Imagine hoping aboard a bicycle or scooter near Piedmont Park, traveling the Beltline to Buckhead, and then heading up PATH400 to multi-use trails extending to Sandy Springs or even Roswell.
A deal recently struck between city leaders in Atlanta and Sandy Springs is being called a crucial step in making such alternate connectivity possible between important work and leisure hubs.
Both cities have entered an intergovernmental agreement to design a multi-use path stretching a little less than two miles along Ga. Highway 400. It’s part of a regional effort to link the Beltline, via PATH400, with planned trails in north Fulton County cities.
Per the agreement, Atlanta and Sandy Springs will pay 20 percent of project funding through local coffers, while the Georgia Department of Transportation covers the remaining 80 percent, officials announced Tuesday.
The trail segment would extend from Loridans Drive in Buckhead, where efforts to build a new community park are underway, to just south of Johnson Ferry Road beyond the Perimeter.
The bulk of the project (about 78 percent) is located in Sandy Springs.
The deal goes that Atlanta will cover about 22 percent of preliminary engineering costs, with Sandy Springs footing the bill for the rest.
Atlantans worried that the project’s costs could detract from Beltline construction progress probably shouldn’t be.
Livable Buckhead and the PATH Foundation have agreed to fork over Atlanta’s share of local funding. Estimated costs weren’t specified.
The overarching goal is to increase trail connectivity between existing PATH400 segments and the area where Ga. Highway 400 meets Interstate 285. A massive highway overhaul at that junction will include bike and pedestrian infrastructure on the southeast side of the project.
Doing so would link two major economic centers with an alternate to more highways and rail.
Elsewhere, PATH400 opened its first phase, connecting Old Ivy Road to Tower Place, in 2015. A section linking Lindbergh with Lenox Square is under construction now, aiming to finish later this year.
Once that segment wraps, PATH400 will be 67 percent complete.