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2008-04-11 Combined Neighborhoods Draft for Connect Atlanta

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2008-04-11 Combined Neighborhoods Draft for Connect Atlanta Powered By Docstoc
					Combined Neighborhoods Inputs to
   the Connect Atlanta Team




             Contents
 Buckhead Forest ……………….. 3
 Chastain Park    ……………….. 5
 North Buckhead ……………….. 11
 Tuxedo Park      ……………….. 17
 Proposed Outline ……………….. 19


            April 11, 2008
                                           Authors
        Buckhead Forest
              Buckhead Forest Civic Association
              Kim Kahwach
              kajensen@bellsouth.net
              404-814-1938

        Chastain Park
               Chastain Park Civic Association
               Kirk Oppenlander
               oppenlanderr@bellsouth.net


        North Buckhead
               North Buckhead Civic Association
               Gordon Certain
               gordon@nbca.org
               404-231-1192

        Tuxedo Park
              Tuxedo Park Civic Association
              Sally Morgens
              Smorgens@aol.com


                           Combined document prepared by Gordon Certain




Combined Neighborhoods Draft                                              April 11, 2008
Connect Atlanta Plan                                                      Page 2 of 20
        Buckhead Forest’s Connect Atlanta Recommendations
                             Draft #1

  New Street Grid at Piedmont and Habersham

  Moving Piedmont and adding a grid-like intersection will ultimately move traffic better once it is
  completed. It will also welcome more cars into the area as it becomes easier to maneuver.

  Homes along Roswell will be impacted: Buckhead Forest has two single family homes adjacent to
  Roswell Road (on Alberta Drive) that currently experience intolerable traffic noise and unsafe
  conditions. The added traffic to the area will effect the property values of these two homes. A brick/
  stone wall and tree buffer is required between these two single family dwellings and the added noise of
  speeding vehicles.

  The process of improving Piedmont and Habersham needs prior Traffic Calming: During construction
  Buckhead Forest will experience a rise in cut-through traffic. The neighborhood already experiences an
  unusual amount of traffic cutting through to arrive at Peachtree Road. When the construction begins for
  Habersham and Piedmont traffic will increasingly use Alberta Drive to get to Peachtree Road. As a
  result of a recently organized traffic calming committee the neighborhood suggests adding sidewalks to
  narrow the streets of Alberta Drive and Mathieson Drive. Narrowing the streets will calm traffic along
  two streets that have consistently failed traffic studies. The narrowing of these two streets must be
  completed before work begins on the Habersham intersection.

  Exiting Alberta Drive

  When drivers exit Alberta Drive it is very dangerous and many accidents, some fatal, have occurred at
  this opening. Adding traffic to this particular area will require special attention to this intersection.
  Traffic traveling north on Roswell is difficult to see from the exit point of Alberta Drive and for anyone
  turning onto Alberta drive from southbound Roswell. A caution light/ red light/ or no left turn sign are
  some suggestions the Connect Atlanta group should consider.

  Buckhead Forest recommends that Connect Atlanta observe the restrictions of residents to the area.
  Residents have few options if they decide to walk. More side walking and safe pedestrian access will
  allow more residents to walk rather than drive. Focusing on moving cars and not feet will result in more
  of the same. Those two efforts need to work in sync with one another. For example, for every lane added
  to the area a certain amount of sidewalks need to be added too.


  March 19, 2008
  Buckhead Forest Civic Association
  Ka Jensen [kajensen@bellsouth.net]




Combined Neighborhoods Draft           Buckhead Forest – Page 1 of 2                             April 11, 2008
Connect Atlanta Plan                                                                             Page 3 of 20
        Buckhead Forest’s Connect Atlanta Recommendations
                             Draft #1




Combined Neighborhoods Draft   Buckhead Forest – Page 2 of 2   April 11, 2008
Connect Atlanta Plan                                           Page 4 of 20
        Chastain Park’s Connect Atlanta Recommendations
                                                 Draft #1
         
        The Problem

        Buckhead suffers from overdevelopment of its Business District and underdevelopment
        of infrastructure assets to accommodate that development. Traditional “solutions” are
        either incomplete or dated before they are implemented, creating reactive solutions and
        entropy—disorganization and degradation of the original vision. These “solutions” have
        favored developers and commuters at the expense of local residents. A more dynamic
        management plan could serve all, not perfectly but better than the patchwork we have
        today.

        The Buckhead Commercial District, in part, owes its attractiveness as a work destination
        and speculator’s paradise to the unique residential neighborhoods that surround the
        Buckhead Business District. I suggest caring for, not killing, the “golden goose”.

        Chastain Park is the largest park in the city of Atlanta and one of two parks on the north
        side of the city. Bobby Jones/Atlanta Memorial Park is the only other park. Northwest
        Atlanta, surrounding Buckhead to the north and west, is the only part of Atlanta with R-1
        and R-2 residential zoning. These park and zoning classifications make up a large part
        of the dwindling green space and tree canopy in within the city limits.

        Commuters from all points on the compass, particularly North Fulton and Cobb, are
        trying to co-exist with local residential and commercial traffic. Peak demand periods
        reveal a dysfunctional approach to moving people.

        The local neighborhoods in North Buckhead, Brookhaven, Tuxedo Park, and Chastain
        Park bear the brunt of poor planning as commuters speed through local Buckhead
        neighborhoods, at times endangering our families, as they hurry home to their outlying
        suburbs and families, lower taxes and more affordable homes.

