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					Forsyth County
Bicycle Transportation
and Pedestrian Walkways
2025 Plan
    Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan

                                       Table of Contents
Executive Summary……………………………………………………………………….. 4

Section 1       Introduction…………………………………………………………..……. 8
                1.1    Forsyth County Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan Task Force…….…… 8
                1.2    Public Involvement………………………………………….…….. 9
                        1.2.1 Coordination………………………………………………. 10
                        1.2.2 Outreach…………………………………………………… 11
                        1.2.3 Involvement………………………………….……………. 12
                        1.2.4 Measures of Effectiveness………………………………… 13

Section 2       Existing Conditions………………………………………………………… 15
                2.1    Federal Strategy Implementation Analysis………………………… 15
                        2.1.1 Mainstreaming Non-motorized Transportation…….……… 16
                        2.1.2 General Funding Requirements…….………………………..16
                        2.1.3 Safety…………….…………………………………………..17
                        2.1.4 Streamlining Implementation Procedures….……………….. 17
                        2.1.5 Recommendations.………………………………………….. 18

                2.2     Current Trends……………………………………………………... 18
                         2.2.1 Benefits of a Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Plan….. 19
                         2.2.2 Regional, State and National Trends…….…………………. 19
                         2.2.3 Local Trends………..……………………………………… 22
                         2.2.4 Within Forsyth County……..………………………………. 24

Section 3       Strategic Planning Process…………………………………………………                             27
                3.1 Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning in Relation to the Larger Land Use,
                    Transportation and Environmental Planning Framework.…………….            27
                         3.1.1 Local Land Use Planning………..………………………….                    27
                         3.1.2 Regional Planning…………………………………………..                        28
                         3.1.3 Statewide Planning……..…………………………………...                     29

                3.2 Bicycle and Pedestrian issues within the Political and
                    Technical Environments………………………………………………. 30
                        3.2.1 Technical Environment……….………………………….. 30
                        3.2.2 Political Environment…………………………………….. 32

Section 4       Goals, Objectives and Strategies………………………………………….. 35

Section 5       Alternatives Analysis………………………..…………………………….                              41
                5.1    Best Practices for Bicycle and Pedestrian Facility Design………..     41
                        5.1.1 Cyclists and Pedestrians………………………………….                      41
                        5.1.2 Facility Descriptions……………………………………..                       43
                        5.1.3 Motorist/Pedestrian Conflicts…..………………………..                 48

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                    1
                             5.1.4   Congestion Analysis……………………………… …….. 48

Section 6          Plan Recommendations…………………………………………………… 56
                   By Facility Type……………………………………………………. …….. 56
                   Short, Mid, Long Term Priorities………………………………….. …….. 64


List of Tables

Table 1            Generalized Level of Service1…………………………………………… 51
Table 2             Planned Transportation Projects for Congested Roadways……………… 52

List of Figures
Figure 1           Proposed Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan
Figure 2           Roadway Facility Types
Figure 3           2000 Average Daily Traffic Counts
Figure 4           Level of Service


Appendices
Appendix A
           Facility Type A – Signed Shared Roadway
           Facility Type B – Bicycle Friendly Shoulder
           Facility Type C – Bike Lane
           Facility Type D – Local Sidewalk
           Facility Type E – Multi-Use Path/Arterial Sidewalk
           Facility Type F - Greenway




1
    1998 Level of Service Handbook, Florida Department of Transportation

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                         2
MEMBERS OF THE
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS


John Kieffer
District 1 Chairman
Michael Bennett
District 3 Member
David "AJ"Pritchett
District 2 Secretary
Marcie Kreager
District 4 Vice-Chair
Eddie Taylor
District 5 Member


Stevie P. Mills
Administrator


John Cunard
Director of Engineering


Tim Allen
Assistant Director of Engineering



Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                    3
Executive Summary                                       Task Force Compilation
                                                        The Task Force personnel were appointed
Currently, Forsyth County is in the final               by the County and represented an array of
stages of updating their Comprehensive                  different perspectives.        Inclusion of
Transportation Plan (CTP) to guide their                personnel from the Departments of
current and future efforts regarding roadway            Engineering, Parks and Planning assured
enhancements throughout the County. In a                project coordination with other County
similar effort, the County desired to develop           efforts.    Moreover, both private and
a Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian                 homeowner interests were also represented.
Walkways Plan (Bicycle and Pedestrian                   Below are the Task Force member
Plan) to guide their efforts regarding the              representatives who met on a monthly basis
proliferation of these facilities in the                to review all work products and whose input
County. The Plan development effort was                 was invaluable to the final product:
coordinated with information contained in
the CTP. The Plan development process                   National Parks: Wallace Britian
specifically consisted of the following:                Corps of Engineers: Russ Lundstrom,
§ Establishment of a Bicycle and                        Ranger
    Pedestrian Task Force;                              Keep Forsyth County Clean and Beautiful:
§ Development of a Countywide vision                    Diana Dean
    statement regarding the Plan;                       Forsyth County Department of Engineering:
§ Reviewing the Federal guidance with                   Tim Allen
    respect to developing Bicycle and                   Forsyth County Dept. of Planning and
    Pedestrian plans;                                   Development: Jeff Watkins
§ Incorporating task force comments and                 Forsyth County Parks and Recreation
    federal guidance into the development of            Board: Catherine Ferrugia
    goals, objectives and strategies;                   Georgia Department of Transportation:
§ Development of a public involvement                   Brent Cook
    plan;                                               Forsyth County Board of Commissioners:
§ Summarizing existing conditions and                   Marcie Kreager
    current trends as the baseline for future           Chamber of Commerce: Kenneth Flanagan
    planning;                                           Hedgewood Properties: Pam Sessions
§ Developing performance measures to                    Forsyth County Department of Parks and
    analyze future progress towards goal                Recreation: Jim Brennan
    attainment;                                         Forsyth County Federation of Homeowners:
§ Identifying issues and opportunities for              Richard Spreen
    plan implementation and developing key
    strategies;                                         Existing Conditions
§ Identifying potential projects consistent             The Task Force was presented with
    with the County CTP and a congestion                extensive information regarding existing
    analysis; and                                       conditions in an effort to establish a baseline
§ Selecting alternative projects                        for future planning. A current trends report
§ Prioritizing and costing potential                    was produced, which highlighted the history
    projects.                                           of bicycle and pedestrian planning in the
                                                        region. The majority of these planning
The process was completed in eight months               efforts have been concentrated in the Atlanta
due to the consistent work effort of County             Regional Commission (ARC) jurisdiction.
staff and the Bicycle and Pedestrian Task               Performance measurement criteria used in
Force members.                                          past ARC efforts was documented for use
                                                        and consideration by the Task Force. The

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                    4
current trends report also detailed State,              both in the region and locally. It was
local and Georgia Mountains Regional                    recognized that, although Forsyth County is
Development Center efforts in bicycle and               not in the ARC jurisdiction, some of the
pedestrian planning.        Lastly, federal             same land use, technical and political issues
guidance available to local jurisdictions for           affecting ARC will impact the County in the
bicycle and pedestrian planning efforts were            future. Therefore, the Task Force agreed to
documented and presented to the Task Force              proactively address these issues in their plan
as a guide for the Forsyth County planning              development.      Specific challenges and
effort.                                                 opportunities were identified within Forsyth
                                                        County’s environmental, land use and
Based on the Task Force’s understanding of              political context with respect to bicycle and
these issues, a public involvement plan                 pedestrian planning.         The strategies
tailored to Forsyth County was developed.               developed for the Forsyth Plan were
The public involvement plan included the                intended to take advantage of existing
development of a project web page linked                opportunities and to overcome the obstacles
directly to the County’s home page. The                 and challenges identified.
web page provided a public input survey to
assist the Task Force in identifying                    Alternatives Analysis
important issues to address during the                  As indicated in the information compiled for
planning process. The web page was also                 the Plan development, there are few existing
key to receiving public input regarding the             and proposed bicycle and pedestrian
process      and    alternative    projects             facilities in Forsyth County. Similarly, very
recommended.                                            few local jurisdictions adjacent to Forsyth
                                                        County have existing and proposed bicycle
Strategic Planning                                      and pedestrian facilities. Therefore, the
Once a baseline condition of available                  process for selecting alternatives was a true
resources was established to the County, the            beginning for Forsyth County and the
Task Force finalized goals, objectives and              surrounding area. Information regarding
strategies to meet the County’s vision. The             employment density, population density,
vision statement reads as follows:                      destinations, and the location of public
                                                        facilities was used as a base for selecting
“To foster the development of an                        alternatives. Moreover, prior to selecting
interconnected network of bicycle and                   alternatives, the Task Force was presented
pedestrian facilities that meets Forsyth                with various available typical sections that
County’s future transportation mobility,                represented best practices for bicycle and
serves     recreation   needs,  promotes                pedestrian facility design. In reviewing
alternative means of transportation, and                these typical sections, the Task Force agreed
enhances the County’s overall quality of                that only certain facilities would be
life”                                                   applicable to Forsyth County. A specific
                                                        type of facility was recommended as the
The goals, objectives and strategies                    alternatives were selected. Considerations
identified were based on an analysis of                 included in the process of selecting the
various issues. One was the relation of                 alternatives are listed below.
bicycle and pedestrian planning in the larger
land use, transportation and environmental              §   Adjacent local plans, including the
framework existing in the region, as well as                GDOT Statewide Plan, were secured to
locally. The other was the relation of                      assure connectivity was maximized to
bicycle and pedestrian planning to the                      areas outside of Forsyth County;
existing political and technical environments

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                    5
§   Park’s Department future plans were                 were also considered for potential parallel
    identified;                                         bicycle and pedestrian facility construction.
§   Greenspace program plans were
    identified;                                         Ultimately      a    Draft    2025     Bicycle
§   Known        utility   and      water/sewer         Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways
    easements were considered;                          Plan was produced from the alternatives
§   Mapping was produced depicting                      analysis. Input was received from the public
    employment density by Census Tract;                 regarding the draft. Opportunities for input
§   Mapping was produced depicting                      included the web site and a public meeting.
    population density by Census Tract;                 Several changes and additions were made to
§   Mapping was produced depicting the                  the draft plan in response to public input and
    location of all schools, parks, public              the result is the 2025 Bicycle Transportation
    facilities and points of interest;                  and Pedestrian Walkways Plan depicted on
§   Proposed developments were reviewed                 Figure 1.
    and considered;
§   Proposed roadway improvement plans                  Plan Recommendations
    were considered for potential bicycle               Based on public input and additional
    and pedestrian opportunities;                       analysis, a list of recommended projects was
§   Potential connections to enhance the                finalized. The Task Force prioritized the list
    development of a network were                       in terms of implementation schedules.
    considered; and                                     Short-term improvements were identified as
§   Input was received from local bike                  those that could be completed in 1-5 years,
    groups regarding preferred travel routes            Mid- term improvements in 5-10 years and
    and/or bicycle touring routes.                      Long- term improvements in 11 years or
                                                        more.      The prioritization of projects
In addition, a Congestion Analysis report               included considerations regarding the type
was produced to assist in selecting                     of project, the coordination of the project
alternatives. The report included an analysis           with roadway improvement schedules,
of congested roadway facilities in the                  constructability and funding issues. For
County, a determination of whether the CTP              instance a low cost signing and marking
addressed improvements on these roadways,               project could be implemented in the short
and a recommendation that bicycle and                   term, whereas, a new multi-use facility
pedestrian facilities be implemented, as a              requiring right-of-way acquisition and
congestion     mitigation     solution,     in          funding identification in order to build
conjunction with these road improvements.               would be long term. Cost estimates for the
In this manner, the improvement would not               plan recommendations were developed and
only address vehicle congestion but would               used in the prioritization process.
also address bicycle and pedestrian needs.
Alternative routes to the congested facilities




Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                    6
The Plan recommendations are generalized as follows:

                                                Approximate Miles         Approximate Cost
        Greenway                                          29 miles            $ 30,800,000
        Multi-Use Path                                       34 miles         $ 35,300,000
        Sidewalk                                             60 miles         $ 20,432,750
        Bicycle Friendly Shoulder                            16 miles         $ 3,308,000
        Signed Shared Roadway                                58 miles         $   303,100
        Pedestrian Crossing                         8 Total Crossings         $   344,000

        Total                                           197 Miles             $ 90,487,850




Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                    7
Section 1. Introduction                                 development needs and has undertaken
                                                        several efforts in this regard.
Forsyth County is located in the north
central part of Georgia and contains                    For example, a new Comprehensive
approximately 247 square miles.             The         Transportation Plan has been developed to
County is bordered by Gwinnett and Fulton               guide future transportation investment
counties on the south, Cherokee County on               decisions. The County’s Land Development
the west, Dawson County on the north and                Code has recently been updated with
Hall County to the east. Forsyth County is              progressive regulations to meet the
the home of Lake Lanier, constructed in                 challenging land development growth needs.
1957 by the Corps of Engineers, which is                Additionally, an aggressive Parks Master
the most visited Corps recreational lake in             Plan has been developed which includes
the country. The City of Cumming is the                 plans for acquiring greenspace as part of the
county seat and the only incorporated area.             Governor’s greenspace initiative. Lastly,
The City is responsible for government                  the County has been instrumental in the
services and activities within their limits.            development of the Bicycle Transportation
                                                        and Pedestrian Walkways Plan to guide
Since 1980, Forsyth County has ranked as                development of these facilities now and until
one of Georgia’s fastest growing counties,              the year 2025. This document outlines, in
with an overall growth rate of over 200                 detail, the process undertaken to develop the
percent. The 1999 Census Bureau estimates               plan.
Forsyth County’s population at 96,686. This
estimate is a 119 Percent increase since                1.1     Forsyth County Bicycle          and
1990, making the county the 24th largest in             Pedestrian Plan Task Force
the State. The rapid growth rate will
continue     as    the    adjacent     Atlanta          The first step in the development of the plan
metropolitan area expands to the north. The             was the creation of a Task Force with
Counties growth is not only measured by                 representatives from different County
their population increase, but also by their            departments and from the community. The
employment        base     increase,      land          Task Force’s contributions were essential
development, transportation infrastructure              throughout the project process. The Task
needs, community facility needs (schools,               Force met on a monthly basis, reviewed all
parks etc.) and general overall quality of life         work products, made substantial changes to
needs. Because Forsyth County is in close               the work products based on their specific
proximity to the Atlanta metropolitan area,             knowledge,       coordinated   departmental
air quality has also become a quality of life           efforts, participated in the alternatives
issue pertinent to the County’s growth and              analysis and strategic planning process for
development. The County is officially                   project selection, and disseminated critical
included in the 13 county non-attainment                information in their respective areas. The
area for clean air as designated by the                 Task Force members appointed by the
Environmental        Protection       Agency.           County were identified in the Executive
Therefore, transportation infrastructure                Summary.
needs for the County are modeled by the
Atlanta Regional Commission, which is the               The Task Force’s initial step was to
designated local planning agency for the                establish a vision statement for the
Atlanta 10 County region. However, the                  development of the Bicycle and Pedestrian
County continues to be the responsible                  Plan.    This vision statement was then
agency for meeting their own growth and                 supported by a series of goals, objectives

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                    8
and strategies that are compiled in Section 4           of public involvement in the development of
of the plan.      The agreed upon vision                long-range transportation plans, they
statement for the plan is as follows:                   followed the spirit of this overall goal and
                                                        developed the following Plan.        Federal
        Foster the development of an                    regulations that provided guidance to this
        interconnected network of bicycle               plan included the National Environmental
        and pedestrian facilities that meets            Policy Act, Americans with Disabilities Act,
        Forsyth          County’s        future         and the Transportation Equity Act for the
        transportation      mobility,    serves         21st Century. The following goals, as
        recreation        needs,      promotes          demonstrated in the Forsyth County
        alternative means of transportation,            Transportation Public Involvement Plan,
        and enhances the County’s overall               were used as guidelines throughout the
        quality of life.                                process:

The Task Force’s next step was to develop a             §   Raise the level of understanding of the
public involvement plan that could be                       transportation planning process in the
implemented at the onset of the project                     county and identify how interested
through its completion. The Task Force was                  citizens can become involved;
considered a key link for the dissemination             §   Provide the public with opportunities for
of information to the public and the                        involvement in the transportation
respective interests they represented.                      planning process;
                                                        §   Maintain timely contact with key
1.2 Public Involvement Plan                                 stakeholders throughout the process; and
                                                        §   Identify and involve traditionally
The Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation                   underserved      communities       (those
and Pedestrian Walkways Plan was                            communities with a high concentration
developed to address and plan for increased                 of minority, low-income or elderly
bicycle and pedestrian facilities in and                    populations) in the transportation
around Forsyth County. In order to ensure                   planning process.
that it is supported throughout the County,
an intensive public involvement process was             Building understanding of and consensus on
implemented. Public involvement ensures                 the goals and policies of the plan was the
that the public is a partner in the process of          ultimate goal of the Public Involvement
determining strategies to be undertaken by a            Plan. The initial step in building consensus
government entity where there are multiple              is creating trust among all stakeholders and
and competing needs. The purpose of the                 the agency responsible for making the final
Public Involvement Plan was to create a                 decisions. This trust was built through
Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and               coordination with stakeholders, as well as
Pedestrian Walkways Plan that meets                     outreach and involvement. This plan is
countywide needs and is feasible to                     tailored to the scope of the project at hand
implement. The Public Involvement Plan                  and the effective and widespread public
was a framework for all activities taken                involvement necessary for its success.
toward involving the public in the Bicycle              The following outlines specific activities
Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways                  undertaken during plan development,
Plan, from development of goals and                     including        coordination,      outreach,
objectives to the selection of projects.                involvement and evaluation.          Forsyth
                                                        County staff or Bicycle and Pedestrian Task
Though Forsyth County is not bound by                   Force members conducted some of these
federal legislation to include a certain level

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                    9
activities. PBS&J completed the remaining               (GRTA). Both the GMRDC and ARC are
tasks.                                                  currently      updating     their    Regional
                                                        Transportation Plans. GRTA is currently
1.2.1 Coordination                                      working with Citizens Advisory Groups to
                                                        develop standard designs for bicycle and
The Forsyth County Bicycle and Pedestrian               pedestrian facilities in the region.
Plan was coordinated with local bicycle and             Coordination took place throughout the
pedestrian    group     programs,    County             process, starting with a review of the bicycle
transportation and recreational master plans,           and pedestrian goals and objectives. The
other adjacent county plans and efforts of              consultant team provided an overview of
the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC),                  existing and possible methods to coordinate
the Georgia Regional Transportation                     the selection of priority projects with
Authority (GRTA), and the Georgia                       Forsyth        County’s       Comprehensive
                     Mountains     Regional             Transportation Plan.
                     Development Center
                     (GMRDC).                           3. Local Jurisdictions and TMA Initiatives
                                                        Several jurisdictions and TMAs within the
                     1.      Bicycle      and           North Metro Atlanta region have already
                     Pedestrian Task Force              initiated projects that could impact the
The Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force                   Forsyth County Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan.
consists of countywide representatives,                 As part of this Public Involvement Plan,
nonprofit representatives such as Keep                  these projects were reviewed to ensure
Forsyth County Beautiful and the Forsyth                regional coordination and inclusion in the
County Federation of Homeowners, and                    Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. The consultant
private sector organizations such as                    team provided a summary of these projects,
Hedgewood Properties. It was created to                 including         local      comprehensive
assist in the development of a Bicycle                  transportation plans, for the Bicycle and
Facilities and Pedestrian Walkways Plan.                Pedestrian Task Force to review for regional
This group will continue to meet in an effort           coordination.
to coordinate bicycle and pedestrian
planning on a countywide basis. The Bike                4. Local Bicycle and Pedestrian Group
and Pedestrian Task Force was the primary               Programs
coordination vehicle because of its nature              The consultant team and the Task Force
and its enviable position as a planning team            provided information about the project,
for the development and implementation of               scope, timelines and events for distribution
the Forsyth County Bicycle and Pedestrian               to local groups and other stakeholders.
Plan.     All aspects of the plan were                  Groups contacted included Bicycle User
coordinated and approved by the Task                    Groups (BUG) in close proximity to Forsyth
Force.                                                  County and local bike shops. Coordinating
                                                        and receiving information from the
2. Regional Coordination                                following groups may help Forsyth County
In addition to the Bicycle and Pedestrian               establish their own groups to further the
Task Force, the consultant team coordinated             bicycle and pedestrian plan goals:
efforts concerning the Bicycle and
Pedestrian Plan with other planning efforts                 •   BIKECOBB
at the Georgia Mountains Regional                           •   North Fulton County BUG
Development Center (GMRDC), Atlanta                         •   Bicycle Users in Gwinnett
Regional Commission (ARC) and the                           •   Silver Comet Trail BUG
Georgia Regional Transportation Authority

