Saturday, November 29, 2008

New Transit Stations - Inside or outside of 285? Public meetings Tues & Thurs to discuss ideas.

Where do you want the next Dunwoody Transit Station?

Revive285 is an innovative approach by the Georgia Department of Transportation in conjunction with the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority aimed at developing a comprehensive solution for the vital top end corridor. Sadly there is little information about improving both the walking and bike access along the same corridor but I can dream can't I?

Some of the ideas like the scheduled improvement of Ashford Dunwoody at 285 have been in the works for years and are now being fast tracked if the money is available, others like transit going from Doraville to the Cumberland area are still being formalized. That being said, public comment regarding the type of transit be it Light Rail like the airport train or Bus Rapid Transit with dedicated lines is critical at this stage.

Then there is the question of what are the best routes for these new transit lines since there are already two alternatives being presented, either inside or outside of 285. There are Transit Stations being suggested at the locations of Shallowford and Cotillion and maybe another one between the Georgetown Shopping Center and the Ravinia Complex; are those the best locations for these types of infrastructure improvements? I don't have the answers but I attended the October 15th meeting which took place in Chamblee, representing the City of Dunwoody and sadly there were only 29 members of the public who were in attendance. These meetings are critical for where and how these infrastructure improvements will take place and maybe a few more affected and interested parties will attend this weeks meetings to voice their opinions.

The next round of these meetings are taking place later this week with the same information being presented at each of the two meetings. Meetings are workshop-style with a short presentation followed by a hands-on exercise.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008
4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Crowne Plaza Hotel
4355 Ashford Dunwoody Road
Atlanta, GA 30346

Thursday, December 4, 2008
4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Chamblee Civic Center
3540 Broad Street
Chamblee, GA 30341

I discovered a Revive 285 document from May 2004 which describes the stations and what they would serve and figured I would print the information.

Perimeter East Station Area Forces/Issues (Figure 2-11)
The Perimeter East Station would be located along I-285, east of Ashford Dunwoody Road. The station area contains the following primary uses and features:
o Ravinia office complex;
o Perimeter Business Park;
o Crowne Plaza Hotel;
o Proposed access between Ravinia Parkway and Perimeter Center East; and
o Proposed Perimeter Center East Circulator.

This station would be primarily a walk-in station serving the office developments and the hotel. A bus bay for the circulator needs to be provided and, as space permits, potentially some park-and-ride spaces. Due to potential plans for roadway expansion in the area, the LRT or BRT alignment and station may have to be moved to the north, at the northerly edge of the Ravinia complex.

Shallowford Road Station Area Forces/Issues (Figure 2-12)
The Shallowford Road Station would be located in the vicinity of North Shallowford Road. The station area contains the following primary uses and features:
o The Georgia Power facilities, including an electrical sub-station;
o Dunwoody Medical Center;
o The First Baptist Church of Atlanta complex;
o Small commercial and office developments; and
o Medium-density residential developments.

Three bus routes would serve this station and the program calls for 500 park-and-ride spaces. Since the LRT or BRT alignment would have to be grade-separated at North Shallowford Road, due to traffic volumes, the station would have to be elevated on retained fill and structures. This site, which would require the acquisition and relocation of the Georgia Power office building, would provide sufficient space for a surface park-and-ride lot as well as some Transit-Oriented Developments along North Shallowford Road. If higher densities would be desirable, the park-and-ride spaces could be developed in a parking ramp, which would make more land available for station-related developments. In addition, there is a vacant parcel just north of the station site that would be ideal for additional Transit-Oriented Developments, such as higher-density office or residential uses. A key issue for this station would be the need to develop a well-lighted and safe pedestrian crossing under I-285.

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