        Local Buckhead neighborhoods have paid a steep price over the last thirty-five years to
        accommodate suburban growth and their commuters. GA-400 has divided communities
        and eliminated several neighborhood schools. Buckhead neighborhoods appear to have
        less connectivity than in 1973.

        Current Routings

        The bulk of commuters are trying to find their way to GA-400 (Roswell and Alpharetta)
        and I-75 (Cobb and East Cobb) anyway they can. That routing may change on a daily
        basis depending on accidents or stacking problems on Piedmont/Habersham and
        Piedmont Roswell intersections. Local residents find main thoroughfares such as
        Roswell, Piedmont, and Peachtree impassable for their local commutes or any
        East/West routings.

        Buckhead to Emory is highly problematic at rush hour, with an interesting mix of
        Piedmont, Lindbergh, GA-400, Lenox, North Druid Hills, Roxboro, La Vista, and Briarcliff.
        Buckhead to South Atlanta typically utilizes Lenox to GA-400.

        North Fulton commuters typically use a Piedmont/Lenox, Peachtree/Lenox,
        Piedmont/Roswell/Glenridge, or Piedmont/Roswell/I-285, Piedmont/Roswell/Windsor
        Parkway, Peachtree Dunwoody, or Peachtree/Peachtree Dunwoody, routing to GA-400.


                                       Chastain Park ‐ Page 1 of 6 
Combined Neighborhoods Draft                                                                    April 11, 2008
Connect Atlanta Plan                                                                            Page 5 of 20
        Chastain Park’s Connect Atlanta Recommendations
                                                  Draft #1
         
        Cobb commuters typically use a combination of various residential, east/west connector
        streets in Chastain Park/Tuxedo Park (Habersham, Valley, Putnam, Blackland,
        Broadland, West Conway, Hillside, Jett, West Wieuca) and north/south,
        commuter/residential arteries (Roswell, Lake Forrest, Powers Ferry, Northside,
        Northside Parkway) to get to I-75 or Riverside Drive.

        Traffic Management and Development Options

        The historic “solutions” approach should be displaced by a more comprehensive regional
        approach using a common planning platform and traffic management toolbox to develop
        customized, flexible traffic management and development models that won’t destroy
        unique, vibrant local neighborhoods like Chastain Park, Tuxedo Park and North
        Buckhead.

        Local Buckhead neighborhoods could develop customized plans that accommodate
        local needs that could be combined to make up the Buckhead Traffic Management and
        Development district, which is then coordinated with the City of Atlanta and Sandy
        Springs to arrive at a North Atlanta sector plan, and finally folded into an Atlanta regional
        plan. In summary, vertical integration and coordination utilizing a common planning
        platform—probably ASAP. Traffic management and development are coordinated
        efforts, not after-thoughts.

        For example, Chastain Park could use tools and approaches to create development and
        traffic management plans that complement its unique park character but also fit into a
        larger Buckhead/Sandy Springs and Atlanta regional plan. Development and traffic
        management are inextricably intertwined. A plan for Piedmont at Roswell Road will be a
        failure without coordination with Sandy Springs, specifically the bottleneck at I-285 and
        Roswell Rd., and the City of Atlanta, specifically the bottleneck at Sydney Marcus and
        GA-400.

        Commercial development should be confined to major arteries--Roswell, Piedmont,
        Northside Parkway, and Peachtree.

        Short Term Fixes

        Limit use of rent-a-cops and curb cuts on Piedmont Rd during rush hour.

        Add cutout for bus stops and remove them from traffic bottlenecks such as left hand,
        northbound stacking problems at Piedmont/Habersham, Piedmont/Roswell, and
        Roswell/Powers Ferry.

        Connect Atlanta Plan Conceptual Strengths

        Develop a core people transportation system connected to schools, parks,
        neighborhoods:

        1. Long Trips = Modal Balance
        2. Short Trips = Connectivity
        3. All Trips = Walkability
        Emphasis:



                                        Chastain Park ‐ Page 2 of 6 
Combined Neighborhoods Draft                                                                     April 11, 2008
Connect Atlanta Plan                                                                             Page 6 of 20
        Chastain Park’s Connect Atlanta Recommendations
                                                  Draft #1
         
            •   Move more people not cars
            •   Improve quality of travel.
            •   Move less people fewer miles.
            •   Manage not solve traffic problems.
            •   Focus on alternative modes of transportation: bicycles, walking, transit.
            •   Context sensitive designs.
            •   Traffic calming.
            •   Personal security.
            •   Pedestrian environment.
            •   Compact development.
            •   Local connector road and sidewalk networks to facilitate local residential traffic
            •   Lane limits and change standards
            •   Assure MARTA access and flexibility, bicycle lanes, nodal parking, traffic
                calming, bicycle boulevards, wider rights of way.