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   10
1.2.2 Outreach                                          Georgia Mountains Regional Development
                                                        Center - www.gmrdc.org
Outreach included ongoing notification
(newsletters and web sites) of all events               Path Foundation - www.pathfoundation.org
related to the study, community forum
                                                        PEDS - www.peds.org
displays and media outreach. Every effort
was made to coordinate outreach activities              Southern Bicycle League, Inc.-
with existing Forsyth County community
                                                        www.bikesbl.org
meetings and events. The desired end result
of all outreach activities was to provide the           Georgia Regional
community segment that was interested in
                                                        Transportation
bicycle and pedestrian facilities within the
Forsyth County area with the knowledge and              Authority -
education     necessary     for   meaningful
                                                        www.grta.org
involvement.
                                                        Forsyth County News -
1. Web Pages/Community Newsletters
                                                        www.forsythnews.com
Forsyth County developed a Project Specific
Web Site (PSWS) for the Bicycle and                     Lake Lanier
Pedestrian Plan. The web site is directly
                                                        Association -
linked to the County’s home page. Included
in the website was a survey of bicycle and              www.lakelanier.org
pedestrian needs that individuals could e-
                                                        Cumming-Forsyth Chamber of Commerce -
mail to the County webmaster.            This
information became very important in the                www.forsythchamber.org
selection and prioritization of projects. In
                                                        Accessnorthga.com -
addition to posting the work products during
the plan development process, the website               www.accessnorthga.com
included a map of the alternative projects
                                                        Federation of Forsyth County Homeowners
being considered for inclusion in the plan.
                                                        - www.forsythco.com
Individuals were encouraged to submit
comments regarding the alternative projects.
                                                        2. Media Outreach
Community and organizational newsletters,               In order to reach the largest segment of the
and their respective web pages, were also               general public as possible, Forsyth County
used to provide information regarding                   provided direction in terms of media
milestones of the Bicycle and Pedestrian                contacts available to reach the community.
Plan.    All announcements of the plan                  Media contacts included the Forsyth County
provided         information      regarding             News, Gainesville Times, the Atlanta
opportunities for public involvement.                   Journal and Constitution and media outlets
Following is a list of web pages and                    serving low-income and minority groups
newsletters contacted for distribution of               and interest groups. The following list of
information relating to the Forsyth County              potential media contacts was developed for
Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. This list                  the distribution of information regarding the
includes governments and organizations that             Forsyth County Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan.
stated an interest in having links to the               The media was also used to publicize the
Forsyth County Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan              public meeting held for the project:
on their web site.
Forsyth County - www.forsythcounty.com                  Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   11
Gainesville Times                                           •   Jurisdictional Bike/Ped Plan Updates
Creative Loafing                                                    ? GMRDC
Atlanta Daily World                                                 ? ARC
Forsyth County News                                         •   Pedestrian and Bicycle Related
Forsyth Herald / Lake Lanier Herald                             Events
WWEV Radio                                                          ? Relay For Life (annual)
WDUN News/Talk 55                                           •   Local Festivals
Accessnorthga.com                                                   ? Cumming Country Fair &
                                                                        Festival (annual)
Additional activities Forsyth County staff                  •   Holiday Related Promotions and
pursued with assistance from the consultant                     Events
team and the Bicycle and Pedestrian Task                            ? Fourth of July
Force included the following:
                                                                    ? Memorial Day
    •   Forsyth County Web Page
                                                        1.2.3   Involvement
           ? Plan updates
           ? Survey                                     Involvement of the community was
    •   Community/Organization                          achieved through the Bike and Pedestrian
        Newsletters                                     Task Force, surveys, a planned public
           ? Cumming-Forsyth Chamber                    meeting and other avenues identified by the
                of Commerce                             Task Force.
           ? Leadership Forsyth
           ? Sawnee Center                              1. Surveys
    •   Television Stations                             The consultant developed a web site survey
    •   Athletic Centers                                that included questions relevant to planning
           ? Lanier Athletic Center                     initiatives. The survey is available to the
           ? Gold’s Gym                                 public on the Forsyth County web site.
           ? Lanier 400                                 Questions related to bike and pedestrian use
           ? County Park Offices (Sharon                were included in these surveys.          The
                Springs Park & Central Park)            information provided an understanding of
    •   Radio stations                                  local opportunities and challenges facing the
                                                        community and was presented to the Bike
           ? WDUN News/Talk 55 (WGGA
                AM 1240 & MAJIC 102.9 FM)               and Pedestrian Task Force for its
            ?   WCON 99.3 FM/1450 AM                    consideration in the development of the
            ?   WKHC                                    Plan.
            ?   WNGC
            ?   LAKE 102.3 FM                           2. Public Meetings
            ?   WPPL 103.9 FM                           A public meeting to receive additional input
            ?   WMLB AM 1170                            was held on March 13, 2002. Every effort
    •   Fliers/Posters                                  was made to include information regarding
    •   Bicycle and Pedestrian System Maps              the goals, progress and results of the Bicycle
        for Community                                   and Pedestrian Plan at this meeting. The
    •   Organization Newsletters                        consultant provided all display materials for
                                                        the public meeting, including displays that
            ? Path
                                                        help portray the project efforts and
            ? Pedestrians           Educating
                                                        accurately frame input and involvement
                Drivers for Safety (PEDS)
                                                        opportunities.
            ? Southern Bicycle League, Inc
    •   Bike Shops

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   12
                                                               1. Quantitative Measures
1.2.4   Measures of Effectiveness                              § Number of opportunities for public
                                                                   involvement;
As with any process, effectiveness of public                   § Number of community newsletters
involvement activities is difficult to                             containing articles on the Bicycle and
measure. However, the consultant team                              Pedestrian Plan ;
recommended using both quantitative and                        § Number of bicycle- and pedestrian-
qualitative measures as a means to evaluate                        related press releases;
public involvement activities. Quantitative                    § Number of responses to surveys;
measures are useful in providing                               § Attendance at public meetings;
information concerning type and level of                       § Number of bike/pedestrian projects
involvement, as well as the reach across the                       submitted per year; and
community. Qualitative measures are useful                     § Requests to add to the bike/pedestrian
in determining the level of change that has                        mailing list.
occurred regarding education and awareness
of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan and the                     2. Qualitative Measures
quality of response to this involvement, as                    § Quality       of    public     involvement
well as providing a mechanism to track                             opportunities;
these changes. In turn, this information was                   § Public awareness of the Bicycle and
used to correct the type of public                                 Pedestrian Plan;
involvement forums being used, if they were                    § Plan changes from public comments;
deemed not effective.        Each of these                     § Quality of response to public comments;
measures relate to the techniques used for                     § Availability of information regarding the
public involvement, as well as the goals for                       Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan; and
public involvement.                                            § Quality of bicycle and pedestrian
                                                                   projects submitted.


Public Involvement Matrix
Below is a matrix assessing the public involvement efforts of the plan.

Number of opportunities for public involvement
 Facilitated and advertised public meeting that was held March 13, 2002
 Distributed over 300 paper fliers advertising participation opportunities to the public


Number of community newsletters containing articles on the Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan
 North Fulton County Bicycle Users Groups (BUG) posted information in the online group newsletter


Number of bicycle- and pedestrian-related press releases
 An article was written in the Forsyth County News about the development of the Bike/Ped Plan
  A full page article was written in the Forsyth County News about the progress of the Forsyth County Bike/Ped
Plan
  An article was published in the Forsyth County News to advertise the public meeting held March 13, 2002


Number of responses to surveys
 Twenty surveys were filled out and returned to Forsyth County staff members
 Approximately forty surveys where filled out on the Forsyth County Bike/Ped Plan web page



Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                         13
Attendance at public meetings
 Seventeen community members attended the March 13, 2002 public meeting


Requests to add to bike/pedestrian mailing list
  Approximately thirteen requests were made to be added to the Forsyth Bike/Ped Plan mailing list


Number of web sites posting link to Forsyth Bike/Ped web site
   Six regional transportation related organizations posted links to the Forsyth County Bike/Ped Plan web page from
their main web sites

Public comments in response to the DRAFT Forsyth County Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan
 1) Connect Pilgrim Mill sidewalks to two Core parks at end of road, Tidwell Park
 2) Construct mountain bike trails in some parks: Sawnee Mtn.
 3) Facilitate Lake Lanier Campgrounds for use during winter months
 4) Be aware of and take advantage of funding resources and new transportation projects
 5) There is an existing lack of sidewalks
 6) Construct bike lanes, paved trails, multi-use trails such as with the Silver Comet
 7) Develop facilities mainly in Southwest Forsyth
 8) Create extension of Big Creek Greenway
 9) Construct sidewalks on Castleberry
 10) Place street lights along sidewalk areas
 11) Place lights in day use areas to be used at night
 12) Develop family oriented trails around lake
 13) Develop large, safe lanes or facilities around schools, parks and libraries
 14) The value and safety of bicycle friendly shoulders is questionable




Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                        14
Section 2. Existing Conditions
                                                        3. Identification of activities required to
Subsequent to the development of the Task                  meet the vision and goals developed
Force, its vision statement and the public                 above;
involvement plan, it was important to grasp
the baseline condition for bicycle and                  4. Implementation    of   bicycle  and
pedestrian planning in Forsyth County. To                  pedestrian elements into a Regional
assist the Task Force in this effort, an                   Transportation Plan (RTP) and a
analysis of the federal guidance with respect              Transportation Improvement Program
to bicycle and pedestrian planning was                     (TIP);
presented and a current trends report
detailing similar efforts in the region was             5. Evaluation of progress; and
used to generate potential ideas for Forsyth
County’s plan development.                              6. Public involvement.

2.1 Federal      Strategy     Implementation            The development of the Forsyth County
Analysis                                                Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan was based on
                                                        this federal guidance and included each of
To develop a successful Forsyth County                  the federally recommended elements.
Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, which                      Furthermore, the development of the Plan
eventually could be substantially funded                will be integrated into the Regional
with federal funds, it was important to                 Transportation Planning process, which sets
review the federal strategies for promoting             direction for transportation investments,
the use and proliferation of bicycle and                including bicycle and pedestrian facilities.
pedestrian facilities and the TEA-21                    To effectuate this coordination, a copy of the
Planning Factors for guidance and                       plan document will be submitted to the
compliance. Recommendations that allow                  Georgia Department of Transportation
Forsyth County to implement their plan                  (GDOT) as the designated transportation
consistent with the TEA-21 Planning                     planning agent for Forsyth County and to
Factors and federal regulations were                    the GMRDC.
developed and incorporated into the plan.
                                                        The plan draft goals and objectives reflect
The latest federal guidance on Bicycle and              federal guidelines and TEA-21 planning
Pedestrian Provisions of the Federal Aid                factors.    TEA-21 is the Transportation
program was issued on February 24, 1999.                Equity Act for the 21st Century. It is the
The     following     are    the      federally         legislation that authorizes all national
recommended elements for a statewide or                 transportation funding. The TEA-21
regional bicycle and pedestrian element of              Planning Factors are as follows:
the long-range plan. Although these focus
on regional and state agencies, it provides an          §   Increase the accessibility and mobility
appropriate framework for the development                   options available to people and for
of the Forsyth County plan.                                 freight;

1. Vision and goal statements and network               §   Enhance the integration and connectivity
   performance criteria;                                    of the transportation system, across and
                                                            between modes, for people and freight;
2. Assessment of current conditions and
   needs;

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   15
§   Protect and enhance the environment,                with federal funds should include bicycle
    promote energy conservation and                     and pedestrian facilities, unless they are not
    improve quality of life;                            permitted. Federal guidance further states
                                                        that an alternative route on parallel surface
§   Promote efficient system management                 streets should be identified and implemented
    and operation;                                      where bicycle and pedestrian use are either
                                                        prohibited or made incompatible.
§   Emphasize the preservation of the
    existing transportation system;                     The federal guidance outlines many simple
                                                        and cost-effective ways to integrate
§   Support the economic vitality of the                non-motorized users into the design and
    metropolitan area, by enabling global               operation of the transportation system. The
    competitiveness      while     increasing           methods include:
    productivity and efficiency; and
                                                        §   Providing paved shoulders on new and
§   Increase the safety and security of the                 reconstructed roads;
    transportation system for motorized and
    non-motorized users.                                §   Restriping roads (either as a stand alone
                                                            project or after a resurfacing or
TEA-21 states that Metropolitan Planning                    reconstruction project) to create a wider
Organizations (MPO), such as the ARC, are                   outline lane or striped bike lane;
required to plan for “the development and
integrated management and operation of                  §   Building sidewalks and trails, and
transportation systems and facilities                       requiring new transit vehicles to have
(including pedestrian walkways and bicycle                  bicycle racks and/or hooks already
transportation facilities) that will function as            installed.
an intermodal transportation system…”
(Section 1203 and 1204 of TEA 21).                      2.1.2 General Funding Requirements
Although Forsyth County does not have to
meet this requirement since it is not an                As stated in the federal guidance, “Bicycle
MPO, the county’s Bicycle and Pedestrian                and walking contribute to many of the goals
Plan development process meets the spirit of            for the transportation system we have at
the federal legislation. Federal guidance               Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
outlines four main themes that should be                and at the state and local levels. Increasing
addressed in the planning, development and              bicycling and walking offers the potential
construction of all federal aid transportation          for cleaner air, healthier people, reduced
bicycle and pedestrian projects and                     congestion, more livable communities, and
programs: the mainstreaming, funding,                   more efficient use of precious road space
safety, and implementation of bicycle and               and resources.      That is why funds in
pedestrian projects.                                    programs such as Congestion Mitigation and
                                                        Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ),
2.1.1   Mainstreaming          Non-motorized            Transportation Enhancements (TE), and the
Transportation                                          National Highway System (NHS) are
                                                        eligible to be used for bicycling and walking
The federal guidance strongly encourages                improvements that will encourage the use of
bicycle and pedestrian facilities to become             the two modes.”
the norm rather than the exception in
planning, developing and constructing a                 All the major transportation funding
transportation system. Each project funded              programs can be used for bicycle and

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   16
pedestrian programs, so there is no federal
barrier in implementing bicycle and                     2.1.3 Safety
pedestrian projects, either as stand-alone
projects or in conjunction with other                   The federal guidance states, “We also have a
federally funded transportation projects.               responsibility to improve the safety of
                                                        bicycling and walking because the two
To date NHS funds have only been used                   modes represent more than 14 percent of the
once in the Atlanta region for a pedestrian             41,000 traffic fatalities the nation endures
facility that was not included in a road                each year…TEA-21 has opened up the
project. CMAQ is currently under a great                Hazard Elimination Program to a broader
deal of scrutiny by state and local agencies            array of bicycle, pedestrian and traffic
who might request that the funds be diverted            calming projects that will improve
to other modes of transportation, instead of            dangerous locations.” CMAQ, STP and
the current funding levels given to bicycle             State Community Highway Safety Grant
and pedestrian facilities.                              Program funds are also available for non-
                                                        construction activities or safety programs.
Current regional funding levels are not
creating a bicycle and pedestrian system that           To date the Atlanta region has not used
can provide some of the rewards mentioned               funds from the Safety and Hazard
in the federal guidance. Federal guidance               Elimination Program to improve the safety
makes it clear that the choice on how to use            of locations for bicycle and pedestrian use,
funds rests with the state; however, there is           unless it was combined with other road or
nothing in TEA-21 or federal transportation             intersection improvements.     The Atlanta
legislation that limits the funding, either by          region has committed CMAQ funding to
the amount or funding category, for bicycle             two safety programs: the Effective Cycling
and pedestrian funding.                                 Classes offered by the Atlanta Bicycle
                                                        Campaign and the Walking School Bus
The one restriction in funding guidance is              Program offered by Pedestrian Educating
the requirement that bicycle projects funded            Drivers for Safety (PEDS). A pedestrian
in Surface Transportation Program (STP),                safety campaign was funded and conducted
Congestion     Mitigation     Air     Quality           by the City of Atlanta.
(CMAQ), National Highway System (NHS)
or Federal Lands Highway Program be                     Forsyth County included coordination with
“principally for transportation rather than             local organizations to implement educational
recreation purposes.” Federal provisions                and safety programs with available federal
also do not allow motorized vehicle use on              funds as part of their Bike/Ped Plan goals
trails and pedestrian walkways. This may                and objectives.
preclude the funding of “cart paths” that has
received federal funding in the past.                   2.1.4   Streamlining       Implementation
                                                                Procedures
Forsyth County must be aware of the federal
funding opportunities and restraints as plans           Federal guidance states, “It makes no sense
are made for a bicycle and pedestrian                   for activities such as crosswalk striping,
system. The system will be implemented                  bicycle parking installation and bike-line
more quickly if local funds are leveraged               marking – which usually require no
with State and Federal dollars.                         additional right-of-way and cause no
                                                        negative environmental impact – to have the
                                                        same approval process as a multi-lane
                                                        highway project. States and MPOs are

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   17
encouraged to…take any additional steps                     development review process where
they can to speed up the implementation of                  feasible;
projects that improve conditions for                    §   Explore maximizing local opportunities
bicycling and walking.”                                     to fund bicycle and pedestrian projects in
                                                            conjunction           with          other
Currently design for the construction of                    projects/programs; and
bicycle facilities and sidewalks could take             §   Coordinate bicycle and pedestrian
one year or more and, with the exception of                 system planning with other countywide
TE projects, goes through the same approval                 efforts such as park and greenway
process as multi-lane highway projects.                     planning

In prioritizing bicycle and pedestrian                  2.2 Current Trends
projects, Forsyth County assessed the
implementation and construction aspects of              While recreational cycling is still the
a project in relation to the need for the               primary use of bicycles in this country,
project.     Immediate      safety   needs,             people nationwide are recognizing the
coordination with imminent road projects                energy efficiency, cost effectiveness, health
and low cost striping projects, were                    benefits, and environmental advantages of
identified for streamlined implementation in            bicycling for transportation purposes.
the Forsyth plan.                                       Nationwide, communities are organizing
                                                        bicycle and pedestrian master plans to
2.1.5   Recommendations                                 prepare for the needs of commuters who
                                                        choose to bicycle and/or walk to work. More
The development of the Forsyth County                   funding sources have become available, and
Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan provided an                 bicycle and pedestrian facilities are
opportunity to promote and implement                    becoming more popular in the North
federal strategies for the provision of bicycle         Georgia Region. Examples of dedicated
and pedestrian facilities consistent with the           bicycle and pedestrian corridors within the
TEA-21 planning factors. The following                  Region that have become success stories and
specific recommendations were included in               models for the community include the
the development of plan goals and                       following:
objectives.
                                                                1. The Silver Comet Trail;
§   Provide for a safe, convenient and                          2. The GDOT Statewide Bicycle
    accessible bicycling and pedestrian                            Network;
    environment;                                                3. The Stone Mountain to Atlanta
§   Provide interconnection of bicycle and                         Trail;
    pedestrian facilities between origin and                    4. Alpharetta’s     Big     Creek
    destination land uses, linking residential                     Greenway;
    and commercial zones, education and                         5. Powder Springs’ Wildhorse
    employment areas, health care and                              Creek and Lucille Creek
    service centers, natural, cultural and                         Greenways; and
    recreation resources;                                       6. Roswell’s Riverside Drive trails
§   Build bicycle and pedestrian planning                          and bike lanes.
    decisions into every phase of the
    transportation process, such as planning,           Many communities are currently planning or
    construction and maintenance;                       constructing    additional    bicycle   and
§   Implement and coordinate bicycle and                pedestrian corridors that will be opened in
    pedestrian planning goals through the               the near future. As more and more bicycle

