“There’s a lot of work to do between now and then. It could be a couple of months after that,” said Director of Transportation and Planning Brian McHugh, at the district’s monthly board meeting Tuesday at Tower Place in Buckhead.
The implementation of the bridge is a product of an agreement made before Ga. 400 was constructed, among the district, the Georgia Department of Transpiration, the city of Atlanta, State Road and Toll Authority and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration.
It will reconnect the east and west sides of Buckhead and provide an entrance to the station. Pedestrians will walk across the bridge between Stratford Road to Tower Place Drive, over 400.
The district voted unanimously to approve district Executive Director Jim Durrett’s request for $13,800 plus several hundred dollars in printing costs, to hire Beth Schapiro from the Schapiro Group to conduct a strategic research proposal of the district’s business community taxpayers.
“It’s to reach out to them, to poll them about the perception of the work we’re doing, their concerns, their priorities, … to find out how they’d like to be communicated with going forward,” Durrett said.
The survey will take 14 weeks to complete, and tasks will include field web, phone and mail surveys.
In other news, Friday is a major deadline for the Ga. 400 Trail for all city legislation, “to get in the hopper for adoption of the Atlanta City Council in May or June,” said Livable Buckhead Business Development Manager Tony Peters, who was filling in for Executive Director Denise Starling.
He said the trail’s official title and logo will be unveiled next month.
Additionally, Tom Weyandt, the city’s senior policy adviser for transportation, spoke to the district about the downtown Atlanta Streetcar Project, which is under construction and expected to be mostly finished in January.
The construction project includes four cars and is budgeted at $92 million, the bulk of which came from a grant for the Federal Transit Administration, Weyandt said, as well as the city’s funds and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District.
“All vehicles are ready for shipment to the city,” he said. “Utility relocations remain the primary driver for all work.”
District chair David Allman asked what the reaction was from downtown property owners about the streetcar implementation.
Weyandt said it has not been as smooth as he wanted it to be, and it is a matter of talking about this new form of transportation and becoming comfortable with a new element in the downtown environment.
“There are no relocations being required. … We’re not leaving anyone with an under-developable parcel. In some cases, we’re providing a street car stop at their front door,” he said.
He said most of the streetcar users will be residents, especially from the Old Fourth Ward, to get to MARTA, in order to get to work in Buckhead or elsewhere. He said a large chunk of riders will also be tourists and students.