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In Buckhead, complete streets, extension of Beltline-esque path are gaining ground

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Groundbreaking for East Paces Ferry Road Complete Street project planned this week, as PATH400 construction barrels ahead.

A newly paved section of PATH400 in March this year.
A newly paved section of PATH400 in March this year.
Curbed Atlanta

Buckhead raised the hackles of Atlanta’s pedestrian-first, pro-biking legions two years ago by famously crushing plans for bicycle lanes on Peachtree Road, but that’s not to say the growing submarket isn’t working to create non-vehicle alternatives for transportation and recreation.

Two projects in particular are moving forward that suggest a more bike-friendly future for Buckhead is ahead.

First, a groundbreaking is scheduled Thursday in the shadow of Lenox Square for the East Paces Ferry Road Complete Street project.

Expect a multi-use trail, pedestrian crossing signals, street trees, and new pedestrian lighting stretching for about a mile, from Roxboro Road to the Gordon C. Bynum pedestrian bridge.

In addition to MARTA’s Lenox transit station, the new trail will pass right by CityPlace—a public park that echoes Historic Fourth Ward Park, only smaller—and hundreds of apartments recently built by AMLI.

The stretch of East Paces Ferry Road in question, bordered by hundreds of new apartments, as seen in early 2016.
Google Maps

As part of the Renew Atlanta bond package, the project is a team effort by the city, MARTA, and the Buckhead Community Improvement District, officials said.

Complete streets aim to make key thoroughfares such as East Paces Ferry Road safe for walkers, bikers, transit riders, and drivers.

“[The project] will repair existing infrastructure and add new connections for getting around within Buckhead,” said Buckhead CID director Jim Durrett in a release.

Meanwhile, nearby, the momentum for Buckhead’s PATH400 trail shows few signs of sputtering.

Norfolk Southern railroad company has given the green light for the next phase of PATH400 to begin construction from Miami Circle to Lenox Square, reports Denise Starling, executive director of Livable Buckhead, the group making the trail happen.

The segment is one of the most challenging pieces of the planned five-mile trail, with steep grade changes, MARTA tracks, and active rail lines to contend with, as we saw on a tour last year.

Starling said dirt should start moving soon, following pre-construction meetings with the railroad and MARTA.

Elsewhere, PATH400 has received final approvals to move forward with construction of an Adina Drive section near Lindbergh. “We will build these two at the same time to maximize efficiencies,” Starling wrote in a progress update.

The multi-use trail, running along Ga. Highway 400 through Buckhead, stretches more than 2.5 miles now, which means it’s halfway done, about three years since construction launched.

As seen earlier this year, this is the point where PATH400 meets the end of Miami Circle near Eclipse di Luna. A fence blocked what is a planned section of the trail.
Curbed Atlanta

Lenox Square

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