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   18
and pedestrian corridors are created, people            benefits of walking and bicycling the
in Forsyth County will realize the benefits of          following programs were included as
using these facilities for recreation and for           strategies for implementation:
commuting. By wisely planning for, and
actively implementing a network of bicycle              1. Educational programs for cyclists,
and pedestrian facilities, Forsyth County               pedestrians, and motorists, to promote
will enjoy the benefits of having alternative           safety;
modes of transportation.
                                                        2. Promotional campaign to promote usage
2.2.1 Benefits of a Bicycle and Pedestrian              of expanded facilities;
Transportation Plan
                                                        3. Programs to enforce laws as they apply to
The development of a Bicycle and                        bicycles and pedestrians;
Pedestrian plan is essential to getting the
funding secured to build proposed                       4. Methods to provide safe, clearly
improvements within Forsyth County.                     designated facilities for bicycles and
However, there are other important benefits             pedestrians; and
that arise from establishing a Bicycle and
Pedestrian Plan:                                        5. Maintenance programs to keep the
                                                        facilities clear of vegetation and debris.
    •   Connectivity may be provided
        between schools, parks, libraries and           2.2.2  Regional, State and National
        other areas of interest.          This          Trends
        connectivity in turn reduces the
        reliance on the automobile and                  1. Regional
        increases    interactions    between            Bicycle and pedestrian transportation
        community members;                              became an important issue in the North
    •   Bicycle and pedestrian facilities will          Georgia Region nearly thirty years ago. In
        double as recreational amenities, not           1973, the ARC adopted a document entitled
        only serving bicyclists and those               The Bicycle: A Plan and Program for its use
        who walk, but also for those who                as a Mode of Transportation and
        run, skate and love nature. The                 Recreation. The following were the plan’s
        additional recreational outlets will            objectives:
        provide the community with an arena
        for physical activity and the health                1. Assess current bike trends;
        benefits associated with exercise;                  2. Develop a conceptual bike facility
    •   Groups such as PEDS can work with                      plan that identified corridors with the
        the County for the purpose of                          most potential for facilities;
        improving pedestrian safety; and                    3. Select and evaluate types of
    •   BUGs can be formed to promote safe                     facilities;
        cycling.                                            4. Determine potential funding sources;
                                                            5. Research legal constraints to
As Forsyth County continues to grow and as                     providing facilities;
the potential for transit improvements grow,                6. Suggest education and registration to
it becomes essential to consider increasing                    reduce accidents and thievery; and
the availability of bicycle and pedestrian                  7. Select a demonstration project to
facilities along potential future transit routes               illustrate the utility of facilities.
and between points of interest within
Forsyth County. In order to advertise the

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   19
The     report    made       the    following           new plan laid the foundation for the
recommendations:                                        development of the bicycle and pedestrian
    1. Pursue Federal funds to implement                section of the 2025 RTP.
       these projects;
    2. Develop bikeways in more areas,                  Although the ARC region’s bicycle and
       which are coordinated at a regional              pedestrian planning efforts are progressive
       level;                                           in comparison to other parts of the State,
    3. GDOT petition the state legislature              there are still many safety and funding
       for bikeway funds, and                           issues left unresolved.        In terms of
    4. Allocate additional staff time at all            pedestrian safety, the Atlanta area had the
       levels be allocated to bike planning.            second highest pedestrian fatality rate in the
                                                        nation. Moreover, due to congestion and air
In 1979, ARC published a technical                      quality problems, bicycle and pedestrian
memorandum entitled Bicycle Planning &                  planning in the region has typically not been
Implementation in the Atlanta Region. This              a priority.
document was an evaluation of Atlanta’s
bicycle and pedestrian transportation                   The history of bicycle and pedestrian
facilities.                                             planning in the ARC region, its successes
                                                        and shortcomings, is very useful for the
The next significant development in bicycle             development and implementation of Forsyth
and pedestrian transportation planning did              County’s bicycle and pedestrian planning
not occur until 1991 when the United States             efforts. Forsyth County has not been directly
Congress adopted the Intermodal Surface                 involved in these efforts since it belongs to
Transportation Efficiency Act, also known               the GMRDC. The counties in this Regional
as ISTEA. This legislation placed new                   Development Center include Banks,
emphasis on bicycle and pedestrian facilities           Dawson, Franklin, Habersham, Hall, Hart,
as legitimate transportation options. Higher            Lumpkin, Rabun, Stephens, Towns, Union
levels of federal funding were made                     and White. Due to the rural nature of the
available for the design and construction of            counties in this region, and because the
bicycle and pedestrian facilities.                      GMRDC has limited funding for
                                                        transportation planning, little attention has
In response to the new emphasis on bicycle              been given to bicycle and pedestrian
and pedestrian planning, ARC created the                planning efforts at the regional level. The
Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Task Force              GMRDC does review
in 1992 to assist in the development of a               Developments         of
regional Bike/Ped Plan. In 1993, ARC                    Regional        Impact
published the Bicycle Transportation and                (DRI’s), as does
Pedestrian Walkways Plan that represented               ARC, to determine
a primary shift in focus to explicitly include          compliance with the
pedestrian issues in addition to bike issues.           regional plans.      In
However, the effort fell short because the              this effort, bicycle
plan was a compilation of local plans with              and          pedestrian
little regional coordination or cross-                  facilities          are
jurisdictional integration.                             generally
                                                        recommended         for
In 1995, ARC published an update to the                 inclusion in developments. Moreover, the
Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian                   GMRDC is in the process of updating its
Walkways Plan. The update focused only on               RTP, which may include a bicycle and
revising the projects in the 1993 plan. The             pedestrian element.

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   20
In recent years, there has been a greater               roads that are controlled by the    state, and
emphasis on bicycle and pedestrian mobility             also on many that are not.          The new
at the regional scale. Non-motorized                    crosswalks are boldly striped,      and give
transportation has become a more legitimate             pedestrians more visibility on      Georgia’s
transportation alternative to the single                roadways.
occupancy vehicle (SOV) in the North
Georgia area. New attitudes, more funding,              GRTA was created in 1999 by the
and better planning are helping to shape a              Legislature to promote regional cooperation
friendlier atmosphere for those who chose to            in transportation. GRTA encourages better
use bike lanes and sidewalks as an                      planning by government at all levels with
alternative form of transportation.                     involvement by citizens. One way that
                                                        GRTA is encouraging public input into the
2. State                                                transportation system is through its Citizen’s
GDOT has also established a new set of                  Academy, which is divided into four groups.
policies and mindset that is more bicycle               One group concentrates on transportation
and pedestrian friendly. The State’s Bicycle            greenways, which are defined as linear
Coordinator works with all counties and                 linkages from origin to destination. The
RDCs to maximize and coordinate facility                greenways may or may not include
construction. In the case of Forsyth County,            motorized transportation, but emphasize
the Statewide Bicycle Coordinator can be                linear bicycle and pedestrian transportation
instrumental in the implementation of                   linkages between origins and destinations.
facilities since GDOT helps to program                  The group is also beginning to access the
County projects in the RTP. Projects that               existing regional greenway network in the
are identified in the Forsyth Plan will,                hopes of creating a true network of
therefore, be delivered and communicated to             greenways to better serve non-motorized
GDOT for funding and implementation.                    transportation options.

GDOT created a bicycle master plan for the              Another group of GRTA’s Citizen’s
State of Georgia. This master plan proposes             Academy is investigating alternative street
a network of 14 named and numbered                      designs. They are concentrating on ways to
routes, totaling 2,943 miles that are, or will          design roads to better accommodate
be, particularly well suited for bicycle use.           bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit users. The
Six of the routes, totaling 265 miles, will             group is encouraging jurisdictions to base
pass through the ARC Region. The Northern               their design guidelines on context sensitive
Crescent Route passes along the southern                design. The group is
end of Forsyth County, along the Gwinnett               also looking at road
County – Chattahoochee River boundary.                  design
Signing of the network is expected to take              characteristics, such
five years. As sections of these routes are             as     bump       outs,
improved through GDOT normal road                       shelters, and better
improvement projects, they will be upgraded             signage to increase
with wide curb lanes, bike lanes, paved                 the accessibility of
shoulders, and/or sidewalks. The Statewide              Georgia’s roadways
improvements within the ARC Region are                  to non-motorized and transit-oriented
already in the RTP.                                     transportation alternatives.

GDOT       recently   adopted    and     is             3. National
implementing a more visible crosswalk                   Bicycle and pedestrian issues are taking
standard. The new standard is appearing on              greater precedence across the nation. As

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   21
development trends change to better                     In 1999, the American Association of State
integrate land use and transportation                   Highway and Transportation Officials
planning, pedestrian and bicycle facilities             (AASHTO) published the Guide of the
are more feasible. The trends that are                  Development of Bicycle Facilities. This
attempting to combat “urban sprawl” in the              guide book helps communities and planners
United States favors construction of bicycle            in the development of bicycle and pedestrian
and pedestrian friendly corridors. For                  facilities. The document recognizes the
instance, the Regional Development Process              historic role of bicycles in transportation and
(RDP) began in the state of California and is           underscores the notion that a bicycle is a
now used nationwide. The RDP encourages                 viable transportation mode. Like FHWA,
an integrated planning system that links                AASHTO Guide supports the use of
transportation improvements to non-                     bicycles on all highways, “except those
transportation improvements such as land                where cyclists are legally prohibited.”
development.                                            AASHTO mandates that “all highways
                                                        should be designed and constructed under
The United States Department of                         the assumption that they will be used by
Transportation published the National                   cyclists. Therefore, bicycles should be
Bicycle and Walking Study in 1994. The                  considered in all phases of transportation
study expresses a renewed interest in non-              planning, new roadway design, roadway
motorized transportation. The study also sets           reconstruction, and capacity improvement
two goals, to double the percentage of trips            and transit projects.” AASHTO recognizes
made by foot and bicycle while                          that “safe, convenient and well-designed
simultaneously reducing the number of                   facilities are essential to encourage bicycle
crashes involving bicyclists by ten percent.            use.” AASHTO is currently producing a
                                                        guide for pedestrian facilities, which is
The Transportation Equity Act of the 21st               expected to give the same support to
Century (TEA-21) was signed into law by                 pedestrian facilities as it does to bicycle
President Clinton on June 9, 1998. TEA-21               facilities.
continues funding to integrate bicycling and
walking into the overall transportation                 There has been a shift in the way that
system. It also provides opportunities for              bicycle and pedestrian facilities and the
communities to sponsor projects that will               people who use those facilities are viewed.
improve the safety and mobility for cyclists            Regionally, more funding and importance is
and pedestrians. FHWA has reacted                       given to non-motorized transportation. From
positively to bicycle and pedestrian facility           a state viewpoint, bicycles and pedestrians
planning. Officials at FHWA are becoming                are being better accommodated. Nationally,
more aware of and better prepared to handle             sidewalks and bicycle facilities are being
bicycle and pedestrian issues. In August of             seen as important additions to the overall
1998, FHWA convened a Task Force to seek                transportation system. There is an obvious
advice on how to proceed with developing                attempt to balance the needs of non-
design guidance for bicycle and pedestrian              motorized transportation with those of the
facilities. After reviewing the numerous                broader community.
planning and technical manuals on
designing pedestrian and bicycle facilities,            2.2.3 Local Trends
the Task Force concluded that another set of
guidelines was not necessary. The Task                  Many cities and counties within the ARC
Force helped develop a set of policies.                 and GMRDC regions currently have, or are
                                                        planning to create, a bicycle and pedestrian
                                                        master plan. Some are well organized and

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   22
professionally planned documents, while                 Opportunities for Forsyth County to connect
others are less aggressive plans developed              to Fulton County facilities were maximized.
by staff members. Regardless of who
prepared the plans or how detailed they are,            Gwinnett County does not have a specific
many communities in the Forsyth County                  bicycle and pedestrian master plan,
Region are attempting to accommodate                    however, they have compiled a list of
bicyclists and pedestrians in their                     bicycle and pedestrian projects as part of
transportation systems. Below is a summary              their CTP and included them for Special
of jurisdictional efforts to plan for bicycle           Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) funding.
and pedestrian facilities in communities near
Forsyth County. The summary attempts to                 Pickens County does not have a bicycle and
detail which jurisdictions do or do not have            pedestrian master plan.
bicycle and pedestrian master plans in place,
and which communities plan to do so.                     3. Representative Regional Cities:
These plans have been analyzed for ideas
and strategies to implement in the Forsyth              City of Alpharetta (Fulton County)
County plan.                                            adopted a bicycle and pedestrian master plan
                                                        in the Spring of 1996. The city is currently
1. Neighboring        Counties     within    the        addressing bicycle and pedestrian facilities
GMRDC:                                                  as part of the development of a CTP. The
                                                        city has a sidewalk ordinance, requiring
Dawson, Hall and Lumpkin counties do                    sidewalks adjacent to all roadways.
not have bicycle and pedestrian master
plans. Hall County does require sidewalk                City of Atlanta (Fulton County) has a
construction with new developments.                     greenway plan that addresses bicycle and
                                                        pedestrian issues. The city has a sidewalk
2. Other Neighboring Counties:                          ordinance.

Cherokee County does not have a bicycle                 City of Canton (Cherokee County) has a
and pedestrian master plan. However, the                bicycle and pedestrian master plan for the
County uses its Land Development Policies               downtown. Canton also has the Etowah
(LDP) to require developers to contribute to            River Greenway master plan, which
bicycle and pedestrian facilities.                      provides bicycle and pedestrian connections
                                                        from downtown Canton to newer
Cobb County has a bicycle and pedestrian                commercial and residential neighborhoods.
master plan. The county has also begun to               The city also has an ambitious sidewalk
provide bicycle friendly shoulders.                     program to enhance major corridors. The
                                                        city requires sidewalks to be constructed as
DeKalb County has a bicycle and                         part of its development regulations.
pedestrian master plan. The county GDOT’s
Local Assistance Resurfacing Program                    City of Gainesville (Hall County) does not
(LARP) includes striping wider outside                  have a bicycle and pedestrian master plan.
lanes for bicycle traffic where possible.               However, the city requires sidewalks
                                                        through their sidewalk ordinance.
Fulton County included a bicycle and
pedestrian master plan as part of its                   City of Lawrenceville (Gwinnett County)
transportation master plan. This plan was               does not have a bicycle and pedestrian
adopted in 2000. Fulton County has                      master plan. Lawrenceville’s sidewalk
provisions     to    require    sidewalks.              ordinance requires sidewalks within all

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   23
major residential       and     non-residential         Cumberland Mall and in helping to fund a
subdivisions.                                           pedestrian bridge across Cobb Parkway.

City of Marietta (Cobb County) does not                 Town Center CID (Cobb County)
have a bicycle and pedestrian master plan.              completed a bicycle and pedestrian master
The city requires sidewalks through their               plan in 1999.
sidewalk ordinance.
                                                        The Dekalb Perimeter Center CID
City of Powder Springs (Cobb County)                    completed a sidewalk master plan and
has a comprehensive bicycle and pedestrian              bicycle suitability map for roadways in their
master plan, as part of its Community                   area. Construction of sidewalk projects is
Enhancement Master Plan, which was                      ongoing.
adopted in 1996. The city has a sidewalk
ordinance, which requires sidewalks on one              Cherokee County, Gwinnett County, Fulton
side of the street.                                     County, have all recently created CID’s.

City of Roswell (Fulton County) adopted a               5. Transportation Management Associations
comprehensive bicycle and pedestrian                    (TMA)
master plan, as part of its overall
transportation plan in 2000. The city of                TMA’s are organizations usually funded
Roswell has a sidewalk ordinance.                       with CID dollars that promote the use of
                                                        alternative transportation within their special
City of Woodstock (Cherokee County)                     tax districts.
adopted a bicycle and pedestrian master plan
in 1999.        A sidewalk ordinance in                 Cobb Rides (Town Center Area) does not
Woodstock requires sidewalks on at least                have a bicycle and pedestrian master plan.
one side of the street.                                 They intend to design a plan for future use.

4. Community Improvement Districts (CID)                Cumberland Transportation Network
                                                        (Cobb County) does not have a bicycle and
Community Improvement Districts are                     pedestrian master plan. They do not intend
special taxing districts created by Counties            to design one at this time.
to generate funds for improvements within
specified non-residential areas. Typically,             Gwinnett County TMA does not have a
business interests are the catalyst for                 bicycle and pedestrian master plan.
creating these districts. They self impose an
additional tax that they have control over              2.2.4 Within Forsyth County
and use to match federal funds for projects
or for funding other improvements.                      Forsyth County’s growth and development
                                                        have proven to be a challenge for all
CID’s have been formed in many areas of                 transportation infrastructure. The County’s
the region and some have used their                     roadway network, particularly in the
resources for implementing bicycle and                  southern portion of the County, is in need of
pedestrian projects.                                    widening and there are several widening
                                                        projects currently under design. In addition
Cumberland CID (Cobb County) has a                      to roadway improvements, the County must
bicycle and pedestrian master plan that was             also keep pace with the need for bicycle and
completed in 1999. The CID has been                     pedestrian transportation needs. Although
instrumental in building sidewalks around               the County does not have a specific

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   24
ordinance to require sidewalk installation              recommends development of a pedestrian
within developments, many of the                        circulation system that extends beyond the
subdivisions in the County have constructed             Village Center to link with County
sidewalks interior to the developments. Key             neighborhoods. The plan recommends that
to planning for the future bicycle and                  walkway improvements should be planned
pedestrian network in the County was                    along major road corridors that include
linking these existing neighborhood                     Peachtree Parkway, Buford Highway,
sidewalks to activity destinations.       In            Dahlonega Highway, Canton Highway,
addition, although the County currently does            McFarland Road, Bethelview Road, Post
not have any existing bicycle facilities,               Road, Atlanta Highway, and McGinnis
future roadway improvement plans were                   Ferry Road. This plan also recommends that
analyzed to determine the possibility of                the pedestrian circulation system be linked
including some form of bicycle facility                 with the County’s schools. The County’s
infrastructure within these plans.                      Unified Development Code includes design
                                                        guidelines for village type residential and
Currently, there is not any public transit in           commercial development that encourages
Forsyth County. The only form of public                 pedestrian        friendly       communities.
transit is a Dial-A-Ride demand/response                Developments encouraged under these
system, which is currently underutilized.               design guidelines have yet to be proposed in
This deficiency limits the County’s                     Forsyth County.
transportation options and focuses attention            In 2000, Forsyth County published the
on SOV.          However, the County has                Georgia Greenspace Program – Forsyth
negotiated with GRTA to improve certain                 County Grant Application – Community
roadways for transit access.        GRTA’s              Program Report. The report was developed
Northern Sub Area Study is also                         in an effort to gain grant money provided by
recommending construction of park and ride              the Georgia Greenspace Program. These
lot facilities in the County. The future                funds will assist the County in purchasing
bicycle and pedestrian network must be                  and preserving designated greenspace.
coordinated with the potential for expanded             Among the goals and objectives listed in this
transit use in the County.                              plan is to develop pedestrian trails linking
                                                        recreation sites that will eventually result in
The following documents are being updated               a regional trail system. An acquisition
by the County. The status of bicycle and                strategy has been developed under the
pedestrian planning issues within these                 Community Program, which targets
documents is outlined.                                  acquiring a minimum of 2% (576 acres) for
                                                        greenways and 0.5% (150 acres) for
The         County’s        Comprehensive               bikeways.
Transportation Plan 2001 Update- The
County has recently completed an update of              The        Comprehensive          System-Wide
their comprehensive plan, which clearly                 Recreation Master Plan (2000-2006) was
outlines roadway needs now and in the                   also developed in 2000. Among its goals is
future. There is no specific bicycle and                to provide additional passive use facilities
pedestrian element in this document.                    including linking nature trails, interpretation
However, the development of the Bicycle                 areas and greenways. The plan recommends
and Pedestrian Plan was closely coordinated             greenway development of two river
with the CTP.                                           corridors and one stream corridor. The
                                                        Chattahoochee River corridor is the subject
The County’s Comprehensive - Future Land                of interest from a preservation standpoint. A
Use Plan (1994-2015 – updated 1997-98)                  greenway extending to the south from Lake

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   25
Lanier through the Twin Branches Unit of
the     Chattahoochee     River     National
Recreation Area would be a viable project.
The Etowah River corridor in northwest
Forsyth County offers a second opportunity
for greenway development. The city of
Canton in Cherokee County is beginning
development of a greenway along the
Etowah, and it is quite feasible that
Cherokee County will continue the
greenway through the northeast portion of
the county. James Creek and some of its
tributaries offer a third opportunity. The
development       plan   for    Windermere
incorporates a multi-purpose trail for
approximately two miles throughout the 87
acres park property. Three bikeways are
also recommended (S.R. 369, S.R. 9 and
S.R. 20).

