Transportation

Published on April 5th, 2018 |

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BCID to study Piedmont/Roswell/Habersham intersection traffic fixes

By Renee Turner

Buckhead CID will be conducting a scoping study to help alleviate traffic congestion at three signalized intersections including Piedmont Road at Roswell Road, Piedmont Road at Habersham Road, and Roswell Road at Habersham Road.

Improvements to Piedmont Road have been underway for more than a decade.

The Piedmont Area Transportation Study (PATS), issued in March of 2008, provided a comprehensive 20-year plan that offered recommended improvements to the Piedmont Road corridor.

Darion Dunn

The study provided new insight into envisioning Piedmont Road as a vital arterial of Buckhead, as important as Peachtree Road.

At the time, the PATS cited that Piedmont Road carried up to 45,000 vehicles on a typical weekend. The study covered existing conditions and deficiencies, future conditions, recommendations, possible funding sources and an action plan.

The result of the study presented a $200 million plan made up of 47 projects in order to achieve “mobility balance” designed to provide better mobility for motorists, transit riders, pedestrians, and cyclists. Through the years, consideration for funding for these projects has been through public and private investments.

The 2008 study area was approximately 3.4 miles long, dividing Piedmont into five segments:

  • Segment 1 – Roswell Road from Powers Ferry Road to Piedmont Road and Piedmont Road from Roswell Road to Peachtree Road;
  • Segment 2 – Piedmont Road from Peachtree Road to Pharr Road;
  • Segment 3 – Piedmont Road from Pharr Road to Sidney Marcus Boulevard;
  • Segment 4 – Piedmont Road from Sidney Marcus Boulevard to Lindbergh Drive; and
  • Segment 5 – Piedmont Road from Lindbergh Drive to Interstate 85.

Recommended improvements included minimizing traffic “choke points” such as intersections, enhancing transportation alternatives like express bus service, future inclusion of bike lanes, and more.

According to the transportation study, throughout the study process there were 39 public meetings held and made up of the study team and stakeholders that included the city of Atlanta, Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), and area property owners.

Listed in PATS as “Further Investigation by the City”, the soon to begin scoping study is a part of Segment 1, an Action Plan item entitled SA23 Piedmont Road/Roswell Road/Habersham Road Triangle Long Term.

Buckhead CID’s Director of Capital Improvements and Planning Darion Dunn said, “Buckhead CID commissioned the Piedmont Area Transportation Study to identify near-term and long-term improvements along the entire Piedmont Road corridor. One of the recommendations of that study was to improve the Piedmont/Roswell/Habersham triangle to relieve traffic congestion at this confluence of high volume roadways.

“The Piedmont, Roswell and Habersham corridors have experienced increased traffic congestion over the years. This has resulted in longer travel times for commuters and more vehicular accidents. The Buckhead CID has taken the initiative to produce a scoping study that will recommend solutions to create a better experience for cars, pedestrians and cyclists,” he stated.

“The Piedmont/Roswell/Habersham scoping study will consist of a planning and design process that identifies roadway and intersection improvements, taking into consideration the existing built environment and right-of-way requirements, he explained. “There will be multiple opportunities for public involvement as our design consultant develops conceptual design plans.”

The preferred alternative will ultimately be submitted to GDOT, said Dunn. Piedmont Road and Roswell Road are state routes that are managed by GDOT. “So, the BCID will work with GDOT to gain approval of the conceptual designs that are presented in the study.”

Dunn also noted that “the study will make recommendations that will improve the interconnectivity of Buckhead’s public road network and pedestrian facilities. It will also identify opportunities for inter-parcel connectivity between private parcels, which will reduce the volume of vehicles on the public roads.”

In the 2008 study, the intersection of Piedmont Road and Peachtree Road was referred to as “Main and Main”. The impact that the scoping study will have on “Main and Main,” Dunn explained, “We feel that traffic congestion will be reduced at all the surrounding intersections, including Peachtree and Piedmont.

“When we implement this multi-modal project, we want to give residents, employees and visitors multiple options to navigate through Buckhead, whether that be in a vehicle, on a bicycle or on foot. If we create safe and attractive alternatives to getting in single-occupancy vehicle, we will experience less traffic congestion,” he stated.

The scope of work for the study includes the identification and prioritization of improvements; public involvement for local input; assessment of historic, archaeological and environment constraints; identification of utility conflict; adding or eliminating intersection signalization and/or approaches, walkability improves, and more.

“Public involvement will be a critical part of this scoping study. The BCID will host community meetings and solicit comments from the public throughout the planning and design process,” Dunn said. “A construction cost estimate will be one of the study deliverables, which will give insight into the financial investment necessary to construct the improvements.”

In addition to Buckhead CID and GDOT, the stakeholder committee will also include the city of Atlanta Public Works, MARTA, property owners and other groups deemed necessary.

Buckhead CID is presently in the process of hiring a consulting firm to conduct the study. Companies recently submitted firm qualifications. Selection of the consulting firm conducting the study will be decided in April.

The study will be funded through a partnership with BCID and the City of Atlanta.

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