The Buckhead Community Improvement District is seeking proposals from firms to study the feasibility of adding a new Ga. 400 interchange at East Paces Ferry Road. The study would also look at ways to reconfigure the Lenox Road interchange to make it more pedestrian-friendly.
Those two changes were suggested in “Buckhead REdeFINED,” the master plan that was completed last year. The Atlanta Regional Commission awarded a grant in March to Livable Buckhead, which works with the CID on projects, to study the controversial idea to build a new interchange at East Paces Ferry Road.
The CID released the request for qualifications on May 18. Responses from interested firms are due June 15.
Buckhead currently has a single Ga. 400 interchange at Lenox Road, worsening traffic on other major local roads, including Peachtree, Piedmont and Roswell, the document said.
“Providing an alternative to the Lenox Road interchange could potentially enhance the mobility to and from Ga. 400 and reduce traffic congestion in Buckhead,” the RFQ said.
The study would also look at ways to improve pedestrian and bicycle access along Lenox Road. Most of Lenox Road does not have sidewalks or bike lanes, and there are no sidewalks leading up to the interchange, according to the document.
“This effectively divides Buckhead and forces people to take additional trips in vehicles,” the document said.
The RFQ indicated reducing the lane widths and transforming the sidewalk into a wider multi-use trail could make the interchange more pedestrian-friendly. The document also suggests introducing distinctive lighting, decorative bridge railings and plantings.
The study process would be required to include “robust” public engagement, that would include two public meetings “to ensure local input and support of the improvements,” the document said.
The consultant would also be required to meet with stakeholders, including the CID, Livable Buckhead, the city of Atlanta, Georgia Department of Transportation, MARTA, neighborhood associations and commercial property owners, according to the document.
The consultant would have to get a concept report approved by GDOT before the Buckhead CID could move forward to the preliminary engineering phase, the document said.