In reviewing the federal guidance for bicycle
and pedestrian planning, Forsyth County and
the Task Force agreed to tailor the plan
development process to be consistent with
the goals of TEA-21, particularly to
maximize federal funding opportunities for
the plan.      In addition, current trends
reviewed allow the task force to consider
ideas for bicycle and pedestrian planning
that would be applicable to Forsyth County.
However, to plan for a 25 year horizon, the
task force also had to assess current and
future challenges and opportunities in the
context of the larger land use, environmental
and transportation framework of the region.
The feasibility of implementing the plan was
also deemed dependent on the political and
technical environments. Therefore, at the
start of the strategic planning process to
select alternatives, these issues were also
analyzed and addressed.




Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   26
Section 3. Strategic Planning Process                   local comprehensive planning. The local
                                                        comprehensive plan is intended to highlight
As stated previously, the vision for the                community goals and objectives, as well as
Forsyth County Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan              determine how the government proposes to
is to: foster the development of an                     achieve those goals and objectives. It is
interconnected network of bicycle and                   intended that the comprehensive plan be
pedestrian facilities that meets Forsyth                used to guide local government decision-
County’s future transportation mobility,                making on a daily basis. In order to
serves     recreation     needs,    promotes            maintain eligibility for certain state grant
alternative means of transportation and                 programs, local governments are required to
enhances the County’s overall quality of life.          adhere to the Minimum Standards and
The strategic planning process was used to              Procedures for Local Comprehensive
identify issues and opportunities pertinent             Planning, which are administered by the
for the implementation of the stated plan               Department of Community Affairs (DCA).
vision. As part of this process, existing
levels of service were assessed, regional               The County’s Planning Department is
land use, transportation and environmental              responsible for the development of the Land
planning efforts and processes were                     Use Plan consistent with the DCA
reviewed      for    possible    coordination           guidelines. The adopted Land Use Plan
opportunities, and the technical and political          goals and strategies include:
environments were analyzed for their                    § Encouraging         alternate   modes     of
influence on successful implementation of                   transportation;
bicycle and pedestrian systems. The                     § Encouraging village           center    type
strategic planning process detailed the                     developments around key corridors.
potential challenges and opportunities to                   These centers are meant to include
successful bicycle and pedestrian planning                  cultural and social activities in a
in Forsyth County and developed ideas for                   pedestrian friendly setting (urban village
overcoming such obstacles. These ideas                      zoning district);
were formulated into specific strategies for            § Recommending a pedestrian circulation
action outlined in Section 4. Ultimately,                   system that extends beyond village
these strategies formed the basis for                       centers to County neighborhoods;
identifying potential bicycle and pedestrian            § Development of a Countywide plan for
alternatives to include in the 2025 Bicycle                 bike paths and bike lanes; and
and Pedestrian Plan.                                    § Development of a countywide sidewalk
                                                            system connecting areas such as schools,
3.1 Bicycle and pedestrian planning in                      residential neighborhoods and village
relation to the larger Land use,                            activity centers.
Transportation   and     Environmental
planning framework                                      The County’s Engineering Department is
                                                        responsible for the development of the
3.1.1 Local Land Use Planning                           Transportation      element      of      the
                                                        comprehensive plan. Recently, a CTP was
1. Local Comprehensive Planning                         developed for Forsyth County, which
In 1989 the Georgia Planning Act was                    outlines future roadway needs. These needs
passed, establishing a planning program                 are    included    in    updates    to   the
providing local governments with a guide                comprehensive plan. Future bicycle and
for minimum standards and procedures for                pedestrian needs will be formulated with the

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   27
development of the Bicycle and Pedestrian               2. ARC
Plan and included in updates to the                     The EPA designated a 13 county
comprehensive plan.                                     metropolitan Atlanta area in serious non-
                                                        attainment for air quality standards pursuant
3.1.2 Regional Planning                                 to the Clean Air Act. Forsyth County is
                                                        included in the 13 county non-attainment
1. RDC                                                  area. Therefore, transportation projects of
Forsyth County is a member of the                       regional significance in Forsyth County are
GMRDC. The RDC provides assistance to                   included     in    the    ARC     conformity
counties within their jurisdiction in the areas         determination and travel demand modeling
of transportation, land use and environment.            processes. Forsyth County projects are also
                                                        programmed through the ARC short term
Regional Transportation Element                         TIP. Due to Forsyth County’s inclusion in
The RDC develops a comprehensive                        the non-attainment area, the County is
regional plan pursuant to DCA guidelines.               bound by restrictions to capacity enhancing
There is a transportation element in the plan,          projects when the ARC region reaches
which is a compilation of transportation                conformity lapses. Currently, there is an
plans and programs developed by the GDOT                approved long-range plan in conformity
for the County’s in the region.                         with federal regulations. Forsyth’s inclusion
                                                        in the non-attainment area also makes them
Regional Land Use Element                               eligible for CMAQ funds. CMAQ funds are
In the comprehensive regional plan, a set of            a primary source of bicycle and pedestrian
development guidelines regarding land use               project funding and are selected and
has been adopted by the RDC. These                      programmed through the ARC.
guidelines do not include any reference to
bicycle and pedestrian planning. There are              3. GRTA
some guidelines that encourage the                      In 1999, the Governor created a new agency
coordination of land use and transportation             to address regional land use and
planning.                                               transportation issues in areas considered in
                                                        non-attainment of air quality standards.
DRI                                                     GRTA’s land use responsibilities include
State law requires that developments above              reviewing DRI’s and approval of any use of
a certain threshold be reviewed and                     federal funds for road projects within DRI’s.
approved by the RDC. GMRDC reviews                      During the DRI review process, GRTA has
major developments in Forsyth County and                the ability to require inclusion of bicycle and
makes specific recommendations for                      pedestrian       facilities    in     proposed
improvements.           Some       of these             developments in order to mitigate negative
recommendations may include the provision               transportation impacts of the development.
of bicycle and pedestrian facilities.                   GRTA has also established an Alternative
                                                        Street Design Citizens Academy that
Environmental Coordination                              focuses on best practices and design for
The RDC provides technical guidance for                 bicycle and pedestrian facilities. A report is
developments along the Chattahoochee                    due in May 2002 that will be used by GRTA
River.     They also conduct watershed                  and others to encourage local governments
planning studies within the Lake Lanier and             in the region, as well as GDOT, to adopt
Etowah Basins. The GMRDC also assisted                  these best practices. Additionally, GRTA
the local jurisdictions with development of             has expedited implementation of additional
their greenspace programs.                              transit in the region, which will need to be
                                                        supported by pedestrian systems.

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   28
4.Metropolitan North Georgia Water                      transportation planning tools, public
Planning District                                       involvement process guidelines and travel
In April 2001, the Georgia legislature                  demand modeling processes to be consistent
created a new Water Planning District                   with federal regulations. The travel demand
whose main function is to develop regional              model will be consistent with the ARC
and watershed specific plans for storm water            models and will also have an air quality
management, wastewater management and                   component        so      that    conformity
water supply for an 18 county area in North             determinations can be performed for the five
Georgia. Forsyth County is included in this             county area. The new model process refines
area. The District Board is working closely             the analysis area in Forsyth County, thereby,
with the RDC’s in their start up process.               allowing a more detailed county level
Several consultant contracts will be awarded            analysis potential for projects. However,
to develop these plans. In the development              there are no plans to include a non-
of these types of plans, the amount of                  motorized component to the model.
existing    transportation     infrastructure,
including bicycle, pedestrian and non-                  2. Governor’s Office of Highway Safety
motorized facilities, is needed to determine            (GOHS)
amounts of water runoff.                                GOHS is a statewide agency that currently
                                                        provides an average of $250,000 a year in
3.1.3 Statewide Planning                                grants to local jurisdictions to promote
                                                        pedestrian and bicycle education programs.
1.Georgia Department of Transportation                  Most of the dollars are expended on
(GDOT)                                                  pedestrian programs.     This amount is
Local Planning Agency                                   approximately 1% of their total budget and
GDOT is the local planning agency for                   includes funds expended throughout
Forsyth County. As such, transportation                 Georgia.
projects of regional significance included in
the ARC plans are implemented by GDOT.                  3. Georgia Conservancy
GDOT also coordinates with Forsyth                      The Georgia Conservancy is a statewide
County to include their transportation needs            agency that continues to coordinate with
in the STIP. With respect to bicycle and                communities to master plan large areas
pedestrian facilities, GDOT cannot, by law,             pursuant to smart growth policies.
separately fund construction of these                   Typically, these smart growth policies have
facilities with gas tax dollars. However,               included the improvement of the pedestrian
they are currently implementing the                     and bicycle environments.
Statewide Bicycle Route plan and do include
these type of facilities in their roadway               4. Trust for Public Land (TPL)
design plans, if the facilities are included in         The Trust for Public Land is another
adopted local plans.          Statewide Plan            organization that works with local
implementation       is    the     full    time         governments and citizens to implement
responsibility of the State’s Bicycle and               bicycle and pedestrian facilities in close
Pedestrian Coordinator.                                 proximity to green spaces and rivers. TPL
                                                        participates    in    technical   advisory
Five County Study                                       committees established by the GMRDC.
GDOT is currently establishing a
transportation planning process for Forsyth             5. Greenspace Planning
County, and four other non-attainment                   In April of 2000 the Governor approved the
counties, similar to the ARC process. The               Georgia Greenspace Program. The program
process will provide the necessary                      awards grants to counties throughout

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   29
Georgia who have undertaken a plan to set               studies underway, the impact of roadway
aside 20% of their land for greenspace.                 investments on runoff and water quality will
Greenspace       planning     efforts have              be quantified. In an effort to minimize the
traditionally been coordinated with the                 negative impacts of such runoff, agencies
implementation of bicycle and pedestrian                will encourage mobility that is provided by
facilities, particularly if some of the                 bicycle and pedestrian enhancements and
designated greenspace are accessible                    minimize roadway construction for vehicles.
greenways.       Although the greenspace
program does not allow the purchase of land             3.2 Bicycle and Pedestrian issues within
for bicycle and pedestrian transportation               the political and technical environments
facilities, promotion of a coordinated and
connected system could be achieved with                 3.2.1 Technical Environment
the addition of greenspace trails.
                                                        1. Adequacy of existing levels of service
Challenges/Opportunities: The challenges                There are currently no recognized or
for the County relate to the general area of            designated bicycle facilities in Forsyth
transportation planning.      Currently, the            County.      Data on existing pedestrian
majority of the transportation planning                 facilities indicates that many subdivision
function is conducted by agencies other than            developments have interior sidewalks.
Forsyth County.       For example, GDOT                 However, these sidewalks currently do not
coordinates      project    planning      and           provide desired connectivity to schools,
programming in Forsyth County, as does                  parks or employment areas.
ARC, due to the County’s inclusion in the
non-attainment area. On the opposite end                2. Potential connections to points outside
of the scale, the GMRDC, of which Forsyth               Forsyth County (Cherokee, Dawson, Fulton,
County is a member jurisdiction, performs               Gwinnett, Hall, Lumpkin and Pickens)
very little transportation planning at the              Bicycle and pedestrian facilities have been
regional level. This disconnect in the                  investigated for points outside of Forsyth
transportation planning arena makes bicycle             County in order to assure coordination in the
and pedestrian plan coordination more                   strategic planning process. Particular points
difficult. However, the County has risen to             of interest include the counties of Cherokee,
the challenge.       The response to the                Dawson, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Lumpkin
accelerated growth in the County has                    and Pickens. The associated RDC and
allowed the establishment of progressive                Planning Departments for each county were
and sophisticated planning at the local level.          contacted for information on Bicycle and
For example, the comprehensive plan                     Pedestrian Facility Master Plans. GDOT
already includes policies to further the                was also used as a resource for future
construction of bicycle and pedestrian                  planned projects. When developing the
facilities. Also, the development of the                alternatives analysis, the available plans
County’s first Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan is           were consulted and opportunities for
underway. With the adoption of the plan                 connections were maximized.
there will be many opportunities to apply for
funding and to coordinate with local groups             City of Canton and Cherokee County have
and agencies, such as GRTA, TPL and the                 the Etowah River Greenway master plan,
Georgia Conservancy, to further plan                    which provides bicycle and pedestrian
implementation.       The      environmental            connections from downtown Canton to
framework also provides opportunities for               newer     commercial   and    residential
implementation         of     non-motorized             neighborhoods.   The    Etowah     River
transportation. With watershed planning                 Greenway extends from Canton to the

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   30
eastern county border where the river enters            3. ARC Region Technical Capabilities
Forsyth County. A proposed greenway                     Non-motorized model
along the Etowah River in Forsyth was                   ARC currently has a consultant contract that
included in the Plan.                                   will assist in the design and implementation
                                                        of a non-motorized travel demand model for
Fulton County. The best opportunity for                 the region. This effort will include an
connecting facilities to the Fulton County              identification of possible pedestrian
plan is found in the City of Alpharetta. The            environment variable measures to use in the
Big Creek Greenway trail is a recent                    region. The actual calibration of the non-
successful greenway project that runs north             motorized models will require information
to the Forsyth County line. The 2000 plan               on travel patterns that will only be available
also includes a proposed greenway along the             from the home interview survey presently
Chattahoochee River corridor, which                     being conducted by ARC. However, this
extends north to the county line. Sidewalks             data will not be available until the spring of
and bike lanes are proposed for Medlock                 2002; therefore, the non-motorized models
Bridge Road, which offers linkage                       will not be available until the end of the
northward to Peachtree Parkway.          The            year. This update can be coordinated with
proposed Georgia Statewide Bicycle                      the GDOT Five County Study.
Network extends east to west through Fulton
County.     The Northern Crescent route                 CMAQ          Bikeway/Walkway         Project
follows the Fulton/Forsyth County line                  Evaluation
along McGinnis Ferry Road, from the                     In order for bikeway and walkway projects
southeastern corner of Forsyth County to                to qualify for CMAQ funding, quantitative
Sargent Road. Proposed greenways along                  tools are required by the Federal Highway
the Chattahoochee River and Big Creek                   Administration      to  project     emission
were recommended in the Forsyth plan.                   reductions that would result from proposed
                                                        projects. Currently, bicycle and pedestrian
Forsyth County’s Bicycle and Pedestrian                 modes are not included in the ARC model
Plan development will also be coordinated               and, as stated above, cannot be included
with the Georgia Department of                          until the end of 2002. An interim approach
Transportation Statewide Bicycle and                    was needed to evaluate CMAQ project’s air
Pedestrian Plan. There are fourteen routes              quality benefits, therefore, a sketch-
within the network that comprise                        modeling tool, which can be used to
approximately 2,943 miles. These routes                 estimate the vehicle miles traveled
were developed to complement other bicycle              reductions for both individual projects and
and pedestrian facilities that are planned or           for the overall program was developed. A
are underway. There are not any plans to                bicycle trip sketch modeling tool, as well as
dedicate funds to this plan; however,                   a pedestrian projection modeling tool, was
internal procedures will require designers to           developed for this purpose and will continue
incorporate bicycle and pedestrian facilities           to be used by ARC until the development of
elements into programmed improvement                    their non-motorized models by the end of
projects. This process would allow the                  the year. Forsyth County is eligible for
entire network to be nearly completed within            CMAQ dollars and has applied for funds
the next 20 years. Forsyth County’s plan                through the GDOT. However, the County
was coordinated with the State’s Northern               has yet to receive any CMAQ dollars for
Crescent route.                                         implementation of bicycle and pedestrian
                                                        facilities.



Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   31
Bicycle Suitability Mapping process                     Bicycle Suitability Map. However, as
ARC currently has a consultant contract to              previously mentioned, Forsyth County is not
develop a bicycle suitability map for the               included in these efforts. The County
region. The map identified roadways with                should work with the GMRDC to explore
different levels of                                     expanded data collection assistance in the
suitability      for                                    area of bicycle and pedestrian facilities.
bicycle use. The
suitability map is                                      3.2.2 Political Environment
oriented     toward
intermediate      or                                    1. ARC Region
experienced                                             The ARC region has been placing greater
bicyclists who are                                      emphasis on land use and transportation
familiar with the roads and rules of cycling.           coordination issues with the adoption of new
The criterion assessed included traffic                 Regional Development Plan policies. Many
volumes, shoulder widths, posted speeds and             of these policies encourage the provision of
pavement conditions. Based on this criteria,            bicycle and pedestrian facilities. The Livable
ratings of excellent, good, fair and poor               Centers Initiative Program grants funds to
were identified for well traveled routes                jurisdictions    that   make       the    land
leading to major origins and destinations.              use/transportation connection. ARC is also
The routes will be identified by the Task               providing technical assistance to member
Force, public involvement process, and                  jurisdictions for the provision of such
BUGs throughout the region.          Forsyth            facilities. Although Forsyth County is not
County is not included in this mapping                  bound by these land use/transportation
process.    However, future bicycle and                 coordination issues currently, there is a
pedestrian planning efforts in the County               potential that this same issue will become
can include a suitability mapping process.              pertinent in future planning efforts in the
                                                        area.
Project Development and Implementation
process                                                 2. GRTA
Forsyth County applies for funding of                   As mentioned previously, GRTA is also
bicycle and pedestrian projects through the             emphasizing the coordination of land use
ARC. Applications are submitted on ARC                  and transportation. Bicycle and Pedestrian
Project Evaluation forms, which are                     facilities are typically characterized as a tool
designed to prioritize projects that meet               for enhancing the land use and
Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan goals              transportation connection. Forsyth County
and further the ARC Regional Development                is politically under the jurisdiction of GRTA
Plan policies. Project evaluation forms also            due to its inclusion in the non-attainment
attempt to secure as much technical                     area. GRTA’s role includes some land use
information as possible from the local                  authority with respect to DRI reviews.
governments.
                                                        3. GDOT
Data Collection                                         By way of the five-County study, GDOT
Data collection efforts in Forsyth County               proposes to establish a transportation
should be coordinated with ARC efforts.                 planning process similar to the ARC region.
For example, ARC has developed a                        However, this process does not include the
regionwide     Geographical    Information              establishment of a regional Bicycle and
Systems (GIS) database of existing and                  Pedestrian Plan for GMRDC, nor does it
planned bicycle facilities. An additional               include the establishment of a database of
database will consist of a regionwide                   bicycle and pedestrian facilities. A bicycle

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   32
suitability mapping project, similar to                 process effectively. PEDS can be a
ARC’s, seems years away in the GMRDC.                   significant resource to Forsyth County in the
Lastly, the travel-demand modeling process              implementation of a pedestrian system.
being established for the five-County area
will not include non-motorized analysis                 7. PATH Foundation
capabilities as planned for in the ARC                  This organization was founded in 1991 as a
model. However, the five-County study is                non-profit whose main goal was to help
an excellent first step in establishing a               build a metro wide trail system. They have
regional process that will in the future                been very successful in raising private
become sophisticated to the point whereby               dollars to match public funds for the
bicycle and pedestrian facility planning can            construction of such trails.         Actual
become as advanced in the GMRDC as in                   implementation of trails has led to many
the ARC region.                                         individuals in the region to become
                                                        advocates for these facilities and support
4. GMRDC                                                further construction. Most recently, PATH
As mentioned previously, GMRDC does                     spearheaded the implementation of the
provide many services to Forsyth County;                Silver Comet Trail in Cobb and Paulding
however, they do not have the staff, funding            counties, which has been extremely
or authority to conduct planning at the same            successful and high profile project.
level as the ARC since they are not a
designated MPO. The amount of continued                 8. Trust for Public Land (TPL)
growth in the region has rekindled                      TPL continues to work with local
discussions with the State regarding the                communities, the National Park Service and
designation of the GMRDC as an MPO. In                  others to build greenway trails throughout
the meantime, most of the transportation                the metro area.
planning functions for Forsyth are
conducted by GDOT.                                      Challenges/Opportunities:         A     major
                                                        challenge for Forsyth County will continue
5. BUGs                                                 to be in the area of bicycle and pedestrian
The Atlanta Bicycle Campaign started                    planning coordination with the various
creating BUG’s in 1995. The groups have                 agencies that do and do not perform
been very active in furthering bicycle                  transportation planning activities for the
facility planning by coordinating with local            County. Until the GMRDC enters the
governments, applying for federal funds for             transportation planning arena there will be a
project implementation, and sponsoring                  disconnect between the identified County
bicycle rides in their respective areas. There          needs and the programming of those needs
are currently 14 BUGs throughout the ARC                through the GDOT as opposed to the RDC.
region and the number continues to grow.                An additional challenge is the competition
Efforts at establishing BUGS in Forsyth                 for federal funding at the adjacent ARC
County should be explored.                              region level for implementation of these
                                                        types of facilities. Many of the counties in
6. Pedestrians Educating Drivers for Safety             the ARC region have received CMAQ
(PEDS)                                                  funding in the past and are familiar with the
PEDS is a member based advocacy                         process, whereas, Forsyth County must
organization founded in 1996 and has                    apply for those funds through GDOT.
become a major catalyst for change in Metro             Fortunately, the opportunities in the
Atlanta’s pedestrian environment. PEDS                  technical and political arena are multiple. A
publicizes the deficiency in the pedestrian             good transportation planning process base
system by using the media and political                 will be established for the GMRDC region

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   33
through the GDOT five-County study. The
Forsyth County bicycle and pedestrian
planning efforts can build on this base.
Moreover, this technical base is necessary in
order to achieve some of the advancements
in bicycle and pedestrian planning currently
being achieved by the ARC region. Data
collection,        non-motorized         model
development, mapping and suitability
identification efforts can all be next steps in
the work plan for the development of
bicycle and pedestrian planning in Forsyth
County and the GMRDC region. Lastly, the
successful implementation of these facilities,
with potential assistance from interested
organizations, will only lead to further
proliferation of bicycle and pedestrian
facilities in Forsyth County.




Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   34
Section 4. Goals, Objectives and                        enhances the County’s overall quality of
Strategies                                              life.

All efforts at analyzing existing conditions            Goal 1: Provide a Countywide system of
and strategic planning to identify issues and           safe, convenient and accessible bicycling
opportunities leads to one of the key                   and pedestrian facilities for all users
components in the Bicycle and Pedestrian                through the coordinated efforts of
Plan development process: establishing a set            governmental agencies, the private sector
of goals to guide the Plan and a set of                 and the general public.
performance measures to evaluate the Plan.
                                                        Objective 1: Develop a connected system of
Goals are a generalized expression of a                 bicycle and pedestrian facilities that can
desired end-state or direction for the Bicycle          serve major origin and destination points,
and Pedestrian transportation system.                   linking such important land uses as
Objectives are specific quantitative or                 residential   and      commercial    zones,
qualitative targets, which can be used to               educational and employment areas, health
measure the degree of attainment of a                   care and service centers, natural, cultural
specific goal. Strategies are individual                and recreational resources.
actions that lead to accomplishment of
objectives. Lastly, performance measures                Strategies
are attributes of alternative transportation            § Work with the Board of Commissioners
systems that can be used to evaluate how                   to provide bicycle and pedestrian
well an alternative supports the study goals               facilities that connect to Countywide
and objectives. Performance measures are                   “points of interest” and potential tourist
designed to provide information to the                     sites;
transportation planning process for the                 § Work with the County School Board to
purpose of decision-making. Performance                    coordinate provision of bicycle and
measures can assist the County in making                   pedestrian facilities at existing and
choices among which facilities to build and                proposed school facilities;
in making choices about priorities for                  § Use the Bike/Pedestrian web site to
facility construction.                                     highlight      bicycle    and     pedestrian
                                                           activities at local and regional events;
Based on the vision statement approved by               • Work with any future CIDs or TMAs for
the Task Force and the opportunities                       the provision of these facilities in their
presented in the strategic planning process,               jurisdictions;
the following goals, objectives and strategies          • Work with the Parks Department to build
were developed for the Forsyth County                      sidewalks leading to County parks; and
Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. Performance                • Work with proposed employment centers
measure criteria were also developed for                   to encourage provision of bicycle and
each goal in order to better assess their                  pedestrian facilities leading to their sites.
attainment.    The goals, objectives and
performance measure criteria were critical in           Objective 2: Ensure, to the maximum extent
the development of the alternatives selected            possible, that bicycle and pedestrian
for implementation.          The strategies             facilities are integrated and connected to
developed are consistent with federal                   other existing or planned modes of
guidance and with strategies being                      transportation in order to reduce dependence
implemented throughout the region that are              on the private automobile, reduce traffic and
applicable to Forsyth County.                           improve air quality.


Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   35
Strategies                                                  pedestrian safety, usage and benefits that
§ Coordinate with regional transit planning                 address the different users of bicycle and
   efforts to maximize bicycle and                          pedestrian facilities;
   pedestrian connections to proposed park              §   Participate as a community in National
   and ride lots; and                                       Walk to School, National Walk to Work,
§ Coordinate with on going and future                       and National Bike to Work programs;
   regional planning studies to incorporate             §   Develop a tracking system for bicycle
   the Forsyth Bike/Pedestrian plan                         and pedestrian related accidents; and
   recommendations.                                     §   Contact established groups such as
                                                            PEDS for pedestrian safety coordination
Objective 3: Ensure that the bicycle and                    and guidance
pedestrian system complements the existing              §   Conduct a bicycle suitability analysis for
transportation network to maximize and                      roadways in the County
preserve the existing system and take
advantage of public rights-of-way and                   Objective 5: Establish a maintenance
corridors such as utility lines, future rail            program and maintenance standards that
lines, linear waterways, etc. for bicycle and           ensure safe and usable bicycle and
pedestrian facilities in order to minimize              pedestrian facilities.
public costs.
                                                        Strategies
Strategies                                              § Work with organizations such as PATH
§ During the comprehensive plan review                     Foundation to determine average
   process, identify utility lines, rail lines,            maintenance     costs      for   multi-use
   and linear waterways on the future land                 facilities;
   use map as possible routes for bicycling             § Work with Public Works staff to
   and walking;                                            coordinate     roadway         maintenance
§ Coordinate the planned bicycle and                       activities with maintenance of bicycle
   pedestrian facilities with proposed                     and pedestrian facilities; and
   improvements of congested corridors in               § Set aside a percentage of funds from the
   the Forsyth County Transportation Plan;                 bicycle and pedestrian fund for
   and                                                     maintenance activities.
§ Encourage developments adjacent to
   waterways to dedicate land for                       Objective 6: Provide ancillary facilities
   greenways designated on the County                   such as bicycle parking and storage,
   plan.                                                lighting, landscaping, signing, pavement
§ Consider pedestrian signal and crossing               marking and signalization to enhance the
   improvements       during      intersection          value and increase the utility and safety of
   redesign.                                            the bicycle and pedestrian system.

Objective 4: Ensure that the system                     Strategies
addresses the safety and needs of different             § Work with employment centers to
types of users, from experienced cyclists on               encourage provision of bicycle parking
arterial roadways to school-bound children                 and storage facilities;
walking and riding bicycles adjacent to local           § Coordinate resurfacing and pavement
roads.                                                     marking activities with potential
                                                           marking for bicycle friendly facilities;
Strategies                                                 and
§ Encourage     the   development   of
   educational programs on bicycle and

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   36
§   Encourage      all    public buildings              Goal 1 Performance Measures:
    throughout the County to provide
    bicycle parking facilities.                              1.   Miles of shared use facilities on
                                                                  road    bicycle  facilities   and
Objective 7: Support and encourage regular                        sidewalks.
and continuing bicycle and pedestrian
training and safety programs in conjunction                  2.   Percent of employment within a
with local institutions, organizations, and                       five (5) mile distance from on-road
bicycle and pedestrian interest groups.                           bicycle facilities and shared use
                                                                  facilities.
Strategies
§ Establish the Bicycle and Pedestrian                       3.   Percent of households within a two
   Task Force as a permanent ongoing                              (2) mile walking distance on a
   structure and invite local bicycle and                         sidewalk to schools, parks, and
   pedestrian groups such as PATH and                             community facilities.
   PEDS to sit on the Task Force;
§ Coordinate with local interest groups                 Goal 2: Amend the development process
   and the private sector to develop bicycle            guidelines to encourage and promote the
   and pedestrian educational programs on               proliferation of bicycle and pedestrian
   safety and proper usage;                             facilities.
§ Encourage the proliferation of “Effective
   Cycling” courses similar to those offered            Objective 1: Require sidewalks along
   by the Atlanta Bicycle Campaign and                  identified high priority pedestrian corridors
   funded with ARC dollars;                             adjacent to proposed developments.
§ Work with the school board to develop
   and implement educational programs on                Strategies
   bicycle and pedestrian safety and usage              § Identify the high priority pedestrian
   in schools; and                                         corridors on the Bicycle and Pedestrian
§ Encourage and provide assistance for the                 Plan;
   establishment of local advocacy groups,              § Publish the adopted Bicycle and
   such as the BUGS .                                      Pedestrian Plan throughout the County
                                                           system, particularly at offices involved
Objective 8: Develop a bicycle and                         in development approvals; and
pedestrian system that meets the highest                § Identify high priority pedestrian crossing
achievable design and safety standards,                    improvements on the Plan.
including ADA standards.
                                                        Objective 2: Encourage developments to
Strategies                                              build sidewalks on interior subdivision
§ Encourage        ADA        facility/needs            streets.
   assessments as a beginning point for
   ADA planning at the local level; and                 Strategies
§ Require that all bike/pedestrian facilities           § Publicize the benefits of existing
   constructed in Forsyth meet the typical                 sidewalks in current subdivisions on the
   design standards adopted in the plan.                   web page with citizen comments; and
                                                        § Allow flexibility in interior road design
                                                           standards in exchange for construction
                                                           of sidewalks.



Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   37
Objective      3:      Require      proposed            Strategies
developments within ¼ mile distance of                  § Encourage the inclusion of low-cost
major origin/destination land uses to provide              alternatives such as awareness signage
sidewalk connectivity.                                     and parking facilities in all projects to
                                                           support the development of a coherent
Strategies                                                 bicycle and pedestrian system; and
§ Require proposed developers to purchase               § Prioritize     road       widening     and
   the adopted bicycle and pedestrian plan,                construction projects that include bicycle
   in conjunction with other County codes                  and pedestrian facilities.
   and regulations, to inform them of
   proposed plans; and                                  Objective 7: Coordinate bicycle and
§ Explore establishing a development                    pedestrian planning efforts with countywide
   credit for building additional sidewalk              recreational    and      health    planning
   facilities to provide desired connectivity           considerations.
   to origin/destination points.
                                                        Strategies
Objective    4:   Encourage     pedestrian              § Work in conjunction with the Centers for
connections (via paths, sidewalks) linking                 Disease Control to develop a tool
adjacent compatible land uses and                          outlining the health and environmental
developments.                                              benefits of bike and pedestrian usage;
                                                        § Work with local interest groups and the
Strategies                                                 private sector to develop bicycle and
§ Identify specific prioritized bike and                   pedestrian programs on the health
   pedestrian projects within the County’s                 benefits of bicycle and pedestrian usage;
   Short-Term Work Program Update                          and
   process; and                                         § Identify greenspace corridors purchased
§ Encourage the use of the DRI review                      as part of the Forsyth County
   process as a tool for including bicycle                 Greenspace program on future land use
   and pedestrian facilities in proposed                   maps and the Bicycle and Pedestrian
   developments.                                           plan map.

Objective 5: Establish and encourage the                Goal 2 Performance Measures:
construction of typical design sections for
bicycle and pedestrian facilities within                    1.   Number of new developments with
different road classifications.                                  sidewalks.

Strategies                                                  2.   Number of developments that
§ Adopt the best design practices included                       construct sidewalks that connect to
   in the Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan; and                       existing public facilities or activity
§ Include the associated typical sections in                     centers within ¼ mile of the
   the Forsyth Development Code.                                 development

Objective 6: Include bicycle and pedestrian             Goal 3: Provide adequate funding and
planning considerations in all transportation           staffing resources for planning, developing
improvements (resurfacing, paving, new                  and maintaining high quality bicycle and
location,    intersection     improvements,             pedestrian systems.
reconstruction, and maintenance).



Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   38
Objective 1: Actively pursue all eligible               Strategies
federal and state funds for bicycle and                 § Establish average cost estimates for
pedestrian planning and development.                       bicycle and pedestrian facilities to use
                                                           for in lieu contributions; and
Strategies                                              § Explore establishing a development
§ Develop and distribute a catalogue of                    credit for developers who donate
   potential state and federal assistance for              additional funds to the bicycle and
   bike and pedestrian projects to relevant                pedestrian fund beyond that required for
   County staff and commissioners;                         their development.
§ Identify potential funding sources for the
   development of pedestrian walking maps               Objective 4: Include bicycle and pedestrian
   and bicycle suitability maps;                        projects in future local sales tax programs.
§ Deliver copies of the adopted Bicycle
   and Pedestrian Plan to GDOT and the                  Strategies
   GMRDC for incorporation into the                     § Collect information on the Bike and
   Regional      Transportation     Planning               Pedestrian web site regarding citizen
   process; and                                            support of bicycle and pedestrian
§ Create a permanent Citizens Bike and                     projects;
   Pedestrian Task Force for plan                       § Include a survey question on the Bike
   implementation purposes.                                and Pedestrian web site regarding
§ Apply to ARC for funds to conduct a                      support of local sales tax dollars for
   bicycle suitability study and for                       provision of bicycle and pedestrian
   additional bicycle and pedestrian data                  facilities; and
   collection efforts.                                  § Establish a percentage goal for budget
                                                           allocation to bicycle and pedestrian
Objective 2: Coordinate the development of                 facilities.
bicycle and pedestrian projects to maximize
use of opportunities for joint development              Objective 5: Explore establishing a staff
using other public or private resources.                position to act as a technical resource for
                                                        zoning, land use and roadway design
Strategies                                              changes to promote bicycle and pedestrian
§ Attend ARC Bike and Pedestrian Task                   friendly development, as well as for grant
   Force      meetings     to      maximize             writing.
   coordination and compete for funding;
   and                                                  Strategies
§ Explore establishing a development                    § Investigate the current duties of the
   credit for proposed developments that                   Statewide Bicycle Coordinator and other
   include bicycle and pedestrian facilities.              type positions established in the metro
                                                           area; and
Objective 3: Establish a bicycle and                    § Establish a critical mass limit for a
pedestrian fund for developer contributions                certain number of bicycle and pedestrian
in lieu of construction of such facilities, if             projects in the implementation process to
such construction is not deemed timely by                  justify a staff position.
Forsyth County. Allow private donations to
the bicycle and pedestrian fund for                     Goal 3 Performance Measures:
construction of these facilities.
                                                            1.   Number of staff dedicated to bicycle
                                                                 and pedestrian facility development
                                                                 and coordination issues.

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   39
    2.   Amount of federal dollars received
         for bicycle and pedestrian project
         implementation.

    3.   Amount of County local match
         dollars applied to bicycle and
         pedestrian project implementation.

    4.   Miles of developer constructed
         bicycle and pedestrian facilities




Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   40
Section 5. Alternatives Analysis                        potential less congested routes for bicycle
                                                        and pedestrian use.
Armed with established goals, objectives
and strategies and with a compilation of the            5.1 Best practices for           bicycle    and
best available information regarding bicycle            pedestrian facility design
and pedestrian planning at all levels of
government, the Task Force was able to                  A successful network of bicycle and
identify a list of recommended facilities.              pedestrian facilities must include facilities
The facility recommendations were based on              for all types of users if it is to be successful
a 25-year planning period. The alternative              as a viable transportation network. It should
facilities recommended constitute Forsyth               also be noted that every roadway, unless
County’s 2025 Bicycle Transportation and                prohibited by law, is a viable transportation
Pedestrian Walkways Plan and are                        option for cyclists. Many streets and
represented on Figure 1.          The facility          transportation corridors that have no
descriptions on the map correspond to the               improvements or facilities specifically for
typical sections described below. Each                                              bicycles          are
typical section is best suited for different                                        commonly used as
types of cyclists and pedestrians, as is                                                   transportation
indicated in the graphic presentations for the                                      corridors for non-
typical     sections    in    Appendix       A.                                                motorized
Recommendations on designing these                                                  transportation. The
facilities are included as “best practices” for                                     facilities described
Forsyth County and should be incorporated                                           herein            are
into the County’s Land Development Code.                                                        proposed
                                                                                    improvements to a
Once the facilities were identified, an                                             standard road and
additional analysis to help refine and                                              range           from
prioritize the proposals was conducted. The             minimal improvements, to facilitate the ease
analysis consisted of analyzing traffic                 of use, to completely separate non-
congestion along the County roadways and                motorized facilities.          The following
integrating any solutions with the proposed             guidelines should be established for the
Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. Consistent                 implementation of the proposed bicycle and
with the goals and objectives, the Bicycle              pedestrian facilities in Forsyth County.
and Pedestrian Plan, if implemented, can
play a crucial role in the mitigation of                5.1.1 Cyclists and Pedestrians
transportation congestion. A successful plan
works to create an environment that                     In order to produce a viable transportation
promotes safe walking and bicycling within              network, the potential users must be
a community. By providing this type of                  considered when developing a plan.
environment, a community has an effective               AASHTO’s Guide for the Development of
transportation alternative that improves the            Bicycle Facilities defines three types of
interaction between motorists, bicyclists and           cyclists. Facilities that accommodate a very
pedestrians. Additionally, the improved                 confident adult cyclist who regularly
interaction works to relieve traffic                    commutes to work may not be very
congestion and improve air quality. The                 appropriate for a child on his/her way to
analysis conducted helped to identify where             school, and vice versa.
bicycle and pedestrian improvements could
be coordinated with roadway improvements                AASHTO has not defined types of
along congested areas. It also identified               pedestrians. For the purposes of this study,