        Chastain Park: General Development Observations and Recommendations

            •   Development and traffic management are interrelated.
            •   All solutions are local and build from there.
            •   When modeling, use realistic assumptions.
            •   Any connectivity plan should respect the Land Use and Zoning Policy of Chastain
                Park the surrounding neighborhoods, NPU-A and the City of Atlanta. Use these
                policies as building blocks for a more dynamic Traffic Management and
                Development Plan. Much consideration should also be given to the Chastain
                Park Master Plan in developing any Connect Atlanta plan. The Connect Atlanta
                plan should not be in conflict with these local planning documents.
            •   Chastain Park is a unique single-family residential and historical area, as well as
                the only significant green space in North Atlanta. Zoning classifications with
                higher residential building densities or commercial uses are inappropriate for
                Chastain Park, and create uses that are incompatible with the City of Atlanta’s
                Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) and its replacement, the Atlanta
                Strategic Action Plan (ASAP), and should be rejected.
            •   Current CDP/ASAP protections for Chastain Park and surrounding
                neighborhoods from higher density development should be maintained.
                1. Maintain recognized natural, historical, and CDP/ASAP mandated
                    development buffers in the Roswell Road corridor. For example, Sardis
                    Church and Georgia Power substation.
                2. Continue strict adherence to current maximum R-3 development densities for
                    Chastain Park.
                3. Confine commercial development to current commercially zoned commercial
                    property fronting Roswell Road.
            •   The Atlanta Tree Ordinance should be respected and enforced.
            •   Implement I-285 and Roswell Road as well as Sidney Marcus grid/loop solution
                or changes at Piedmont and Roswell won’t work. A four-way GA-400/I-85
                interchange must be completed. Intermediate surface street routes, including
                use of Sidney Marcus/Lenox, to go north on I-85 from GA-400 South and north
                on GA-400 from I-85 South are wasteful and unnecessary.



                                        Chastain Park ‐ Page 3 of 6 
Combined Neighborhoods Draft                                                                    April 11, 2008
Connect Atlanta Plan                                                                            Page 7 of 20
        Chastain Park’s Connect Atlanta Recommendations
                                                 Draft #1
         




        Chastain Park: Specific Development Observations and Recommendations

            •   Discourage use of Northside Dr., Powers Ferry Rd., or Lake Forrest Rd. as
                commuter roads. Discourage use of Chastain Park’s east west connector roads
                for commuters. These uses conflict with the primary purpose of Chastain Park.
                Confine commuting to Northside Parkway, Roswell Road and highways.
            •   Encourage development of the grid-approach--particularly slide 29 of the
                Connect Atlanta presentation (artist rendition). It would ease many of the current
                peak-demand problems.
            •   Explore duplicating the Roswell/Piedmont/Habersham/Blackland/Powers
                Ferry/Ivy redevelopment and traffic management grid at the intersection at
                Wieuca Road, West Wieuca Road and the City of Atlanta line—another traffic
                bottleneck. CPCA has talked to several developers who are interested in
                developing mixed use and townhome, as well as establishing conservation
                easements near R-3 neighborhoods south of West Wieuca. This might involve
                consolidating a patchwork of commercial and semi-commercial zoning districts at
                the West Wieuca/Wieuca at Roswell intersections.
            •   Create a consistent streetscape on Roswell Road that connects the two
                proposed grids, similar to Peachtree and Piedmont to Brookhaven, with bus
                cutouts and more limited strip mall access. Consideration should be given to a
                Peachtree Road type median.
            •   Use the Chastain Park Master Plan (recently adopted by City Council) as a
                model for what Chastain Park community would like to see--streetscapes,
                pedestrian access, and traffic calming. The Chastain Park Civic Association and
                Chastain Park Conservancy worked closely to develop the Master Plan priorities
                that residents and park venue users require.
            •   Improve sidewalk connectivity to City’s core system.
            •   Create bike boulevards north south corridors through residential
                neighborhoods—Lake Forrest, Powers Ferry—that parallel Roswell Road.
            •   Include a height plane step-down to existing single-family residential areas in
                East Chastain Park. Consider a scaled-down version of Peachtree Road
                streetscape.
            •   Improve accessibility. Assure safe bicycle and pedestrian crossing at several of
                the following intersections with Roswell Road: West Wieuca, Wieuca,
                Interlochen, Chastain Drive, Le Brun, Laurel, Powers Ferry, Blackland, Ivy, and
                Habersham. Hopefully the grid development approach will make crossing
                Roswell Road as a pedestrian safer and easier. Consider use of tunnels and
                bridges. Because of speed Roswell Road is becoming a no-man’s land,
                neighborhoods are separated, and parks within walking or sight distance can’t be
                accessed.
            •   Allow another crossing of Roswell Road (e.g. at Chastain Drive/Post Apartments
                or Interlochen) so West side of Roswell Road can access Blue Heron preserve.
            •   Use off business hours parking capacity on Roswell Road for Chastain Park
                concert overflow. Use smaller city buses to transport.


                                       Chastain Park ‐ Page 4 of 6 
Combined Neighborhoods Draft                                                                  April 11, 2008
Connect Atlanta Plan                                                                          Page 8 of 20
        Chastain Park’s Connect Atlanta Recommendations
                                                 Draft #1
         
