachtree Creek northward toward the northern edge of Atlanta. It is the centerpiece of a broader greenspace plan, the Buckhead Collection, initiated by Atlanta Councilman Howard Shook.
Livable Buckhead is spearheading the PATH400 project in partnership with the Buckhead Community Improvement District (Buckhead CID) and the PATH Foundation. Several other agencies and organizations are involved in the development of PATH400, including Georgia Department of Transportation, the City of Atlanta, MARTA, Atlanta Neighborhood Planning Unit B, and Atlanta Public Schools.
The survey also indicates that PATH400 is the path or park most likely to be used on a daily basis by respondents. Five percent said they use PATH400 daily, a higher percentage of daily users than any other park included in the survey.
The greenway also ranked as the third most-used park or path overall, with more than half of survey respondents indicating that they had used PATH400. Only Chastain Park (88%) and Piedmont Park (69%) outranked PATH400.
The survey also gave respondents the opportunity to provide comments and ask questions about Buckhead parks projects. While some respondents expressed displeasure with PATH400, the majority of comments about the project conveyed support and a desire to see greenway construction continue. Here are a few of the comments:
“Will be fantastic when it connects to other path systems, such as the BeltLine, etc… Will really change the neighborhood, the traffic, and everything. I am 100 percent in favor of this and similar projects.”
“Can we get it all done faster? It looks awesome and I can’t wait for the other phases to be completed.”
“It would be helpful if it connected all of the area parks. Also, it would be great if it were long enough to serve as a NEARBY substitute for the Silver Comet trail for bikers/joggers.”
Survey respondents also had comments and questions related to the status of PATH400’s construction, the timeline for future phases, and parking for the greenway. Starling answered some of those questions:
Status of Phase II: Soil conditions in the area for phase II of PATH400 (from Old Ivy Rd. to Wieuca Rd.) prompted design modifications that resulted in a construction delay. The revised design has been approved by Georgia Department of Transportation, and construction is anticipated to resume shortly after Labor Day. It will take approximately a year to complete phase II.
Phase II includes the crossing of Old Ivy Rd., an area that was of concern to several survey respondents due to potential safety issues. Livable Buckhead has worked to address those concerns in the design, ensuring a safe crossing on this stretch of road where traffic often doesn’t obey the posted speed limit.
PATH400 Parking: During the public engagement process for PATH400, residents expressed a clear desire to avoid incorporating on-street parking for trail access. As a result, Livable Buckhead looked for other options to provide convenient parking for people driving to the trail without inconveniencing residents of the nearby neighborhoods. Through an agreement with Crocker Partners, PATH400 visitors may park for free at the Prominence building, immediately adjacent to the greenway on Lenox Rd.
“Our board member and North Buckhead resident Katie O’Sullivan is general manager at Prominence,” said Starling. “She has been extremely supportive of PATH400 and would like to see more people begin to use it. Providing free, convenient parking at Prominence will help tremendously, and we’re grateful to her and Crocker Partners for their help.”
To access the complete survey report, visit the North Buckhead Civic Association’s website, www.nbca.org and look for “Breaking News.” For more information about PATH400, visit www.livablebuckhead.com.