Several Buckhead multiuse path projects marched forward in recent weeks.
The Atlanta City Council approved funding for paths around Chastain Park; officials broke ground on the East Paces Ferry Complete Street project; a groundbreaking date was set for sidewalks around Memorial Park; and Livable Buckhead got approval to build two segments of PATH400.
Livable Buckhead, which is spearheading PATH400, has received approval from Norfolk Southern Railway, which owns train tracks in the area, to build two trail segments: one from Miami Circle to the back of Lenox Square, and one along Adina Drive from Lindbergh Drive to Garson Drive.
PATH400 is a multiuse path originally planned to run along Ga. 400 from Piedmont Road to Loridans Drive. An extension into Sandy Springs is now in the planning stages.
A few minor steps are left before contactors can begin moving dirt, but construction is expected to begin on both segments by Jan. 1 and end in one year, Starling said. Once these segments are complete, nearly three-quarters of the original Buckhead segment of PATH400 will be complete.
The segment from Miami Circle to the back of Lenox Square is Starling’s personal favorite because it will bring a confluence of several transportation systems, including the Norfolk Southern railroad, Ga. 400 and the MARTA line.
“You’ve got transportation nirvana going on,” she said.
She also believes the ease of getting from south Buckhead to Lenox Square using PATH400 will shock people.
While the Buckhead section of PATH400 nears three-fourths completion, the connection to Sandy Springs is just beginning. Officials have held public meetings to get public feedback on early plans, and Starling said the positive reactions expressed so far are a good sign and a testament to Livable Buckhead’s public engagement during Buckhead path segments.
“When we first started talking about the path there was a lot of pushback,” she said. “It’s not only a testament to the project, but of how we’ve handled public engagement.
Starling said listening to residents in order to individualize parts of the trail to their needs, such as different types of screening methods, has gone a long way to build trust with the community.
The City Council approved $2.2 million in funding for the extension of the Chastain Park path along West Wieuca Road.
The majority of funding for the project comes from Renew Atlanta bond funds. The Chastain Park Amphitheater Trust Fund, the Chastain Park Conservancy and the PATH Foundation are also contributing to the project, which is estimated to cost $2.5 million, according to a press release.
“The Chastain Park Conservancy is thrilled to invest in the implementation of the West Wieuca PATH Sidewalk Widening project,” Jennifer Richter, president of the Chastain Park Conservancy, said in the release. “Chastain Park hosts more than 2 million park users every year — from walkers and runners to kids enjoying the playground and ball fields to tennis players and swimmers — and West Wieuca Road is the park’s ‘Main Street.’”
The project will widen existing West Wieuca Road sidewalks, bringing them to path standards and connecting them to the already built paths that run around Chastain Park. The path currently runs along Lake Forrest Drive and Powers Ferry Road.
“I am thrilled to bring this project to fruition by working with our partners and with significant funding from Renew Atlanta Bond proceeds,” Councilmember Yolanda Adrean said in a release. “This project will complete the path, in its entirety, around Chastain Park, accommodating the thousands of walkers, runners, strollers and families that enjoy this beautiful city park and all its amenities.”
Officials will break ground Nov. 30 on the project to bring one mile of five-foot-wide sidewalks to Atlanta Memorial Park. The project is also planned to include storm water drainage improvements, new granite curbing and invasive species mitigation.
The sidewalks will be constructed along Wesley Drive and Woodward Way west of Northside Drive.
The sidewalks being added will tie into the existing five-foot-wide sidewalks on Howell Mill Road, Peachtree Battle Avenue and the future five-foot-wide sidewalks on Northside Drive, according to the Atlanta Memorial Park Conservancy.
The sidewalks are being funded with $2.8 million approved by Atlanta City Council in 2016.
East Paces Ferry Complete Street
Officials broke ground on the East Paces Ferry Complete Street project Nov. 9, signaling the beginning to the project that will bring a multiuse trail from Roxboro Road to the Gordan C. Bynum pedestrian bridge at Ga. 400.
The multiuse trail will run for about seven-tenths of a mile. It will be similar to what has been constructed for PATH400 and will be located on the south side of East Paces Ferry Road along the MARTA Lenox Station property, according to Buckhead Community Improvement District, which is overseeing the project. It will also add new pedestrian signals at the Lenox MARTA station, trees and pedestrian lighting, according to a notice about the groundbreaking.
The Buckhead CID committed $200,000 and the city of Atlanta committed $1 million of Renew Atlanta bond funds for the project, according to a city ordinance.