            •   Enforce speed limits and implement traffic calming on Roswell, Lake Forrest,
                Powers Ferry, Northside, and Mt. Paran Roads. Average speeds exceed posted
                speeds by 20 miles per hour, and this is in residential areas! Roswell Road is
                particularly bad with very limited sight/distance.
            •   Clearly mark places where children are regular pedestrians with speed reduction
                signs and traffic calming—schools (Sutton, Galloway, Warren T. Jackson) and
                most park venues (reference Chastain Park Master Plan). Add sidewalks for
                students to walk to nearby neighborhoods.
            •   Implement traffic calming within Chastain Park neighborhood.
            •   Install granite block monuments, consistent with Park walls, at entrances to
                Chastain Park neighborhood as a visual cue to commuters that they are in a Park
                area.
            •   Install clearly noticeable crosswalk inserts (brick) and pedestrian signs and mid-
                crosswalk bollards at all intersections of connector roads to Powers Ferry and
                Lake Forrest Roads at the Park. For example: Interlochen, Laurel, Putnam, Lake
                Forrest Lane, West Wieuca at Lake Forrest; Cochran, Stella, Jett, Blanton, West
                Wieuca, Hillside, Pineland, Tuxedo, West Park Court, Tuxedo Terrace, Putnam,
                Putnam Circle, and Lake Forrest at Powers Ferry; Dudley at West Wieuca.
            •   Study signalization of Powers Ferry and Roswell in context of grid plan.
            •   Encourage small businesses and entrepreneurs in redevelopment of grids---more
                consistent with Chastain Park and a gateway to Buckhead. Don’t price them out
                of market. Discourage big-box stores that are more appropriate for major
                highway intersections (e.g., Prado area near I-285 and Roswell Rd.)
            •   Coordinate Roswell Corridor development and traffic management with City of
                Sandy Springs.
            •   Plan pocket parks wherever possible.
            •   Consider pedestrian/bicycle bridges/tunnels to traverse the Piedmont extension
                and Roswell, currently a no-man's land. Proposed grid breaks up that no-man's
                land and might allow pedestrians to get to proposed commercial area between
                Piedmont and Roswell Roads.
            •   Wider rights of way.
            •   More shared lanes for bicycles

        Agree with North Buckhead on the following items:
           • Adaptive sensing and signaling technology needed to unsnarl our traffic.
           • The “Habersham” bottleneck may be improved with a new street grid.
           • Fixing “Habersham” has consequences to neighborhood areas.
           • A guaranteed “Residential Buffer” is required for success of a “New Piedmont”
              plan
           • Sidewalks and Traffic Calming for Old Ivy.
           • Improved school drop-off required for Sarah Smith.
           • Traffic signals need to be considered for Old Ivy’s “feeder” streets.
           • Roswell Corridor Project required.
           • Accessibility of North Buckhead diminished by GA 400 &Buckhead Loop.
           • Funding the entire Roswell/Piedmont/Habersham/neighborhood streets solution
              as a complete package.
           • Traffic volumes destined to grow.


                                       Chastain Park ‐ Page 5 of 6 
Combined Neighborhoods Draft                                                                 April 11, 2008
Connect Atlanta Plan                                                                         Page 9 of 20
        Chastain Park’s Connect Atlanta Recommendations
                                              Draft #1
         
            •   I-85/GA 400 Interchange must be completed.
            •   West Paces Ferry/Peachtree Road intersection must be reworked.

         




                                     Chastain Park ‐ Page 6 of 6 
Combined Neighborhoods Draft                                                      April 11, 2008
Connect Atlanta Plan                                                             Page 10 of 20
               North Buckhead’s Connect Atlanta Recommendations
                                                                  Draft #4
 The “Habersham” bottleneck may be improved with a new street grid – Extending Piedmont to parallel
 Roswell Road and adding new cross streets may significantly improve the traffic problems which haunt the
 Roswell-Piedmont-Blackland-Habersham-Powers Ferry intersections. This solution would require the
 voluntary cooperation of commercial property owners, neighborhoods, the City and the State. This is not a
 short-term plan and may take ten years or more to
 accomplish.

 With new, medium-density development and greenspace,
 this new street grid could become a gateway to urban
 Buckhead. The ultimate configuration, and, in particular,
 the path of Piedmont, will need to be worked out by the
 participants and may differ significantly from these
 diagrams.




                                                                             Connect Atlanta artist’s concept of another possible
                                                                             configuration for Roswell-Habersham-Piedmont area.
     Existing intersections (left) and an optional configuration (right)     We would prefer the road grid to be shifted slightly to
                                                                             the west to buffer for existing condominiums better.

 Fixing “Habersham” has consequences to neighborhood areas – Relocating Piedmont, adding a grid, and
 fixing the Habersham bottleneck has consequences beyond those intended: Old Ivy Road traffic will become
 heavier. Drivers who now go miles out of their way to avoid a 15-minute wait on Habersham will adjust their
 behavior once the problems are fixed. The Connect Atlanta Plan should have built-in improvements for the
 interiors of the neighborhoods to make this a win-win result, not a win-lose result.

 A guaranteed “Residential Buffer” is required for success of a “New Piedmont” plan – The board of the
 North Buckhead Civic Association finds the idea of a new grid structure for streets in the Piedmont, Roswell,
 Habersham, Powers Ferry area appealing, but only if certain neighborhood protections are guaranteed.
 •     If Piedmont is moved east, the residents in existing condominiums need to be guaranteed a buffer.
       Preferably, the buffer would be one of commercial buildings with acceptable rear yard buffers, as required
       by ordinances. However, if the street is put next to the condos, we are concerned because there is no
       ordinance requiring a buffer from the street to the nearby residences – the road can be put immediately
       adjacent to the residential property lines. So, if relocating Piedmont is to be the premise of the Connect
       Atlanta Plan, we need legal guarantees to establish a buffer (a distance where the road will not be located)
       to protect the condo values. If that buffer is invaded, then the City should buy out the condo owners at a

Combined Neighborhoods Draft                        North Buckhead - Page 1 of 6                                     April 11, 2008
Connect Atlanta Plan                                                                                                Page 11 of 20
           North Buckhead’s Connect Atlanta Recommendations
                                                     Draft #4
     fair (non-distress) price. Such a deal protecting existing residents should be part of the Connect Atlanta
     Plan just as much as relocating Piedmont is part of that plan.
 •   Height-plane restrictions also need to be ensured so that high-rises aren’t erected. Unlike current
     ordinances, these height-plane restrictions should apply whether or not there is an intervening street.
     Building heights in the new “grid area” should not exceed a plane extending at a 45° from the lot line
     residential properties in the area. In other words, to ensure the continued quality of life for existing
     residential areas, the zoning permitted within our new grid should preclude high-rises. These height-plane
     restrictions need to be a firm promise in the Connect Atlanta Plan and enacted by ordinance.