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   41
pedestrians will be defined into four groups:           Adult Pedestrians: Adult Pedestrians use
Adult Pedestrians, Child Pedestrians,                   pedestrian facilities for commuting,
Environmental        Justice      Community             recreation, and exercise. Adult Pedestrians
Pedestrians,     and      Pedestrians    with           are aware of the rules of vehicular traffic.
Disabilities. A definition of each type of              Adult Pedestrians can have difficulty
cyclist and pedestrian is provided below.               crossing high speed, multi-lane streets that
                                                        lack median refuge islands or pedestrian
Type A Cyclists: Advanced adult cyclists                signals, or where reckless drivers threaten
best describe the Type A Cyclist. These                 their safety.
cyclists are aware of the rules of the road
and are skilled at maneuvering a bicycle                Child Pedestrians: Child Pedestrians see
through vehicular traffic. Typically, these             and hear the world differently than adults.
cyclists are commuters or cyclists who are              Children often have trouble judging traffic
confident with their skills and more                    speed, gaps in traffic, or whether a car is
interested in reaching a destination in the             coming, going or standing still. Children are
shortest time possible than they are in                 shorter than adults, and have limited
scenery or the added safety of less-traveled            peripheral vision. Facilities that reduce
routes. These cyclists will use any road                traffic speed, calm traffic, and provide
legally open to bicycle traffic.                        separation from the travel lane are types of
                                                        facilities needed by Child Pedestrians.
Type B Cyclists: A typical adult qualifies as           Neighborhood streets with sidewalks and
a Type B Cyclist. These cyclists know the               shared-use facilities can accommodate Child
rules of the road and know how to ride a                Pedestrians.
bicycle. The main distinction is that they
prefer less traveled routes to and from their           Environmental Justice (EJ) Community
destinations and are less confident in high             Pedestrians: Many counties within the
volumes of vehicular traffic and are less               North Georgia area house numerous citizens
likely to be found competing with motorists             from a host of international countries. Many
for space on a busy road. These cyclists may            parts of the Forsyth County and
use facilities for transportation purposes, but         Metropolitan Atlanta area are home to
will forego the most direct and fastest route           concentrations of new residents of the
in favor of less traveled, safer, or more               United States. Several areas have a
scenic routes.        Type B Cyclists need              concentration of people who do not
facilities that are safer and less intimidating         necessarily read the English language well
than those required by Type A Cyclists.                 and may not be able to read warning signs
                                                        that are written in English. Therefore, in
Type C Cyclists: Children are the                       these known EJ areas, safety and directional
prototypical Type C Cyclists. These cyclists            signage should be shown in symbols rather
may be very skilled cyclists. However, they             than written words. The Manual on Uniform
are unaware of the rules of the road because            Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) offers
they have never legally driven a motorized              several options for regulating the flow of
vehicle in traffic. These cyclists ride for both        vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
recreation and transportation; the most
obvious destination is an academic                      Many Environmental Justice Community
institution, such as an elementary school,              Pedestrians are unable to drive, and rely on
middle school, high school, or library. Type            walking as a primary mode of
C Cyclists should not travel with motorized             transportation. These Pedestrians rely on
vehicles.                                               safe sidewalks and safe, easy to use
                                                        pedestrian     crossings.    Facilities   in

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   42
neighborhoods which have a high                         practices might need to be altered to fit
population of Environmental Justice                     individual sites and conditions.
Community Pedestrians should be numerous
and provide connections from residential                Pedestrian facilities tend to be more diverse
neighborhoods to destinations such as                   and are not well defined by AASHTO. The
employment centers, shopping areas, and                 FHWA and GDOT have no detailed best
public and semi-private institutions.                   practices for sidewalks. The FHWA is
                                                        publishing the second part of a two part
Pedestrians with Disabilities: The ADA                  series entitled Designing Sidewalks and
prohibits discrimination to pedestrians with            Trail for Access, Best Practices Design
disabilities. Pedestrians who are blind, deaf,          Guide. This guide discusses many
or who rely on wheelchairs have needs that              alternatives for designing for persons with
are very specific to those types of                     disabilities.     The pedestrian facilities
disabilities. For instance, people who are              outlined below are based on the best existing
deaf need visible warnings about crossing               facilities currently used in metropolitan
vehicular traffic. People with vision                   areas. Design features in the typical sections
impairments need tactile indications that               will better facilitate pedestrian safety and
they are approaching an intersection or other           comfort.
hazard. Since they cannot see safety signs,
they need audible indicators to inform them             See Appendix A for typical sections of the
of proper times to cross the street.                    types of facilities listed below.
Pedestrians in wheelchairs are unable to
mount curbs or maneuver through rough,                  Facility Type A – Signed Shared
narrow, or steep surfaces; therefore,                   Roadways: Type A Cyclists will use all
provision must be accounted for in the                  legally open streets for transportation
design process.                                         purposes. Many of the streets and roads will
                                                        have hazards to cyclists that are not
It is expected that all design solutions for            considered to be hazardous to motorists,
recommendations in this plan will be                    these include streets that have drainage
consistent with ADA standards. The FHWA                 grates, bridge expansion joints, railroad
publication, Designing Sidewalks and Trails             crossings, rough pavement, and signal
for Access: Best Practices Design Guide                 timing designed with only motorists in
offers many details that cater to Pedestrians           mind. An opportunity to provide preferred
with Disabilities. Guidelines in this                   routes for cyclists, with
publication will prove helpful and should be            relatively           little
considered on every facility proposed in this           financial infusion is the
plan.                                                   Signed            Shared
                                                        Roadway. The physical
5.1.2 Facility Descriptions                             improvements to an
                                                        existing road or street
The facilities described below are ideal                may include bicycle-
designs, based on best practices. AASHTO’s              safe drainage grates
Guide for the Development of Bicycle                    and bridge expansion
Facilities, 1999, encourages many of the                joints, improved railroad crossings, smooth
elements in the bicycle facilities. These               pavements, and signal timing and detector
guidelines have been tailored to meet                   systems that respond to bicycles.
conditions within the Forsyth County area. It
should be noted that guidelines and best                Once these types of improvements are made,
                                                        the route should be signed, both to alert

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   43
motorists that bicycles are likely to be
sharing a travel lane and to direct cyclists            1. Wide Outside Lane: A way to provide
that the signed route has advantages over               more maneuvering room is to provide
other routes. Directional signage is also               increased lane width. Lanes wider than
encouraged. Destination arrows can be                   twelve feet can better accommodate both
added to sign poles to help cyclists                    bicycles and motor vehicles in the same
maneuver through the safest routes to and               lane. Providing a wider curb lane may allow
from major destinations.                                motorists to pass a cyclist without changing
                                                        lanes. This option still requires safety and
In a Signed Shared Roadway facility, the                directional signage and the removal of
cyclist shares a lane with motorized                    hazards. Wide Outside Lanes can provide a
vehicles. As lane widths will vary, wider               cost-effective option for areas where there is
existing lane widths will be one                        inadequate width for bike lanes, but where
consideration when choosing a route. Slower             there is the opportunity to gain additional
speeds are preferred over faster moving                 width or simply to re-stripe the road.
traffic routes. A relatively low traffic                Fourteen feet of useable width is optimal
volume is also desired to minimize the                  along straight, relatively flat stretches of
potential for conflicts between cyclists and            road. Fifteen feet may be desirable in some
motorists. Long sight distances will also be            cases, such as where site distance is limited
desirable as cyclists and motorists will be             or on steep inclines or where on-street
sharing a lane.                                         parking effectively reduces useable width.

Many examples of this type of facility can                                  As important as it is to
be found in the Metro Atlanta area. For                                     provide continuity within
example, the Stone Mountain to Atlanta path                                 the bicycle system, long,
has several sections of Signed Shared                                       uninterrupted stretches of
Roadways, which, due to the high traffic                                    wide curb lane may be
volume and speed, are more appropriate for                                  improperly used as two
a Type A Cyclist. In downtown Powder                                        lanes in congested urban
Springs, Dillard Street is currently being                                  or suburban areas. This
signed to provide part of an important                                      possibility should be
connection between the Silver Comet Trail               considered when designing the facility. In
and the historic downtown. In this particular           more urban situations where a continuous
case, specimen trees close to the road and              lane width of fifteen feet may be available, it
limited right-of-way precluded a more                   may be more effective to re-stripe the lane to
intensive improvement, but because traffic              provide a designated bike lane.
volume and speed are relatively low and
because sight distance is unlimited, a Signed           2. Paved Shoulder: Adding or improving
Shared Roadway with both safety and                     Paved Shoulders can often be the most
directional signage will serve Type A                   effective way to provide better bicycling
Cyclists, Type B Cyclists, and Type C                   facilities, especially in rural areas. Paved
Cyclists with the guidance of adults.                   Shoulders provide areas where cyclists can
                                                        pull off the travel lane if needed, or can ride
Facility Type B – Bicycle Friendly                      more slowly on steep inclines or sharp
Shoulders: Bicycle friendly shoulders may               curves. Paved Shoulders also add safety for
be incorporated into the roadway by either              motorists by increasing the durability of the
the addition of wide outside lanes or by                travel lane and providing an emergency pull-
striping a paved shoulder to increase safety            off area. The additional width can be
for bicycle users and motorists.

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   44
beneficial for improved safety and mobility             provide delineated road space for
for both cyclists and motorists.                        preferential use by bicyclists and therefore
                                                        makes their movements more predictable.
Paved Shoulders should be at least four feet            Cyclists are more confident that motorists
wide and should not be painted as a bike                will not swerve into their travel space.
lane. If guardrails or other roadside hazards           Motorists are less likely to swerve out of
exist, then five feet of useable width is               their lane while passing a cyclist traveling in
recommended. The edge of the pavement                   a designated bike lane.
should be well maintained to avoid hazards
that would minimize the available useable               Bike Lanes should always be one-way
width. Care should be taken to keep debris              facilities and should travel in the same
off Paved Shoulders, as gravel and leaves               direction as vehicular traffic. Bike Lanes
often accumulate on these types of facilities.          should be placed to the right of the vehicular
                                                        lanes. Where on-street parking exists, the
Facility Type C – Bike Lane: The County                 Bike Lane should be located between the
should consider the user when incorporating             travel lane and parking lane. The desired
either of these types of facilities. The Bike           width will vary depending on the exact
Lane/Sidewalk should be used where more                 situation, but generally four feet of useable
non-motorized transportation is encouraged.             width will be sufficient. Gutter width should
Bike lanes are sufficient in those areas                not be considered a part of the required four-
where pedestrian use is more likely to be               foot width. If on-street parking, guardrails,
discouraged.                                            or other roadside hazards are present, Bike
                                                        Lanes should be five feet wide.
1. Bike Lane/Sidewalk: The combination of
bike lanes and sidewalks is often desirable             Bike Lanes are most successful if they are
for     corridors    where  non-motorized               continuous. Their presence encourages
transportation options are specifically                 bicycle traffic. Many Type B Cyclists who
encouraged.         Often,                              would otherwise be intimidated to attempt a
through an urban setting,                               ride on a heavily traveled street or road will
bike lanes and sidewalks                                be much more likely to use a facility that
will be parallel. It is                                 includes Bike Lanes. In many instances
important to provide                                    throughout the Metro Atlanta area, bike
both      vertical    and                               lanes stop when the road narrows, has steep
horizontal      separation                              inclines, or approaches an intersection.
between motorists and                                   When cyclists need the most protection and
pedestrians. The bike                                   direction, and when predictability is the
lane helps to provide                                   most vulnerable, they are all too often left to
horizontal separation, and a two-foot                   their own resources on an unimproved
vegetated strip and six-inch curb help to               vehicular travel lane. Bicycle Lanes that are
separate pedestrians from cyclists. Since a             not continuous may be more dangerous than
more limited vegetated strip is required,               providing no bicycle facilities at all.
streetlights, signage, and amenities can
appear directly behind the walk, as space               Intersection   designs   should    always
allows.                                                 accommodate bike lanes. AASHTO’s Guide
                                                        for the Development of Bicycle Facilities
2. Bike Lane: It may be desirable to                    (1999) provides adequate design guidelines
incorporate Bike Lanes into a roadway                   to accommodate individual intersection
design in urban areas or where bicycle use is           designs.
expected to be more frequent. Bike Lanes

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   45
Facility Type D – Interior Sidewalk:                    recommended as a minimum in urban
Town centers are candidates for the urban               conditions. Wider clear zones will be
sidewalk,      which    provides     physical           necessary on particularly busy streets and
separation between the active roadways and              may be desired for aesthetic considerations.
pedestrian areas but also allows quick access           A four-foot amenity zone is recommended
between parking and sidewalks.           The            for most situations. Six-inch curbs are
neighborhood sidewalk creates a greater                 recommended in all cases to provide for
physical separation between roadway and                 vertical separation from travel and/or
sidewalk in areas where access to the street            parking lanes. There are areas within the
is less a necessity.                                    Metro Atlanta area where existing
                                                        conditions will not allow for the ten-foot
1. Urban Sidewalk: While AASHTO does                    combination of pedestrian and amenity
not currently provide design guidelines for             zones. In these instances, as much room as
sidewalks, it is necessary to develop                   possible should be allocated for sidewalks
standards for the safety of pedestrians.                and a narrowed amenity zone and a
Urban conditions exist in many places                   minimum five-foot clear zone should still be
throughout the Metro Atlanta Area. Most                 provided.
town centers have areas that will require a
design similar to the Urban Sidewalk.                   2. Neighborhood Sidewalk: Many areas
Pedestrian facilities should provide as much            within Forsyth County
separation from vehicular traffic as possible.          can         accommodate
This is important for both motorists and                pedestrians with the
pedestrians. As pedestrians are not insulated           Neighborhood Sidewalk.
from weather, amenities such as shade trees             As with the Urban
are desirable whenever possible. Safety can             Sidewalk,       maximum
be significantly enhanced with pedestrian               vertical and horizontal
lighting. Amenities such as trash                       separation     are    still
receptacles, directional signage, streetlights          recommended. Because
and benches enhance both a pedestrian                   there is less need to
safety and experience. ADA standards such               access the sidewalk from a parking lane or
as handicapped ramps should be provided in              travel lane, a four-foot vegetated amenity
all cases.                                              zone will accommodate utilities and
                                                        amenities. The pedestrian clear zone is
The Urban Sidewalk Typical Section                      recommended to be a minimum of five feet
attempts to achieve these goals. Pedestrians            in width. There will be areas where the need
occasionally need to access the sidewalk                will dictate a wider pedestrian clear zone. In
from the parking lane or even from the                  areas where space is limited, the vegetated
travel lane on quiet streets. Therefore, a              amenity zone can be limited to a minimum
paved and textured ‘amenity zone’ should be             of two feet. In instances where the amenity
provided to allow horizontal separation from            zone is only two feet wide, trees should not
vehicles. The amenity zone also allows                  be included and a more creative and site
room for utilities such as fire hydrants,               specific solution for providing shade trees
utility poles, and street signs and amenities           will be required. All sidewalks must meet
such as trash receptacles, benches, and                 minimum ADA requirements.
directional signage without compromising
the clear path for pedestrians.                         Facility Type E – Multi-use path/arterial
                                                        sidewalk: There are situations in Forsyth
The widths for pedestrian clear zones will              County where it may be necessary to
vary depending on need. Six feet is                     provide connections between bicycle

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   46
facilities along high speed or heavily                  connections between major destinations,
traveled roadways having inadequate space               such as schools and neighborhoods, and can
for bicyclists. In limited locations, which are         serve as a regional off-road corridor linking
uninterrupted by driveways and intersections            pedestrian and bicycle networks in towns
for long distances, it may be acceptable to             and cities, forming a safer and more
provide a wide sidewalk that can be used for            comprehensive regional network.
both bicycles and pedestrians. Since this
facility is off-road, bicycle traffic can occur         Because Shared Use Paths do not share the
in both directions. Pedestrians and cyclists            right-of-way with vehicular traffic and often
can use the same facility similar to the way a          cross streets at grade separations, they are
shared use path is used.                                ideal for all types of users. Children and
                                                        adults alike can use Shared Use Paths for
                    One side of the travel              transportation with little fear of vehicular
                    corridor should be a                conflicts. Type A Cyclists often prefer to
                    wide sidewalk, which                avoid Shared Use Paths in favor of more
                    allows bicycle use. The             direct, on-street routes, which are currently
                    other side of the corridor          available. Shared Use Paths generally serve
                    should contain a five-              the bulk of the general population who
                    foot sidewalk and be                require safer, less congested routes for
                    used for pedestrians                cycling and walking. In most instances
                    only. Safety signage                Shared Use Paths should be paved. The
                    should be posted to limit           minimum width that will accommodate both
conflicts between pedestrians and cyclists              cyclists and pedestrians traveling in two
using this type of facility. This type of               directions is eight feet. By providing better
facility has many opportunities for conflicts           separation between users and making
between vehicles and bicycles and bicycles              passing easier, ten feet is the recommended
and pedestrians. Therefore, all other options,          minimum width for Shared Use Paths. These
including alternate routes, should be                   paths can also be wider, if a high amount of
considered before planning a wide sidewalk              use is anticipated. While it is recommended
used for bicycles and pedestrians. Consult              that Shared Use Paths be paved with either
AASHTO’s Guide for Development of                       concrete or asphalt, it is
Bicycle Facilities for more information and             possible to construct a
other design considerations.                            successful path that is
                                                        not paved. The National
Facility Type F – Shared Use Path:                      Park Service no longer
Opportunities to provide transportation                 allows any kind of hard
options that can serve all non-motorized                pavement        in     their
populations exist in the form of Shared Use             facilities. Often, National
Paths. This type of facility is typically               Parks provide land for
located on an exclusive right-of-way such as            important,         off-road
an abandoned rail corridor, utility                     connections.            For
easements, or along rivers, streams, and                instance, the Chattahoochee River National
lakes. Shared Use Paths have many                       Recreation Area at Powers Ferry is a gravel
commonly used names, such as mixed-use                  facility up to thirty-foot wide in some
path, trail, and off-road facility. All types of        locations.     The      path   follows    the
cyclists and all types of pedestrians use               Chattahoochee River and is very well used
Shared Use Paths. They can provide short                by the public. Although this particular path
cuts through residential neighborhoods by               is primarily used for recreation, it links
connecting cul-de-sac streets, act as                   neighborhoods that are remote by the road

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   47
system and can be used to facilitate non-               outlined above and illustrated in Appendix
motorized transportation. Also, the wide,               A serve as ideal designs in ideal situations.
unpaved    path    easily   accommodates                Every travel corridor will have its own
numerous representatives of every type of               constraints and opportunities. It is important
user.                                                   to use judgment and creativity in increasing
                                                        safety and ease of mobility for all types of
5.1.3 Motorist/Pedestrian Conflicts                     cyclists and pedestrians.

