Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Parallels positive for all

Proposed streets provide access, improve safety, reduce congestion

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation recently reported, “Atlanta has the second-worst congestion in the nation, behind Los Angeles. Failing to keep up with the growth in traffic is one reason; another is a poorly functioning arterial road network, which causes overuse of freeways for local trips and does not allow for alternate routes around accidents and traffic jams. Atlanta's failure to plan for growth by designing and building an effective grid of arterial roads should be a lesson for areas around the state that are not fully developed.” An Atlanta Journal Constitution article titled “Make roads safe so that ‘routine’ deaths decline” referenced U.S. 78 as an example of an unsafe suburban thoroughfare in need of improvements benefiting local, regional, and pedestrian traffic. The Evermore CID is leading the effort to plan and construct significant improvements benefiting all that live, work, shop, or travel U.S. 78 in Gwinnett County.

Most know of the major investment underway along U.S. 78 to improve safety by installing a center median; however, Evermore is also benefitting from the planning and design of an effective parallel street system too. Potential projects linking the signalized intersection at Rockbridge Road with Davis Road and Hewatt Road, crossing Parkwood Road, continuing to Britt Road and eventually to the newly engineered intersection at Walton Court are positive for all. Completion of these projects, as well as the numerous others underway, will provide options for local travel, improve safety, guarantee access, and preserve property values for residential and business alike.

By providing a grid of parallel streets the entire 7-mile corridor, local traffic will have choices to access businesses, avoid congestion and/or accidents, and safely enter and exit the corridor. The proposed parallel streets include reduced design speeds, pedestrian access, and buffers. In addition to providing safe access and improving mobility, the parallel streets provide opportunities to preserve and revitalize the business corridor. A strong, vibrant business marketplace improves safety and strengthens residential property values.

From the CID’s founding in 2003, our organization has modeled our projects and programs in an attempt to avoid the life cycle experienced on the Memorial Drive corridor. Absent safe access provided by parallel streets, business failures, empty storefronts, and an increase in less than attractive properties is a much greater probability. The Evermore community must remain united in support of our work program that will encourage investment and revitalization.

Whether a homeowner, business owner, employee, or visitor, Evermore’s proposed parallel street projects are positive for all.

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