 Sidewalks and Traffic Calming for Old Ivy – When
 the Habersham bottleneck is fixed, traffic flow will
 increase on Old Ivy Road. Old Ivy is the site of Sarah
 Smith Elementary School. Kids and parents walk to
 school. Sidewalks on both sides (not just one) of Old Ivy
 Road, from Roswell/Piedmont to Wieuca Road need to
 be part of the plan. Traffic calming needs to protect the
 residential nature of Old Ivy – narrower lanes,
 landscaping, etc. are needed to slow and calm traffic.

 Improved school drop-off required for Sarah Smith –
 Improved facilities need to be provided for parents in
 cars who come to drop off or pick up children. Today,
 the westbound lane of Old Ivy is blocked twice a day by
 a line of cars waiting to enter Sarah Smith. This line is
 inconsistent with the concept of a larger volume of traffic
 on Old Ivy Road and is an existing safety hazard.

 Traffic signals need to be considered for Old Ivy’s
 “feeder” streets – Traffic going eastbound on Old Ivy in
 front of Sarah Smith School, is either local or it ends up
 (virtually all the time) on Wieuca at Ivy Road or Wieuca
 at Old Ivy Road. To avoid introducing new bottlenecks
 at these intersections, new traffic signals should be
 considered. Traffic flow analyses should be done to
 consider where the Old Ivy traffic goes once it reaches Wieuca – no doubt, much reaches Peachtree-
 Dunwoody Road and beyond. The capacity of those roads beyond Old Ivy should be considered, too.

 Roswell Corridor Project required – We have a tremendously successful Peachtree Boulevard project. It
 has made a wonderful improvement to our City and is an investment that will pay for itself many times. A
 similar project is under way for the Piedmont Road Corridor. It is important for Atlanta and Sandy Springs to
 jointly undertake a Roswell Corridor Project. Roswell Road is a gateway to Buckhead and a gateway to
 Atlanta. It is imperative that the City, in concert with Sandy Springs, makes another investment that will pay
 for itself many times: a beautified Roswell Road. The project should include wider sidewalks, standardized
 signs, landscaping and lighting, underground utilities, and a uniform development/zoning philosophy. The
 25-acre Blue Heron Nature Preserve, on Roswell Road at Nancy Creek, could become a centerpiece of an
 integrated Roswell Corridor Plan.

Combined Neighborhoods Draft              North Buckhead - Page 2 of 6                            April 11, 2008
Connect Atlanta Plan                                                                             Page 12 of 20
           North Buckhead’s Connect Atlanta Recommendations
                                                         Draft #4


 Wieuca Road and Peachtree-Dunwoody Roads – Attention need to be paid to North Buckhead’s two main,
 purely residential roads. The residential character of these roads and adjoining property needs to be protected
 – more than 250 single family homes and low-density condominiums front on Wieuca or have their sole
 access to the outside world through Wieuca Road. Further, it is extremely likely that a new elementary school
 will be built on Wieuca Road. School children (and parents) will need a calm environment with sidewalks
 along both sides of Wieuca Road – narrower traffic lanes, landscaping, etc. are needed to slow and calm
 traffic. A turn lane(s) may be appropriate at the new school.

 Both North Buckhead and Brookhaven have some of their limited number of outlets to the outside world at
 the few intersections on Peachtree-Dunwoody. The City has purchased a new five-acre park on Peachtree-
 Dunwoody Road and plans are under way to determine how it will be developed – a playground is one of the
 highest priorities for this park. Traffic calming and pedestrian access to the park are needed for the safety of
 park users.

 Some new traffic signals, sidewalks and probably other amenities will become appropriate on both Wieuca
 and Peachtree-Dunwoody to enable residents to safely use the new park and elementary school.

 Accessessibility of North Buckhead diminished by GA 400 & Buckhead Loop – Before the construction
 of GA 400 and the Buckhead Loop, North Buckhead had freer access points to the “outside world”. The map
                                          to the left shows the signalized entrances/exits to and from the
                                          neighborhood that existed up until the early 1990s. This reduced
                                          accessibility affects both North Buckhead and surrounding
                                          neighborhoods.

                                                   The Buckhead Loop construction was related to the GA 400
                                                   project and added a major interchange which services Buckhead
                                                   and southern Sandy Springs. The Loop added two new access
                                                   points but they do not connect to the interior neighborhood street
                                                   grid – thus, the Loop can be considered to be a limited access
                                                   extension of Lenox Road. The access points on Wieuca and
                                                   West Wieuca, while providing redundant capacity, serve the
                                                   same part of the neighborhood and can be regarded as one
                                                   entrance/exit.

