funded project is due to begin construction in June of 2003.
Communications has kept the community informed on the progress of the
project all along the way with articles in the Milestone and
information posted on the web site or distributed over the e-mail
Construction: Roswell Road & Johnson Ferry Road Transit Oriented
Story for the
Springs Revitalization Milestone newsletter and web site -- April 2002
Serving Up More TE For Sandy Springs
In November of 1999, Sandy Springs Revitalization, Inc. was
successful in leveraging $1.25 million in local funds to get $4.2
million dollars in streetscape and transit improvements for the Sandy
Springs Main Street District and neighborhoods along Johnson Ferry
Road. With the local match, the investment totals $5.5 million
The lion's share of the complex funding for this project comes from
federal programs awarded to Sandy Springs Revitalization, Inc. by the
Atlanta Regional Commission including $400,000 in Transportation
Enhancement dollars (TE) and $3 million in Surface Transportation
Program funds (STP). The balance includes appropriations by Fulton
County and contributions from SSRI's BLUEPRINT Sandy Springs campaign
and local in-kind contributions.
Sandy Springs Revitalization is providing program and construction
management services for planning, budgeting, design, public input and
construction. The project design consultant, W. K. Dickson and
Company, is responsible for completing streetscape master plan
documents that incorporate the sidewalk, landscaping and lighting
standards that have been adopted under the Sandy Springs Zoning
Overlay Ordinance. The improvements will enhance safety on one
of the most hazardous segments of state highway in Georgia.
The project area extends north along Roswell Road from Hammond
Drive to the Johnson Ferry intersection, and then west along Johnson
Ferry past the fire station to Abernathy Road.
The areas in front of the commercial properties on Roswell
Road and Johnson Ferry will get the "Main Street" treatment --
nine-foot wide sidewalks with brick accents, landscaping, street trees
and new pedestrian streetlights. Special brick paved mini-plazas at
the corners of intersections in the business district will incorporate
pedestrian seating, trash cans and the distinctive crookneck
streetlights which can be seen in SSRI's "demonstration block" located
between Kinko's and Wendy's on Roswell Road. The project will remove
or relocate overhead utilities where possible in
the commercial area.
The Johnson Ferry Road segment would connect
the Abernathy Road & River Valley sidewalk systems and the new
sidewalk installation in Whispering Pines to the Roswell Road business
district. This portion of the project will include two 10-foot travel
lanes, 4 foot bicycle lanes on both sides of the road (to be approved
and installed by local government in the future) , a 3-foot landscaped
strip, pedestrian lights and 6-foot sidewalks with brick accents.
Splitter islands, intended to calm traffic, will create a gentle bow
in the roadway in two locations. The one planned for the portion
of the road between Belmont Trace and Long Island Drive (closer to
Abernathy intersection) will affect traffic only in the northbound
travel lane The other, planned for a location just below Wright
Road (closer to the fire station), will affect traffic only in the
southbound travel lane.
Easement Process Now
|Randy Hunt is among
the 46 business and property owners along Roswell Road and
Johnson Ferry Road who will see a few feet of property frontage
transformed to create a more walkable environment for shoppers
and residents in downtown Sandy Springs.
Randy’s easement, will
grant Fulton County permanent use of his land for the purpose of
installing and maintaining the new sidewalks, lights and landscaping
planned as part of SSRI’s $5 million dollar Roswell Road/Johnson Ferry
Transit Oriented Streetscape Project for Fulton County.
Property owners along the way are being asked to provide anywhere from
nine to fifteen feet of frontage for the streetscape. Where signs are
affected, new monument style signs will be installed to replace
non-conforming pole signs. In some instances, driveway access will be
redesigned to reduce the number of curb cuts, enhance pedestrian
safety and improve the flow of traffic along the busy roadway.
According to Steinbeck, the function and appearance of those first few
feet of any commercial property are vital to the interests of the
property owners and their tenants. Even though businesses and property
owners are in virtual unanimous support of the project, it takes a
great deal of time and several iterations of the design and easement
language to strike the right balance between the needs of the property
owners, the businesses and the community as a whole. The many small
properties and sheer number of easements complicate an already
challenging bureaucratic process. But, says Steinbeck, the end
result will ultimately increase property values and generate more
business income by creating a more shopper friendly business district.
During the first quarter of 2002, Georgia Power and BellSouth began
removing the old wooden poles from the street and relocating electric,
phone and cable service lines underground or at the back of buildings.
Once all the right of way easements for the streetscape itself are in
hand Fulton County will “certify” to the Georgia Department of
Transportation that the right-of-way is available. GDOT will
then authorize the funds and enter into the contract with Fulton
County that will actually allow the projects’ construction with
(Update: SSRI General
Manager Nancy Leathers anticipates groundbreaking for June 2003).