The city of Sandy Springs plans to vote on a master trail plan that will include 31.4 miles of paths at an Oct. 15 meeting and begin designs for a $33 million, 10 year implementation plan.
Eventually, paths will allow bicyclists and pedestrians to travel from north to south of the city, connect to existing trails in neighboring cities and have access to the Atlanta Beltline and transit stations.
The plan focuses on six major projects to provide connectivity throughout the city. A recommended “model mile,” or pilot project, of trails would connect Marsh Creek and the Sandy Springs Tennis Center, building off work the city has already done in that area.
“Once you get your model project in the ground, people…see it as tangible,” said Greta DeMayo, a planner with Kaizen Collaborative, which is working on the master plan. “The tables really reverse once people realize what the trail brings.”
The ideas were drafted by the PATH Foundation and revealed at a June 19 public meeting. The PATH Foundation is a nonprofit that has overseen the construction and design of hundreds of miles of trails in the metro area. The study was funded by the city and the Sandy Springs Conservancy.
The master plan recommends an implementation plan to span 10 years. The project would include the pilot project, expected to be completed by the end of 2021, as well as a trail connecting Ison Road, Morgan Falls Park, Roswell Road and the North River Shopping Center, as well as a bridge over the Chattahoochee River at Morgan Falls.
The estimated design and construction cost for the implementation plan is $33,360,000, but does not include right of way acquisition costs, according to the presentation.
After the initial 10 year plan, the future projects include connecting to PATH400 in Buckhead, which is in the design process; the Crooked Creek Trail in Peachtree Corners; the East Palisades Trail at the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area; the Big Creek Greenway in Roswell; Hyde Farm in Cobb County and a connection to the Cumberland Trail Network in Marietta.
The presentation also included potential sources of funding, both local and federal. DeMayo recommends local funding, specifically the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Recreational Trails Program, a federal grant program funded by the Federal Highway Administration and administered at the state level by the Georgia DNR.
To see the proposed trail master plan, click here.