                                                   Accordingly, the loss of the two major access points on the
                                                   southern part of the neighborhood has had a profound impact on
                                                   neighborhood traffic patterns and the intensity of usage of the
                                                   remaining entry points. For many, what used to be a quick trip
                                                   to Lenox Square is now, a more time consuming and much less
  1973 Map of North Buckhead shows the             friendly trip.
  signalized access points for the neighborhood.
  Southern access to Peachtree and Piedmont        Any road or signalization handling changes in the area should be
  was lost in 1993 with GA 400’s construction.     done carefully to retain the functionality of the remaining points
                                                   of entry and exit.



Combined Neighborhoods Draft                   North Buckhead - Page 3 of 6                           April 11, 2008
Connect Atlanta Plan                                                                                 Page 13 of 20
           North Buckhead’s Connect Atlanta Recommendations
                                                      Draft #4
 Pedestrian Enigmas must be solved – Parts of North Buckhead are inaccessible to pedestrians – the
                                                   Buckhead Loop is especially pedestrian-hostile.
                                                   Residents of some of North Buckhead’s most densely
                                                   developed areas can’t shop at the nearest stores –
                                                   residents of the Post Stratford apartments can’t easily
                                                   shop at stores and restaurants they can see from their
                                                   windows. To walk the 400’ from the Post apartments
                                                   to nearby TJ Maxx or Toys-R-US requires a 2/3-mile
                                                   route, distinguished, in places, by its pedestrian
                                                   hostility. Park Avenue condominium residents who try
                                                   to walk to office buildings on Piedmont Road complain
                                                   they just can’t easily reach the buildings they can see.

                                                          Many residents of southern North Buckhead live within
                                                          2/3-miles of the Buckhead MARTA station, yet there is
                                                          no practical way for them to reach the MARTA station
                                                          because of intervening roads and because the city’s
                                                          largest developed neighborhood has no MARTA
                                                          service except on two of its borders. MARTA (or
                                                          equivalent) service needs to be provided if there is to be
                                                          any expectation that most North Buckhead residents
                                                          will even occasionally abandon their cars.

                                                           High-traffic streets pose another instance of being able
                                                           to see where you want to go but not be able to get there.
                                                           Sidewalks run the full length of Wieuca, Peachtree
                                                           Dunwoody and Old Ivy Roads. But that does not make
                                                           them fully usable; it is often difficult to cross the road
                                                           to get to the side with sidewalks, especially pushing a
   This map shows various kinds of greenspace in the area.
                                                           baby carriage. To make this problem clear, Peachtree-
   Orange lines show existing sidewalks. Crosswalks and
   sidewalks on both sides of our busier streets (Wieuca,  Dunwoody, carrying 12,000 vehicles a day at about 10
   Peachtree-Dunwoody, and Old Ivy Roads) are needed.      MPH over the posted limit of 35, has a length of 1.4
                                                           miles with no stop signs or signalized crosswalks.
 Winding Wieuca Road, with 15,000 vehicles a day and a routinely ignored 25 MPH limit, spans two miles
 with no stop signs or safe crosswalks. The solution is to build more sidewalks and to provide some means for
 pedestrians to cross our busier roads (stop signs and/or signalized crosswalks.)

 High-density Buckhead in particular should become as pedestrian friendly as it is automobile friendly.
 Further, a public “sense of place” should be provided for pedestrians in urban Buckhead – pocket
 parks/greenspaces/dog runs – places where pedestrians can feel at ease and welcomed in public. Except for
 the Peachtree Boulevard and a tiny park behind Tower Place, there are very few first-class places for
 pedestrians that don’t involve being in someone’s building or walking on unfriendly sidewalks and driveways.
 What are all of the people who move into condo high-rises supposed to do with their kids and their dogs?
 New York City has set aside 25% of its land for public parks; Atlanta has 6% in total and 0% in urban
 Buckhead.



Combined Neighborhoods Draft               North Buckhead - Page 4 of 6                              April 11, 2008
Connect Atlanta Plan                                                                                Page 14 of 20
           North Buckhead’s Connect Atlanta Recommendations
                                                      Draft #4
 Adaptive sensing and signaling technology needed to unsnarl our traffic – Atlanta is currently using
 technology circa the 1940s to handle its traffic. If the same “advanced technology” were used by Google and
 Amazon, we would have no Internet commerce; if it were applied to the telephone system, we wouldn’t have
 touch-tone phones. Yet, Atlanta and the state have an investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in our
 streets and intersections and much of the capacity of our roads is lost. Adaptive sensing technology is a
 proven technology which can and should be used to improve the utilization of our existing roads. After all,
 we simply don’t have the money or the land to build more and bigger roads.

 Funding the entire Roswell/Piedmont/Habersham/neighborhood streets solution as a complete package
 – The Connect Atlanta plan must not allow for a partial implementation of improvements with only business
 needs addressed and residential needs deferred, perhaps indefinitely. Not only must the high volume roads be
 fixed, but before their improvements are started, funding for related residential projects should be dedicated
 and available. A firm allocation of 20% of the overall project budget for the Roswell/Piedmont/Habersham
 improvements should be earmarked for interior neighborhood needs, shared on both sides of Roswell. Similar
 projects on other major streets should involve the comparable funding of neighborhood needs.

 Traffic volumes destined to grow – Buckhead traffic volumes are far from static. Buckhead has grown
 rapidly and even if no new projects arise there are already enough approved projects and enough approved
 high-density zoning in the pipeline to possibly swamp the best laid plans. We are concerned that the initial
 Connect Atlanta solutions for Buckhead address only today’s traffic volumes, not what’s coming.

