A five-year-old plan to improve Peachtree Road for pedestrians will be revived and rebooted by the city of Brookhaven this fall. But it could still take until 2019 to get such new amenities as sidewalks, streetlights and benches.
The $3 million plan, focused on Peachtree between Ashford-Dunwoody Road and Dresden Drive, was announced by DeKalb County in 2010 for completion in 2013.
But in 2012, voters approved incorporating the new city of Brookhaven. The county put the plan on hold with the intent of handing it over to the new city to better handle local comments and concerns, according to Brookhaven Public Works Engineer Richard Meehan.
“The project has been on hold while project sponsorship has been shifted from the county to the city, but we are about to restart the project this fall,” Meehan said in an email.
The plan focuses on the west side of Peachtree and originally included better sidewalks, street furniture and pedestrian crossings. Public comments also requested a look at bicycle amenities and a traffic analysis, which were never completed, Meehan said. The city will essentially restart the planning process to cover those items, he said.
One item the plan apparently won’t include is trash cans, the lack of which a resident recently pointed out in a letter to the city asking about the status of the Peachtree Road plan. Peachtree Road doubles as Ga. 141, which is maintained by the Georgia Department of Transportation. Meehan said trash cans would be up to GDOT, but GDOT spokeswoman Annalysce Baker-Wilson said, “We don’t supply trash cans.”
Much of the Peachtree Road plan’s funding comes from a Livable Centers Initiative grant from the Atlanta Regional Commission. According to Meehan, the grant provides up to $400,000 for design and $2.4 million for construction. The city has to provide matching funds of 20 percent and must purchase all required right of ways and easements.
“With the incorporation of the city, it took a while for the sponsorship of the project to be changed from the county to the city, necessitating the change in the schedule,” Meehan said. “However, the funding is still there and has not been spent or reallocated to other projects.”
The city expects to issue a request for proposals from design consultants in the next few weeks, Meehan said, and start conceptual planning in November. Construction is estimated to happen in 2019, in part because the project includes some federal funds that require lengthy reviews and processes.