Raised cycle tracks and wide sidewalks are on the drawing board for the Perimeter Center stretch of Hammond Drive in a draft plan commissioned by Dunwoody and Sandy Springs and unveiled at the March 15 Sandy Springs City Council meeting.
Sandy Springs officials also tipped their hand to a renewed push for some kind of mass transit running along Hammond, saying they don’t want the bike and pedestrian plan to preclude it.
A year ago, the two cities commissioned Gresham, Smith and Partners to create a bicycle and pedestrian improvement plan for Hammond Drive between Sandy Springs’ Glenridge Drive and Dunwoody’s Ashford-Dunwoody Road. Jay Bockish of GSP went over the draft plans, which vary according to Hammond’s changing width, but mostly feature distinct bike and walking areas except for a stretch of multi-use path. “So each of the modes has their separate area,” Bockish said.
The plan will be tweaked following a community open house scheduled for April 21 at Dunwoody City Hall. Even then, said Sandy Springs transportation manager Brad Edwards, “It is a living document. We expect it to change.”
The goal of the plan is to guide future road work and local redevelopments—and specifically to get developers to pay for building the features. The design was made within the existing right of way, in part to keep it feasible for developers and in part because some sections are limited by the Ga. 400 overpass and the Dunwoody MARTA Station bridge.
Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul and Councilman Gabriel Sterling wanted assurances that the plan wouldn’t conflict with possible mass transit on Hammond. That idea dates back a decade and was recently revived in Sandy Springs’ “Next Ten” zoning and land-use revision process.
In addition, Sandy Springs is awaiting grant funding for another Hammond study—one looking at widening the two-lane stretch between Roswell Road and Glenridge Drive. Sterling noted that in earlier widening plans there, “we’ve got enough right of way to put in light rail or bus rapid transit.” He said he didn’t want to affect “future transit possibilities” on Hammond.
“The goal of whatever we do should [be to] connect to the Dunwoody MARTA Station,” Mayor Paul said.
Sandy Springs Public Works Director Garrin Coleman said that staff will want “symbiosis between the two plans” for the different sections of Hammond. But Edwards said that “if we want to do something above and beyond, if we want to do MARTA,” that will mean acquiring additional right of way in Perimeter Center.
A comprehensive look at alternative transportation options for Perimeter Center is the subject of yet another mutual study coming soon, teaming Brookhaven, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs and the Perimeter Center Improvement Districts. The PCIDs also partnered on the Hammond Drive bike/pedestrian plan.