 I-85/GA 400 Interchange must be completed – The failure to build a complete I-85 interchange when GA
 400 was built causes much excess surface traffic in Buckhead, particularly on Peachtree, Piedmont, the
 Buckhead Loop, Wieuca, Lenox, and Roxboro Roads. It is absolutely critical to complete this interchange.

 West Paces Ferry/Peachtree Road intersection – One intersection well outside North Buckhead is worthy
 of mention: the West Paces Ferry/Peachtree Road intersection. Currently, east-bound traffic on West Paces
 Ferry Road is prohibited from turning left onto Peachtree Road and Roswell Road. Instead, traffic is forced to
 proceed onto East Paces Ferry Road. Drivers unfamiliar with the street layout end up on Piedmont, which is
 often not what they intended. It would be much better to permit left turns.

 Growth Management and Connect Atlanta’s Successfulness – There is some limit to how much traffic
 Piedmont and Peachtree can carry. Similar limits exist for other areas of Atlanta. Development of new
 density should not be permitted unless realistic, near-term transportation/transit capacity is available and/or a
 funding mechanism and implementation plan are in place to build out new capacity. In other words, impact
 fees and increased density-related millage rates should be paid by development that requires new
 transportation infrastructure or that new density should be deferred. We should not take away the
 landowner’s rights to develop their land, but neither should we let them dump the costs their developments
 cause on existing residents and existing business owners.

 Historically, planning in Atlanta and, in particular, traffic planning in Atlanta, parallels the life experiences of
 a chronically overweight person who is always dieting but never succeeds. People get fat and stay fat because
 of their lifestyles – the solution is not buying bigger clothes; rather, they need to eat less and exercise more.
 Cities get traffic gridlock and keep it in spite of transportation spending because of their lifestyles, too – the
 solution is not building more and bigger roads, since we have already done that; rather, they need to stop
 growing uncontrollably and start growing smarter. People need to manage their food intake; cities need to


Combined Neighborhoods Draft               North Buckhead - Page 5 of 6                              April 11, 2008
Connect Atlanta Plan                                                                                Page 15 of 20
           North Buckhead’s Connect Atlanta Recommendations
                                                      Draft #4
 manage their growth. So, if Connect Atlanta is to be a successful plan and not a mere resolution, its key tenet
 must be “managed growth”.

 Managed growth means setting realistic traffic volume limits for each area and, within each area, capacity
 limits for each road. Then, if a developer proposes a development that exceeds those capacity limits, he will
 not automatically get development permits. If the City comes up with a traffic/transit improvement that
 promises to expand capacity and permits higher limits, the City should defer permitting any new density until
 the improvements are ready and the developers seeking permits which require that new capacity should pay
 for its creation.

 Inevitably, the analogy of hefty people and traffic-challenged cities breaks down. A person is a single thing.
 Atlanta is a metro area – a group of autonomous political entities. Atlanta is just part of the metro body –
 judging by our problems, we’re probably the torso with an enlarged belly and “love handles”; other
 governments largely control the mouth and the hands stuffing it with food. To a large extent, we don’t control
 our source of food (sprawl), we are just stuck with processing it.

 A complete traffic policy must be regional. But, lacking complete control doesn’t mean we should do
 nothing. If we are about to permit the creation of a “jobs magnet” as we have built many times in Buckhead
 (Piedmont Center, Atlanta Financial Center, Terminus, etc.) we should ask a basic question: where will the
 workers come from? In the past, a competent analysis would have forecast that, based on demographic trends
 and housing stock availability, a large portion of Buckhead workers come from other counties. After the fact,
 this is confirmed by an informal license tag count in Piedmont Center which indicates that most workers are
 from Cobb County.

 So the question is: if we permit new density, would we have enough road/transit capacity to service it? A
 corollary question: if we don’t have enough road capacity and new infrastructure is required, why shouldn’t
 the developers and occupants of new density pay every dime of its construction? Why should the existing
 tenants and existing residents in other buildings subsidize new density, just so the developer gets rich (in part
 at the expense of bystanders)? Opponents of this approach might argue that land owners have a right to
 develop their land and that keeping them from doing so is an unconstitutional “taking”. The answer to this
 objection is that of course the owner can use his land as he see fit, but when he requires the public to pay huge
 sums or to experience unreasonable traffic congestion as a result, it is no longer merely a private property
 rights issue – there are other participants who are involved in the decision making, other participants with the
 right to say no.

 To date, the city and other local governments have failed to act to the limit new density and the result is
 continuing and worsening traffic congestion. They have apparently either been indifferent or they have been
 stymied by the “property rights” arguments. The attitude of our governments has been that of the
 unsuccessful dieter: we can eat as much as we want and we will not get fat as long as we make some
 resolutions and “try”. The time has past to just “try”; we need to get down to insisting on serious planning
 and meaningful governmental discipline. As we have seen above, there are excellent counter arguments to the
 “property rights trumps all” line of thought and we must now apply discipline to Atlanta’s growth if Connect
 Atlanta is to be successful and if what remains of our residential and business quality of life is to be preserved.
 Draft #3 - March 17, 2008
 North Buckhead Civic Association
 nbca@nbca.org

Combined Neighborhoods Draft              North Buckhead - Page 6 of 6                              April 11, 2008
Connect Atlanta Plan                                                                               Page 16 of 20
         Tuxedo Park Recommendations for Connect Atlanta
                                                   Draft #1

        First a comment. I just read over the Update on the Livable Centers Initiative. It was
        interesting. In the list of Fundamentals, they listed the goal to "Reinforce High Density
        Core. There were several recommendations about transit within the area, several
        recommendations about increasing density, but I didn't find anything that considered how
        people would get to or from this Livable Center. Shouldn't that have been part of the
        original proposal since they were creating a much more dense work community?

