Brian McHugh, the Buckhead Community Improvement District’s director of transportation and planning, gave members of the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods an update of projects in the works at its monthly meeting Thursday at Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Buckhead.
McHugh said Dec. 31 is the scheduled completion date for the Buckhead MARTA station pedestrian bridge but the project may take a bit longer to finish. The bridge spans Ga. 400 and will connect pedestrians from Tower Place and Stratford Road to the station.
“[The bridge is] expected to bring a few thousand more riders a day,” McHugh said.
He said construction should start in February for streetscape improvements around Buckhead Village and Charlie Loudermilk Park. The project will widen sidewalks and add a crosswalk, making the area safer for pedestrians, he said.
McHugh said there is a rush to have the project finished by the time businesses at OliverMcMillan’s Buckhead Atlanta development open in the summer. The development’s opening has also accelerated plans for the first phase of Peachtree Road improvements from West Shadowlawn Avenue to Sheridan Drive.
“Buckhead Atlanta … has challenged us to get done with any mess that we’re going to do by their opening July 1,” McHugh said.
Improvements next year will likely focus on road resurfacing and sidewalk repairs, he said, with streetscape and beautification elements added in the future.
“We can’t have Buckhead Atlanta open up and have potholes or people tripping on sidewalks two doors down,” McHugh said.
At its last meeting of the year, the council discussed ways to increase outreach and membership. Council Chairman Tom Tidwell, who was elected to his post at last month’s meeting, brought up the idea of the group having a presence on Facebook to spread information to the public.
Tidwell also said the council should re-evaluate its committees. He said some committees, such as the property taxes and the redistricting committees, have been inactive and perhaps need to be disbanded but the membership committee should be revitalized.
“We’ve got 40-plus neighborhoods in Buckhead,” he said. “I think 26 are members [of the council], so we really need to work on boosting membership.”
Tidwell said getting more neighborhoods involved might better attract the attention of elected officials and bring more light to issues and concerns in Buckhead.
The Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods will meet Jan. 9 at 6:45 p.m. at Peachtree Presbyterian Church, 3434 Roswell Road in Buckhead.