Pedestrians and motorists conflict most                 5.1.4 Congestion Analysis
often when pedestrians attempt to cross a
street. Unsignalized intersections on high              Federal legislation requires that MPOs
speed, multi-lane streets are common                    prepare Congestion Management Systems
throughout Metro Atlanta and pose serious               (CMS). The adjacent MPO, ARC, has an
risk for pedestrians. Marked crosswalks                 adopted CMS. Because the GMRDC is not
need to be supplemented by medians, refuge              an MPO they are not required to prepare a
islands, overhead signs and/or lights, bulb-            CMS. However, the basic purpose of a
outs, and/or pedestrian activated signals.              congestion management system is to
Pedestrian signage can help motorists know              identify congested corridors, identify the
that there are pedestrians needing to cross             causes of congestion, and recommend
streets. School zones should always be                  potential solutions or mitigation strategies to
signed as such. Since there is likely to be an          relieve the congestion based on the causes.
increase in pedestrian activity at and near             In many established congestion management
schools, crossings near these locations                 systems, bicycle and pedestrian facilities are
should be as visible and safely designed as             considered potential mitigation strategies.
possible.                                               Although Forsyth County nor the GMRDC
                                                        are required to prepare a CMS, the County
Several road design practices can help                  expressed an interest in analyzing the
increase pedestrian safety. While travel lane           current congestion levels on their roadway
design is out of the scope of the bicycle and           in relation to the proposed Bicycle and
pedestrian plan, several key points should be           Pedestrian Plan. Recommendations were
noted. Traffic calming can be an important              prepared that coordinated proposed bicycle
addition to pedestrian safety, especially for           and pedestrian facilities with identified
Child Pedestrians. Lane widths of eleven-               congested roadways.           Moreover, the
feet should be implemented where possible               congestion analysis helped to refine and
on local and neighborhood streets, to reduce            prioritize the alternative facilities identified
the speed of motorized travel and reduce the            in the plan.
length of the pedestrian crossing. Access
points to businesses should utilize shared              Traffic congestion results from a need for
curb-cuts to minimize potential conflict                additional capacity on a roadway, which can
points between motorists and pedestrians.               be influenced by many factors.           The
The sidewalk’s paving pattern should cross              identification of these factors is important
curb cuts and driveway aprons to give a                 for the purpose of providing congestion
more continuous surface for pedestrians and             mitigation measures. Congestion mitigation
to provide a visual reminder to motorists               comes in many different forms, with bicycle
that they are crossing a pedestrian route.              and pedestrian facilities being an identified
                                                        congestion mitigation strategy. Including
There is no single facility or facility type            bicycle and pedestrian projects as a
that will work for every user and every                 congestion relief strategy along with
existing site condition. The best practices             proposed improvements along congested

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   48
corridors will help to improve the                      roadways that are targeted for driveway
effectiveness of Forsyth’s improvement                  curb-cut closures.
strategies.
                                                        Signal timing coordination is another source
Causes of Congestion in Forsyth County                  of congestion that relates to bicycle and
Several specific causes of congestion are               pedestrian     issues.      Signal    timing
pertinent to bicycle and pedestrian issues:             improvements should include pedestrian
• Heavy vehicle volumes;                                signal/crossing improvements and possibly
• Heavy peak period volumes;                            signal detection devices for bicycle
• Heavy intersection volumes;                           crossings at intersections.
• Heavy pedestrian volumes;
• Too many driveways;                                   Another frequent cause of congestion
• Poor signal timing coordination; and                  involves poor intersection geometrics. An
                                                        intersection with poor geometrics is not only
• Poor intersection geometrics.
                                                        a safety hazard for vehicles, but also for
                                                        pedestrians.          Future      intersection
Heavy vehicle volumes, peak volumes and
                                                        improvements should address ADA
intersection volumes are found in the
                                                        standards, pedestrian signals and crossings.
southern and eastern portion of Forsyth
County where residential and commercial
development continues to expand. The                    Possible Congestion Mitigation Strategies
                                                        Congestion mitigation strategies can be
roadways serving these areas were designed
                                                        grouped into four categories. These are trip
to service mainly rural needs and their
                                                        elimination strategies, trip reduction
improvement has not kept pace with the fast
                                                        strategies, existing system optimization and
growing County. Typically, experienced
                                                        capacity addition strategies. With guidance
cyclists use roads with heavy vehicle
                                                        from the ARC’s CMS, these strategies were
volumes as they provide the most direct
                                                        evaluated regarding the strategy’s potential
routes from origins and destinations.
                                                        impact on mobility.         In this analysis,
Therefore, facilities such as bicycle friendly
                                                        required data was identified to measure the
shoulders and bike lanes should be
                                                        strategy’s impact in the future.
accommodated along these roadways. At
intersections with heavy vehicle volumes,
pedestrian    improvements       should     be          Trip Elimination Strategies
considered.                                             Trip     elimination     strategies   include
                                                        modifications to the land use mix and site
Heavy pedestrian volumes are typically                  design. Under site design, provision of
found within the vicinity of major activity             inter-connecting sidewalks between offices
centers, such as the City of Cumming,                   and commercial areas can be identified as a
schools and parks. The identification of                strategy. In combination with a strategy to
these areas was used to prioritize sidewalk             provide inter-parcel access, this approach
facilities and pedestrian crossings.                    has the potential to impact or reduce trips by
                                                        3%. Data required to measure this impact
Roads with multiple driveways not only                  includes accident rates and intersection
contribute to traffic congestion but also               volumes. For shorter trips, bicycle and
present     an     unfriendly     pedestrian            pedestrian facilities should be included as a
environment. A possible solution to this                potential trip elimination strategy.
type of congestion can have a positive
impact both vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
For instance, sidewalk construction projects
can be implemented along major arterial
Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   49
Trip Reduction Strategies                               can be considered as an alternative to
Trip reduction strategies include preferential          congested facilities if they are somewhat
treatment strategies, administrative measures           direct and connect origins and destinations.
and economic measures. Under preferential
treatment, provision of bicycle and                     Definition of Congestion in Forsyth
pedestrian facilities and the provision of              County - As previously stated, Forsyth
bicycle access to transit were included as              County does not currently have a CMS.
potential trip reduction strategies. Provision          Such a system would allow the county to
of bicycle/pedestrian facilities has a 0.2%             identify roadway facilities that are deficient.
potential reduction in trips and bicycle                In order to generally define congestion in
access to transit had no impact as a stand-             Forsyth County, capacity thresholds for each
alone strategy. Required data to measure                facility type in a roadway network must be
this impact includes bicycle/pedestrian                 identified.     The general facility types
counts.                                                 analyzed for this study are presented in
                                                        Figure 2. These facility types include a
Existing System Optimization Strategies                 freeway, major arterials, minor arterials and
These strategies include ATMS technology                collectors.
application, freeway management, access
management, traffic signalization and                   For the purposes of this study, congestion
intersection geometric improvements. From               will be identified based on the current level
the analysis with respect to causes of                  of service (LOS) associated with the major
congestion and their relationship to bicycle            transportation network in Forsyth County.
and pedestrian issues, sidewalk construction            The LOS of a roadway is a qualitative
should be added as a strategy under access              measure of the road user’s perception of
management in conjunction with closing                  traffic flow. The letters A through E
driveways. Pedestrian signals/crossing and              represent the LOS of a transportation
ADA improvements should be added as a                   facility. The letter “A” represents the most
strategy under intersection geometric                   favorable driving conditions, while the letter
improvements and bicycle and pedestrian                 “E” represents a congested facility. A
signal improvements should also be added                generalized LOS table, presented as Table 1,
under traffic signalization strategies.                 helps to explain the definitions of LOS in
                                                        terms of capacity. The LOS of a facility in
Capacity Addition Strategies                            this analysis was based on the facility type
This strategy includes building new                     and its associated average daily traffic
roadways, roadway widening and provision                (ADT). There was no attempt to forecast
of more bus and rail service. Bicycle and               congestion levels in the future.          The
pedestrian provisions should be included in             County’s CTP performed an analysis of
roadway and transit capacity projects.                  future travel demand on County roadways.
                                                        The current congestion analysis provides a
In terms of strategic planning for the Bicycle          snapshot of current congestion levels to
and Pedestrian Plan, it is also important to            assist in the development of the Bicycle and
identify non-congested parallel facilities that         Pedestrian Plan.
are direct links between origins and
destinations. These facilities are important            The current snapshot of congestion was
to identify since they can be considered                validated with information provided in the
attractive direct alternate routes for the              County’s CTP existing conditions analysis.
bicyclist. For example, greenway corridors



Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   50
                                                           Table 1

                                          Generalized Level of Service2
    Facility Type                                    Levels of Service Volumes
       Freeway                    A                B              C            D                         E
        4 lanes                 20,900          32,800          49,200       62,600                    74,500
        6 lanes                 32,100          50,400          75,600       96,200                   114,500
        8 lanes                 43,800          68,800         103,200      131,300                   156,300
       10 lanes                 54,700          86,000         129,000      164,200                   195,400
    Major Arterials
     2 undivided                    -              10,800              15,600             16,600      16,600
      4 divided                     -              23,500              33,200             35,000      35,000
      6 divided                     -              35,800              49,900             52,500      52,500
    Minor Arterials
     2 undivided                    -                  -                9,900             14,900      16,200
      4 divided                     -                  -               22,900             32,500      34,300
      6 divided                     -                  -               35,500             48,900      51,700
      Collectors
     2 undivided                    -                  -                8,600             14,600      16,000
      4 divided                     -                  -               19,800             31,700      33,900
      6 divided                     -                  -               30,800             47,800      51,000
     Local Streets
     2 undivided                    -                  -                4,800             10,900      11,900
      4 divided                     -                  -               11,600             23,800      25,400
       Note: Blank lines indicate that the level of service cannot be obtained on a corridor basis.

Congested Facilities                                              adequate roadway system.            The most
The ADT counts that were collected by                             congested roadways include Georgia State
GDOT along Forsyth County roads for the                           Route 400 (GA 400), McFarland Road, State
year 2000 are presented in Figure 3. These                        Route 20 (SR 20), McGinnis Ferry Road and
counts were obtained from an online                               a portion of State Route 9 (SR 9). The
database of traffic count coverage’s that is                      analysis results are displayed in Figure 4.
produced by GDOT for each county in the
State. The congestion analysis for this study                     As indicated above, a generalized LOS “E”
only included the major roadways within                           represents a congested facility. Roadways
Forsyth County. The consultant identified                         identified in Table 2 were identified as
the congested roadways by applying a LOS                          currently congested for the purposes of this
to the analyzed segments. Most of the                             analysis.    Table 2 also identifies the
congested traffic is located in the southern                      proposed improvements in various plans to
portion of Forsyth County, with the                               address the congestion.      The Proposed
exception of Browns Bridge Road in the                            Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan improvements,
northeast portion of the county. Otherwise,                       and specific type of improvements, were
the northern portion of the county has an                         coordinated with the planned roadway
                                                                  projects.



2
    1998 Level of Service Handbook, Florida Department of Transportation

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                             51
                                         Table 2
                  Planned Transportation Projects for Congested Roadways
                                                                                Type of
Project Source            Location                      From/To
                                                                              Improvement
                       Browns Bridge       Gravitt Rd. to Hall County     Widen from 2/3 to 4
  II-3      CTP
                           Road            Line                           lanes
                        Keith Bridge                                      Widen from 2 to 4
  I-12      CTP                            GA 400 to Dawsonville Hwy.
                           Road                                           lanes
                        Keith Bridge
 II-12      CTP                            Spot Rd. to GA 400             Extension
                           Road
  FT
            RTP            GA 400          GA 400 @ McFarland Rd.         Bridge Construction
 007A
                                                                 Interchange
FT 011      RTP            GA 400          GA 400 @ SR 20
                                                                 Reconstruction
                                                                 Interchange
  I-30      CTP          GA 400     GA 400 @ McFarland Rd.
                                                                 Replacement
                                    McFarland Rd. to Browns      Widen from 4 to 6
 II-10      CTP          GA 400
                                    Bridge Rd.                   lanes
                                    Fulton County Line to        Widen from 4 to 6
 II-11      CTP          GA 400
                                    McFarland Rd.                lanes with HOV
                                    McFarland Rd. to Browns      Widen from 4 to 6
  III-6     CTP          GA 400
                                    Bridge Rd.                   lanes
                                    Browns Bridge Rd. to Dawson Widen from 4 to 6
  III-7     CTP          GA 400
                                    County Line                  lanes
 III-14     CTP          GA 400     At McGinnis Ferry Rd.        New Interchange
 III-15     CTP          GA 400     At Majors Rd.                New Interchange
                                                                 Widen from 2 to 4
FT 007      RTP       McFarland Rd. SR 9 to GA 400
                                                                 lanes
                                                                 Widen from 2 to 4
FT 015      RTP       McFarland Rd. McGinnis Ferry Rd. to GA 400
                                                                 lanes
                                    Atlanta Hwy. To Union Hill   Widen from 2 to 4
  I-20      CTP       McFarland Rd.
                                    Rd.                          lanes
                                    Union Hill Rd. to McGinnis   Widen from 2 to 6
  I-21      CTP       McFarland Rd.
                                    Ferry Rd.                    lanes
                                    Union Hill Rd. to Atlanta    Widen from 4 to 6
 III-12     CTP       McFarland Rd.
                                    Hwy.                         lanes
                                                                 Widen from 2 to 4
FT 004      RTP           SR 20     From GA 400 to Samples Rd.
                                                                 lanes
                                    From 0.5 miles north of
                                                                 Widen from 2 to 4
FT 006      RTP           SR 20     Greenwood Acres Dr. to Kelly
                                                                 lanes
                                    Mill Rd.
                                    Gwinnett County Line to      Widen from 2/3 to 4
  I-6       CTP           SR 20
                                    Samples Rd.                  lanes
                                                                 Widen from 2/5 to 6
  I-7       CTP           SR 20     Samples Rd. to Atlanta Hwy..
                                                                 lanes
                                    Kelly Mill Rd. to Doc Sams   Widen from 2/3 to 4
  I-8       CTP           SR 20
                                    Rd.                          lanes
  I-29      CTP      SR 20 @ GA 400 Interchange Replacement      n/a

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   52
                                           GA 400 to Gwinnett County        Widen from 4 to 6
  II-4      CTP             SR 20
                                           Line                             lanes
                                           Cherokee County Line to Doc      Widen from 2/3 to 4
  II-5      CTP             SR 20
                                           Sams Rd.                         lanes
                                                                            Widen from 4 to 6
  II-6      CTP             SR 20          Spot Rd. to Kelley Mill Rd.
                                                                            lanes

                                                                                  Type of
Project Source            Location                      From/To
                                                                                Improvement
                                           Cherokee County line to north    Widen from 4 to 6
  III-2     CTP             SR 20
                                           of Spot Rd.                      lanes
                                                                            Widen from 2 to 4
FT 001      RTP             SR 9           SR 141 to SR 20
                                                                            lanes
                                                                            Widen from 2 to 4
FT 009      RTP             SR 9           SR 20 to SR 306
                                                                            lanes
  FT                                                                        Widen from 2 to 4
            RTP             SR 9           McFarland Rd. to SR 371
 023A                                                                       lanes
  FT                                                                        Widen from 2 to 4
            RTP             SR 9           SR 371 to SR 141
 023B                                                                       lanes
                                           McFarland Rd. to Mullinax        Widen from 2 to 4
  I-1       CTP             SR 9
                                           Rd.                              lanes
                                                                            Widen from 2/3 to 4
  I-2       CTP             SR 9           Mullinax Rd. to Maple St.
                                                                            lanes
                                                                            Widen from 2 to 4
  I-10      CTP             SR 9           Main St. to Dunn Rd.
                                                                            lanes
                      McGinnis Ferry       Gwinnett Co. line to Cherokee    Widen from 2 to 4
  I-22      CTP
                         Road              County line                      lanes
                                           Cherokee County Line to          Widen from 2 to 4
  II-1      CTP             SR 9
                                           McFarland Rd.                    lanes
                      McGinnis Ferry       McFarland Road to                Widen from 4 to 6
 II-18      CTP
                         Road              Brookwood Road                   lanes
                                           Dunn Rd. to Browns Bridge        Widen from 2 to 4
  II-7      CTP             SR 9
                                           Rd.                              lanes
                      McGinnis Ferry       Brookwood Road to Gwinnett       Widen from 4 to 6
 III-13     CTP
                         Road              Co. line                         lanes
                                           McFarland Rd. to Mullinax        Widen from 4 to 6
  III-1     CTP             SR 9
                                           Rd.                              lanes

Browns Bridge Road is a two-lane major                  Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan proposes multi-
arterial that is congested from Keith Bridge            use paths and sidewalks along these roads.
Road to approximately Little Mill Road.
Additional capacity has been recommended                GA 400 is a deficient roadway as it enters
for this facility in the CTP, with the                  Forsyth County from the south and improves
proposed improvement being a four-lane                  as it extends north. Additional capacity is
facility.     Keith Bridge Road is also                 being planned along this state highway and
congested within this area from Browns                  there are various interchange improvements
Bridge Road to GA 400 and the CTP                       that are planned or are under construction.
recommends additional capacity. The                     The     Bicycle    and    Pedestrian  Plan

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   53
recommends a parallel multi-use path,                   As traffic volumes in Forsyth County
possibly, following utility easements.                  increase, the need for both safety and
Pedestrian improvements are recommended                 capacity becomes apparent. Elements from
at the interchange crossings.                           the Proposed Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan
                                                        have been strategically placed in areas help
McFarland Road is a deficient roadway                   to relieve traffic congestion.         Forsyth
north of GA 400. This roadway is a major                County currently does not have a transit
arterial with termini at McGinnis Ferry Road            system and there are not any rail
and SR 9. North of GA 400, the average                  connections. However, park and ride lots
daily traffic count is 21,848 vehicles per day          are being proposed at certain GA 400
(vpd). This roadway is a two-lane facility              interchanges and discussions are underway
from McGinnis Ferry Road to Union Hill                  with the Georgia Regional Transportation
Road, which at this point, turns into a four-           Authority (GRTA) to improve certain
lane facility. Additional capacity is being             arterials for potential use of buses.
planned for this roadway in the CTP that                Additionally, GRTA is proposing to operate
proposes for the facility to be a six-lane              express buses along GA 400 from proposed
roadway. Bicycle friendly shoulders and                 park and ride lots to MARTA stations.
sidewalks are recommended along this                    Proposed       bicycle       and     pedestrian
roadway.                                                improvements have been coordinated with
                                                        these efforts in order to maximize the
Currently, SR 20 in Forsyth County has a                potential use of transit in Forsyth County.
variable number of lanes. However, the
arterial is predominately a two-lane state              Direct improvements from the Proposed
highway. This facility is congested south of            Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan include
GA 400. Both the CTP and the Regional                   projects, such as the addition of bicycle
Transportation Plan have numerous roadway               friendly shoulders to a congested roadway.
projects for this facility that will add                This type of improvement can be seen on SR
additional      capacity.          Sidewalk             141, which has a LOS “D” south of Old
improvements are recommended along this                 Alpharetta Hwy. An indirect improvement
roadway.                                                to a congested corridor can be seen through
                                                        the use of greenways that connect the
McGinnis Ferry Road is a two lane facility              county’s park system or in the multi-use
that serves Forsyth, Fulton and Gwinnett                path that runs parallel to the GA 400
County traffic. It is considered a major east-          corridor. Each of these improvements is
west regional corridor.        The road is              intended to compliment each other and offer
congested from the Gwinnett County line to              the citizens of Forsyth with alternate modes
McFarland Road. Provisions to widen the                 of transportation.
roadway are in the County’s CTP. A
proposed multi-use path is being designed               A comparison of the proposed bicycle and
along with the roadway improvement.                     pedestrian improvements with the planned
                                                        transportation projects ensures maximum
Lastly, SR 9 is congested as it enters Forsyth          performance from a system wide congestion
County from the west. The average daily                 relief program.     Coordination of these
traffic count north of McFarland Road is                efforts is essential for an efficient
22,000 vehicles. Provisions for additional              transportation system and for future long
capacity along this facility have been                  range planning efforts.
provided in the CTP. Bicycle friendly
shoulders are recommended along this
facility.

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   54
Integrating the Congestion Analysis with                        etc. Use bicycle and pedestrian
the Proposed Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan                        information to quantify bicycle and
Update - Based on the analysis that has                         pedestrian benefits in the Bicycle
been prepared for Forsyth County and its                        and     Pedestrian   Plan   update.
relationship to the Proposed Bicycle and
Pedestrian Plan, the following additional
strategies were recommended and included
in Section 4 (Goals, Objectives and
Strategies. These strategies ill strengthen
the relationship between the transportation
and the bicycle and pedestrian needs of the
residents:

    1. In the Bicycle and Pedestrian
       strategic planning process, consider
       sidewalk projects along congested
       corridors with “too many driveways”
       in           combination          with
       origin/destination information.
    2. Include a strategy in the Bicycle and
       Pedestrian plan that requires bicycle
       friendly signal timing/detection
       improvements       along     congested
       corridors     with    signal    timing
       problems that are also identified as
       suitable for bicycling in the
       suitability analysis.
    3. Consider pedestrian signal and
       pedestrian crossing improvements
       for corridors that are experiencing
       signal timing and poor intersection
       geometric problems.
    4. Include a strategy in the Bicycle and
       Pedestrian plan that requires
       intersection improvement projects
       that rectify congested intersection
       geometric problems to include
       bicycle and pedestrian design
       elements.
    5. Include the provision of bicycle
       facilities as a potential trip
       elimination strategy in future
       congestion analysis and updates to
       the Comprehensive Transportation
       Plan.
    6. Include data collection regarding
       bicycle and pedestrian in future
       congestion data collection efforts,
       i.e., bike counts, pedestrian counts,

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                   55
Section 6.     Plan Recommendations                                               These estimates are construction costs only and do not include
                                                                                  engineering or right-of-way. The facilities are identified by facility
The following are the specific facilities recommended in the 2025                 type                 and                 by                  priority.
Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways
Plan.



