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Alpharetta trades bike path project for sidewalk gap fix
by Rachel Kellogg
July 16, 2014 01:24 PM | 1611 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sidewalks along Old Milton Parkway are on the path to a makeover that would fill in five problematic gaps.

The gaps are located between North Point Parkway and Southbridge Parkway.

Alpharetta City Council voted unanimously Monday night to request that $500,000 from the Georgia Department of Transportation be moved from a bike pathway project to the new sidewalk project.

In 2010, council voted to ask GDOT for the funds for a bicycle expressway through the buffer on the western side of Ga. 400 running from Haynes Bridge Road to the Mansell Road park and ride lot.

But according to Public Works Director Pete Sewczwicz, that project has become costly in terms of funding and time.

An environmental study found more issues than the city anticipated, including a small stream that would need to be piped, possible endangered wildlife and the need for an archaeological survey.

GDOT also has requirements that need to be met before the city can get the funding, some of which city council members were concerned about.

Councilman Jim Gilvin said to use the GDOT money on the bike path, because it would technically be a transportation project, it would have “to be lit 24 hours a day” and “monitored by public safety.”

Gilvin said the lighting would take away the tree buffer along the roadway.

Mayor David Belle Isle agreed, saying, “I would like it to be a bike path for both leisure and transportation, though I’m not in favor of diminishing the buffer or throwing a bunch of lights on it.”

The reallocation of the GDOT funding, however, would not be the end of the bike path project.

“[The approval] doesn’t change my resolve for a trail or a path along the western edge of Ga. 400,” Councilman Chris Owens said, pointing out that if the city funded the project on its own, they could “basically build another greenway.”

Sewczwicz said the alternative, city-funded path is being designed.

The city will submit a letter to GDOT requesting the project relocation.

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