        Another Comment - most of the comments from our group in the Connect Atlanta
        meetings have been talked about traffic from the north - mostly from Cobb County.
        Tuxedo Park traffic comes from Vinings along Paces Ferry to West Paces, some from I-
        75 & Cobb County, but a great deal of it comes from the Moores Mill/Bolton Road route,
        the south side of Atlanta to I-75 to exit at Moores Mill or West Paces Ferry, the
        neighborhoods of south & west Buckhead etc. So let’s not just talk about traffic from
        Cobb County & the north. Tons of is comes from the south & west. We need to talk
        about commuter traffic so that future solutions look at solving the whole problem, not
        just the Cobb County problem.

        Recommendations from Tuxedo Park -

        *      Much of the Buckhead Village area is zoned C-1. Except for Peachtree Road, the
        only access to this district is by 2 lane streets, many of them are residential. Until there is
        an adequate system of mass transportation from outlying areas to this district, there
        should be a building moratorium.

        *      With the density of the future development in mind, Roswell Road needs to
        remain a four lane street, but steps need to be taken so that future residents can walk
        comfortably and safely to work or "play" in either the Buckhead Village or the
        Piedmont/Peachtree area or other areas to be redeveloped along Roswell Road.

        *      The 20 acre plus apartment community of The Paces will be redeveloped in 5
        years of so. I believe that it is zoned mid-rise residential.

        *       Traffic Calming on neighborhood streets - including stop signs and cross walks at
        intersections along Habersham Road.

        *      Appropriate measures for Blackland Road that meet neighborhood approval.

        *       Storm water retention that surpasses that which is currently required to alleviate
        the storm water issues of Wolf Creek that originates behind the disco Kroger shopping
        center & enters Nancy Creek in the soccer fields along Broadland Road.

        Remember that the Purpose of the Connect Atlanta Plan is to look and plan 20 to 30 years
        into the future. This means more than sidewalks & crosswalks and new buildings & tree
        lined streets. It means careful planning for new residents in and around the City. It
        means planning for new businesses. It means planning ways for people to move between



Combined Neighborhoods Draft             Tuxedo Park – Page 1 of 2                                 April 11, 2008
Connect Atlanta Plan                                                                              Page 17 of 20
         Tuxedo Park Recommendations for Connect Atlanta
                                                  Draft #1
        their homes & jobs in a variety of ways. In the past, many great infrastructure plans have
        been proposed and ignored for the convenience of the moment. The view of the goal of
        The City of the Future is too often forgotten. The Connect Atlanta plan is a great idea
        and very important for the City.

        Sally Morgens
        Smorgens@aol.com
        Tuesday, March 25, 2008 3:29 PM




Combined Neighborhoods Draft           Tuxedo Park – Page 2 of 2                              April 11, 2008
Connect Atlanta Plan                                                                         Page 18 of 20
        Proposed Outline for Combined Neighborhoods Input
                                                        Draft #1

            This is an early draft outline which is proposed as a possible method of reorganizing the preceding
         materials in a coherent statement of area traffic needs. As proposed, it will introduce much new material.

        Current assessment
              No money, much new development, inadequate impact fees
              New school
              New park
              Traffic from outside (Cobb & outside)

        Infrastructure
               Near-term changes
                       Piedmont Road Study recommendations
                       Traffic Calming and Pedestrian
                                Road striping and marking
                                Crosswalks
                                Pedestrian signage
                                Traffic signals (timed and demand-activated)
                                Speed indicator smart signs
                       Signal timing
                                Frequency
                                Inter-government coordination
               Long-term changes
                       Grid and redevelopment at Habersham
                                Traffic signals at each node
               Critical but no sure approach
                   • East-west connectivity
                   • North-south connectivity
                   • Cobb-to-Buckhead light rail
                   • Pharr to Lenox Road connector
               Other opportunities
                   • Improved GA 400 sound walls and Wieuca-Mountain Way-Loridans
                   • Toll Plaza Park
               Linear Park
        Policy
               Fund regions, not specific roads
                   • An x% holdback should provide funding for neighborhoods impacted by
                       big projects
               Bus bump-outs require means of re-entry
               Pro-resident orientation
               Priorities for spending impact fee money
               Control development to fit the transportation envelope
               Rent-a-cops
               Gridlock prevention
                       Signalize right on red to favor thru traffic
               Revenue sources and incentives


Combined Neighborhoods Draft               Proposed Outline – Page 1 of 2                                     April 11, 2008
Connect Atlanta Plan                                                                                         Page 19 of 20
        Proposed Outline for Combined Neighborhoods Input
                                              Draft #1
                    Increased impact fees
                    Tax policy – tax parking spaces
                    Reward practices that improve transportation
              Consider environment when making transportation decisions
                    Provide incentives for:
                            More trees, parks and greenspace
                            Wildlife connectivity
                            Shaded streets and parking lots
                            White/light pavement

        Gordon Certain
        4/11/08




Combined Neighborhoods Draft      Proposed Outline – Page 2 of 2           April 11, 2008
Connect Atlanta Plan                                                      Page 20 of 20

				
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