BIKE/PED PROJECTS
                                    By Facility Type
    PROPOSED GREENWAY
                                                                                                                Preliminary             Approximate
             Road Name:                      Area Description:                  Facility Description:
                                                                                                             Estimate of Cost:          Linear Feet:

   Big Creek Extension Phase I       Park off of Hwy 9 to McGinnis Ferry    10'-12' Shared-Use Path              $4,200,000                21,000'


   Big Creek Extension Phase II             Atlanta Hwy to Majors           10'-12' Shared-Use Path              $1,400,000                7,000'

                                      Cherokee Co. Border to Dawson
   Etowah Greenway Extension                                                10'-12' Shared-Use Path              $6,200,000                31,000'
                                               Co. Border
                                         Pooles Mill Park to Swanee
   Sawnee Mountain Greenway                                                 10'-12' Shared-Use Path              $9,000,000                45,000'
                                               Mountain Park

       Chattahoochee River          Buford Dam Road to McGinnis Ferry       10'-12' Shared-Use Path             $10,000,000                50,000'


                                                                                TOTAL GREENWAY:                 $30,800,000               154,000'




Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                                           56
       MULTI-USE PATH
                                                                                                          Preliminary      Approximate
           Road Name:                        Area Description:                 Facility Description:
                                                                                                       Estimate of Cost:   Linear Feet:

              Hwy 371                      Kelly Mill to Atlanta Hwy            8'-10' Walk/Bikeway       $4,200,000         21,000'

                                         Chattahoochee River to Old
          McGinnis Ferry                                                       8’-10’ Walk/Bikeway        $8,900,000         44,500'
                                                 Alpharetta

             Hwy 400                    McGinnis Ferry to Buford Hwy           8’-10’ Walk/Bikeway        $9,000,000         45,000'


          Browns Bridge                 Keith Bridge to Waldrip Circle         8’-10’ Walk/Bikeway        $6,400,000         32,000'


            Keith Bridge                  Waldrip to Browns Bridge             8’-10’ Walk/Bikeway        $6,800,000         34,000'


                                                                          TOTAL MULTI-USE PATH:          $35,300,000         176,500'




Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                                          57
      SIDEWALKS
                                                                                                    Preliminary       Approximate
        Road Name:                         Area Description:              Facility Description:
                                                                                                  Estimate of Cost:   Linear Feet:
        Canton Road                     Bethelview to City Limits              5' Concrete Walk      $1,072,500         16,500'

 Ridgefield and Shiloh East         Loop around back to McFarland              5' Concrete Walk     $1,235,,000         19,000'

       James Burgess                    Old Atlanta to River Mist              5' Concrete Walk      $910,000           14,000'

         Haw Creek                     Old Atlanta to Buford Hwy               5' Concrete Walk      $520,000            8,000'

        Gilbert Road                    Old Atlanta to Trammel                 5' Concrete Walk      $390,000            6,000'

          Trammel                      Buford Hwy to Old Atlanta               5' Concrete Walk      $1,300,000         20,000'

         Buford Hwy                 Tribble Gap to Chamonix Drive              5' Concrete Walk      $1,365,000         21,000'

           Echols                       Buford Hwy to Hudgins                  5' Concrete Walk      $396,500            6,100'

          Hudgins                   Buford Hwy to New College Way              5' Concrete Walk      $390,000            6,000'

           Fairway                       Buford Hwy to School                  5' Concrete Walk      $325,000            5,000'

      Buford Dam Road               Sanders to Chattahoochee River             5' Concrete Walk      $1,365,000         21,000'

         Pilgrim Mill                  City Limits to Tidwell Park             5' Concrete Walk      $1,683,500         25,900'

       Browns Bridge                    Keith Bridge to Hendrix                5' Concrete Walk      $1,235,000         19,000'

Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                                          58
         McFarland                          Jones to GA 400                       5' Concrete Walk    $195,000      3,000'
                                 Hwy 141 to City Limits and Market Place
New Proposed Access Road
                                                  Blvd.
                                                                                  5' Concrete Walk   $1,495,000    23,000'

Bald Ridge Marina Exit Bridge                                                     5' Concrete Walk    $45,500        700'

       Dahlonega Hwy            Rte 9 to proposed Pilgrim Mill Access Road        5' Concrete Walk    $390,000      6,000'

           Castleberry                     Rte 9 to Bethelview                5' Concrete Walk        $637,000      9,800'


         Peachtree Pkwy              Mathis Airport to McGinnis Ferry         5' Concrete Walk        $487,500      7,500'

  Proposed Pilgrim Mill Access
                                       Pilgrim Mill to Browns Bridge          5' Concrete Walk        $731,250     11,250'
            Road
                                    Peachtree Pkwy to Fulton County
           Brookwood                                                          5' Concrete Walk        $364,000      5,600'
                                                Border

            Hwy 141                      Majors to Mathis Airport             5' Concrete Walk        $845,000     13,000'

                                     Poole Mill Park to Etowah River
         Pooles Mill Link                                                     5' Concrete Walk        $455,000      7,000'
                                                Greenway

           Bethelview                     Canton Hwy to Majors                5' Concrete Walk       $2,600,000    40,000'


                                                                             TOTAL SIDEWALK:         $20,432,750   314,350'




Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                                             59
Bicycle Friendly Shoulder
                                                                                                                                      Approximate Linear
          Road Name:                       Area Description:                Facility Description:     Preliminary Estimate of Cost:
                                                                                                                                            Feet:

           Atlanta Hwy                   Hwy 371 to Bethelview            Additional Shoulder Width             $804,000                   20,100'


             Sharon                      Hwy 141 to Old Atlanta           Additional Shoulder Width             $224,000                    5,600'

                                       Bluegrass Lakes Pkwy to
              Jones                                                       Additional Shoulder Width             $200,000                    5,000'
                                           Dalesford Drive

            McFarland                  GA 400 to McGinnis Ferry           Additional Shoulder Width             $204,000                    5,100'


        Old Atlanta Road                 Brannon to Haw Creek             Additional Shoulder Width             $400,000                   10,000'

                                   Proposed Access Road to Tidwell
           Pilgrim Mill                                                   Additional Shoulder Width             $676,000                   16,900'
                                               Park

             Waldrep                 Keith Bridge to Browns Bridge        Additional Shoulder Width             $800,000                   20,000'

                                                                             TOTAL BICYCLE
                                                                                                               $3,308,000                  82,700'
                                                                              SHOULDERS:




Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                                             60
Signed Shared Roadway
                                                                                                                                    Approximate
          Project Name:                     Area Description:             Facility Description:     Preliminary Estimate of Cost:
                                                                                                                                    Linear Feet:
                                      Kelly Mill to Cherokee County
           Bentley Trail
                                                   Border
                                                                          Bicycle Traffic Signage             $26,000                 26,000'
                                     Cherokee County Border to City
          Kelly Mill Trail
                                                limits
                                                                          Bicycle Traffic Signage             $35,200                 35,200'

                                     City Limits to Karr to John Burris
          Northern Trail              to Elmo to Westray to Dawson        Bicycle Traffic Signage             $50,000                 50,000'
                                                   County


       Holbrook - Karr Link            Burnt Bridge to John Burruss       Bicycle Traffic Signage             $13,000                 13,000'

                                       Pleasant Grove to Watson to
          Western Loop                 Heardsville to Hurt Bridge to      Bicycle Traffic Signage             $55,000                 55,000'
                                                Holbrook

                                     Burnt Bridge to Wallace Tatum to
  Harris Drive - Burnt Bridge Link     Whitmire to Mount Taber to         Bicycle Traffic Signage             $40,000                 40,000'
                                                   Harris


                                     Hendrix to 369 to Hubert Mathis
       Govan - Hendrix Link
                                       to Riley to Dawson County
                                                                          Bicycle Traffic Signage             $39,500                 39,500'



           Tribble Trail                   Watson to Kelly Mill           Bicycle Traffic Signage             $16,900                 16,900'

                                     Bettis Tribble Gap to Dahlonega
             Spot Trail
                                                    Hwy
                                                                          Bicycle Traffic Signage             $17,500                 17,500'


Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                                           61
        Heardsville Circle                    Heardsville Circle           Bicycle Traffic Signage              $10,000              10,000'

                                                                          TOTAL SIGNED SHARED
                                                                                                               $303,100              303,100'
                                                                                 ROAD:




 Pedestrian Crossing

                             Project Name:                                  Facility Description:    Preliminary Estimate of Cost:

                                                                           Pedestrian Signal and
                        Canton Hwy @ Post                                                                      $43,000
                                                                               Crosswalk
                                                                           Pedestrian Signal and
                     Canton Hwy @ Bethelview                                                                   $43,000
                                                                               Crosswalk
                                                                           Pedestrian Signal and
                             Post @ Bentley                                                                    $43,000
                                                                               Crosswalk
                                                                           Pedestrian Signal and
                             Post @ Majors                                                                     $43,000
                                                                                Crosswalk
                                                                           Pedestrian Signal and
                         Post @ Dickerson                                                                      $43,000
                                                                               Crosswalk
                                                                           Pedestrian Signal and
                         Hwy 9 @ Pendley                                                                       $43,000
                                                                               Crosswalk
                                                                           Pedestrian Signal and
                    Fairway Drive @ Buford Hwy                                                                 $43,000
                                                                               Crosswalk
                                                                           Pedestrian Signal and
                James Burgess @ Old Atlanta Road                                                               $43,000
                                                                               Crosswalk
                                                                           TOTAL PEDESTRIAN
                                                                                                               $344,000
                                                                              CROSSING:




Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                                            62
                                                                                          Preliminary Estimate of   Approximate
                                                                                                   Cost:            Linear Feet:


                                                           PROGRAM TOTAL FORSYTH COUNTY         $90,487,850           1,030,650'




Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                                          63
These facilities were prioritized based on the potential for                     feasibility. Short-term projects are those that can be built in a 5-
receiving funding, their ability to be constructed along with a road             year time frame. Mid-term projects are those that can be built
project, cost, proximity to high population and employment                       between 5 and 10 years. Long-term projects are those that are
densities, proximity to destinations such as schools and parks, and              anticipated to be constructed beyond the 11 year period.

SHORT-TERM
PROJECTS
                              (1-5 years)
                                                                                              Preliminary Estimate of
       Project Name:                Area Description:             Facility Description:                                   Approximate Linear Feet:
                                                                                                       Cost:

     MULTI-USE PATH

                                Chattahoochee River to Old
    McGinnis Ferry Road                                           8’-10’ Walk/Bikeway               $8,900,000                     44,500'
                                        Alpharetta

                                                                          TOTAL:                    $8,900,000                     44,500'




Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                                            64
        SIDEWALKS

                                 Tribble Gap to Chamonix
         Buford Hwy                                                 5' Concrete Walk        $1,365,000   21,000'
                                          Drive
                                Sanders to Chattahoochee
      Buford Dam Road                                               5' Concrete Walk        $1,365,000   21,000'
                                          River

      McFarland Road                 Jones to GA 400                5' Concrete Walk        $195,000     3,000'


Bald Ridge Marina Exit Bridge                                       5' Concrete Walk         $45,500      700'


          Hwy 141                 Majors to Mathis Airport          5' Concrete Walk        $845,000     13,000'


      Bethelview Road              Canton Hwy to Majors             5' Concrete Walk        $2,600,000   40,000'


                                                                          TOTAL:            $6,415,500   98,700'


    Bicycle Friendly Shoulder


      McFarland Road             GA 400 to McGinnis Ferry       Additional Shoulder Width   $204,000     5,100'


      Old Atlanta Road            Brannon to Haw Creek          Additional Shoulder Width   $400,000     10,000'


                                                                          TOTAL:            $604,000     15,100'




Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                                            65
    Signed Shared Roadway

                                 Cherokee County Border to
        Kelly Mill Trail                                         Bicycle Traffic Signage   $35,200    35,200'
                                        City limits

                                  City Limits to Karr to John
        Northern Trail           Burris to Elmo to Westray to    Bicycle Traffic Signage   $50,000    50,000'
                                       Dawson County


     Holbrook - Karr Link       Burnt Bridge to John Burruss     Bicycle Traffic Signage   $13,000    13,000'


                                Pleasant Grove to Watson to
        Western Loop            Heardsville to Hurt Bridge to    Bicycle Traffic Signage   $55,000    55,000'
                                         Holbrook

                                Burnt Bridge to Wallace Tatum
  Harris Drive - Burnt Bridge
                                to Whitmire to Mount Taber to    Bicycle Traffic Signage   $40,000    40,000'
             Link
                                            Harris

                                  Hendrix to 369 to Hubert
    Govan - Hendrix Link          Mathis to Riley to Dawson      Bicycle Traffic Signage   $39,500    39,500'
                                            County

                                                                          TOTAL:           $232,700   232,700'




Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                                            66
    Pedestrian Crossing

                                                                  Pedestrian Signal and
                 Canton Hwy @ Post Road                                                          $43,000
                                                                      Crosswalk
                                                                  Pedestrian Signal and
              Canton Hwy @ Bethelview Road                                                       $43,000
                                                                      Crosswalk
                                                                  Pedestrian Signal and
                Post Road @ Bentley Road                                                         $43,000
                                                                      Crosswalk
                                                                  Pedestrian Signal and
                 Post Road @ Majors Road                                                         $43,000
                                                                      Crosswalk
                                                                  Pedestrian Signal and
               Post Road @ Dickerson Road                                                        $43,000
                                                                      Crosswalk
                                                                  Pedestrian Signal and
                  Hwy 9 @ Pendley Road                                                           $43,000
                                                                      Crosswalk
                                                                  Pedestrian Signal and
                Fairway Drive @ Buford Hwy                                                       $43,000
                                                                      Crosswalk
                                                                  Pedestrian Signal and
            James Burgess @ Old Atlanta Road                                                     $43,000
                                                                      Crosswalk

                                                                          TOTAL:                 $344,000




                                                                                          Preliminary Estimate of
                                                                                                                    Approximate Linear Feet:
                                                                                                   Cost:


                                             SHORT-TERM PRIORITY PROJECT TOTALS                $16,496,200                  391,000'




Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                                            67
MID-TERM PROJECTS
                              (5-10 years)
                                                                                          Preliminary Estimate of
       Project Name:                Area Description:             Facility Description:                             Approximate Linear Feet:
                                                                                                   Cost:

     MULTI-USE PATH


           Hwy 371                Kelly Mill to Atlanta Hwy        8'-10' Walk/Bikeway          $4,200,000                  21,000'


                                                                          TOTAL:                $4,200,000                  21,000'


        SIDEWALKS

                                                                                          Preliminary Estimate of
        Road Name:                  Area Description:             Facility Description:                             Approximate Linear Feet:
                                                                                                   Cost:

        Canton Road              Bethelview to City Limits          5' Concrete Walk            $1,072,500                  16,500'

                                   Loop around back to
 Ridgefield and Shiloh East                                         5' Concrete Walk            $1,235,000                  19,000'
                                       McFarland

       James Burgess             Old Atlanta to River Mist          5' Concrete Walk             $910,000                   14,000'


         Haw Creek               Old Atlanta to Buford Hwy          5' Concrete Walk             $520,000                    8,000'


          Trammel                Buford Hwy to Old Atlanta          5' Concrete Walk            $1,300,000                  20,000'

                                Buford Hwy to New College
           Hudgins                                                  5' Concrete Walk             $390,000                    6,000'
                                          Way

           Fairway                 Buford Hwy to School             5' Concrete Walk             $325,000                    5,000'



Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                                            68
         Pilgrim Mill            City Limits to Tidwell Park        5' Concrete Walk              $1,683,500                  25,900'


       Browns Bridge              Keith Bridge to Hendrix           5' Concrete Walk              $1,235,000                  19,000'

                                Hwy 141 to City Limits and
New Proposed Access Road                                            5' Concrete Walk              $1,495,000                  23,000'
                                   Market Place Blvd.
                               Rte 9 to proposed Pilgrim Mill
       Dahlonega Hwy                                                5' Concrete Walk               $390,000                    6,000'
                                       Access Road
                                Mathis Airport to McGinnis
       Peachtree Pkwy                                               5' Concrete Walk               $487,500                    7,500'
                                          Ferry
Proposed Pilgrim Mill Access
                             Pilgrim Mill to Browns Bridge          5' Concrete Walk               $731,250                   11,250'
          Road
                                 Peachtree Pkwy to Fulton
         Brookwood                                                  5' Concrete Walk               $364,000                    5,600'
                                     County Border

                                                                          TOTAL:                 $12,138,750                  186,750'


    Bicycle Friendly Shoulder

                                                                                            Preliminary Estimate of
        Road Name:                  Area Description:             Facility Description:                               Approximate Linear Feet:
                                                                                                     Cost:

         Atlanta Hwy              Hwy 371 to Bethelview         Additional Shoulder Width          $804,000                   20,100'


        Sharon Road               Hwy 141 to Old Atlanta        Additional Shoulder Width          $224,000                    5,600'

                                 Bluegrass Lakes Pkwy to
         Jones Road                                             Additional Shoulder Width          $200,000                    5,000'
                                     Dalesford Drive

                                                                          TOTAL:                  $1,228,000                  30,700'




Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                                            69
    Signed Shared Roadway

                                                                                           Preliminary Estimate of
       Project Name:                Area Description:             Facility Description:                              Approximate Linear Feet:
                                                                                                    Cost:
                               Kelly Mill to Cherokee County
        Bentley Trail                                            Bicycle Traffic Signage          $26,000                    26,000'
                                            Border

         Tribble Trail              Watson to Kelly Mill         Bicycle Traffic Signage           $6,900                    16,900'

                                   Bettis Tribble Gap to
          Spot Trail                                             Bicycle Traffic Signage          $17,500                    17,500'
                                     Dahlonega Hwy

                                                                          TOTAL:                  $60,400                    60,400'




                                                                                           Preliminary Estimate of
                                                                                                                     Approximate Linear Feet:
                                                                                                    Cost:


                                                 MID-TERM PRIORITY PROJECT TOTALS               $17,627,150                  298,850'




Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                                            70
LONG-TERM
PROJECTS
                               (+11 years)
                                                                                           Preliminary Estimate of
       Project Name:                Area Description:             Facility Description:                              Approximate Linear Feet:
                                                                                                    Cost:

    PROPOSED GREENWAY

                               Park off of Hwy 9 to McGinnis
Big Creek Extension Phase I                                      10'-12' Shared-Use Path         $4,200,000                  21,000'
                                            Ferry

Big Creek Extension Phase II       Atlanta Hwy to Majors         10'-12' Shared-Use Path         $1,400,000                   7,000'

                                  Cherokee Co. Border to
Etowah Greenway Extension                                        10'-12' Shared-Use Path         $6,200,000                  31,000'
                                   Dawson Co. Border

                                Pooles Mill Park to Swanee
Sawnee Mountain Greenway                                         10'-12' Shared-Use Path         $9,000,000                  45,000'
                                      Mountain Park

                               Buford Dam Road to McGinnis
    Chattahoochee River                                          10'-12' Shared-Use Path        $10,000,000                  50,000'
                                          Ferry

                                                                          TOTAL:                $30,800,000                  154,000'

     MULTI-USE PATH

          Hwy 400              McGinnis Ferry to Buford Hwy       8’-10’ Walk/Bikeway            $9,000,000                  45,000'

    Browns Bridge Road         Keith Bridge to Waldrip Circle     8’-10’ Walk/Bikeway            $6,400,000                  32,000'

      Keith Bridge Road          Waldrip to Browns Bridge         8’-10’ Walk/Bikeway            $6,800,000                  34,000'

                                                                          TOTAL:                $22,200,000                  111,000'


Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                                            71
        SIDEWALKS

        Gilbert Road              Old Atlanta to Trammel            5' Concrete Walk        $390,000     6,000'

           Echols                 Buford Hwy to Hudgins             5' Concrete Walk        $396,500     6,100'

         Castleberry                Rte 9 to Bethelview             5' Concrete Walk        $637,000     9,800'

                                 Poole Mill Park to Etowah
       Pooles Mill Link                                             5' Concrete Walk        $455,000     7,000'
                                     River Greenway

                                                                          TOTAL:            $1,878,500   28,900'



     Bicycle Friendly Shoulder

                                 Proposed Access Road to
         Pilgrim Mill                                           Additional Shoulder Width   $676,000     16,900'
                                       Tidwell Park

          Waldrep              Keith Bridge to Browns Bridge    Additional Shoulder Width   $800,000     20,000'

                                                                          TOTAL:            $1,476,000   36,900'




Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
                                                                            72
    Signed Shared Roadway

      Heardsville Circle             Heardsville Circle          Bicycle Traffic Signage          $10,000                    10,000'

                                                                          TOTAL:                  $10,000                    10,000'




                                                                                           Preliminary Estimate of
                                                                                                                     Approximate Linear Feet:
                                                                                                    Cost:


                                              LONG-TERM PRIORITY PROJECT TOTALS                 $56,364,500                  340,800'




Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
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Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
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Forsyth County Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways 2025 Plan
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