BCID “Year of Construction” Lends to Livable Buckhead’s Mission Reclaiming the Charm in City Life
This is a guest blog post by Kip Dunlap, mobility concierge – Livable Buckhead
Livable Buckhead and the Buckhead CID enjoy a constructive and mutually supportive relationship in maintaining a wide range of Buckhead’s most visible aspects. In 2020, the Buckhead CID will begin construction on three pedestrian infrastructure projects that should have a major impact on connectivity and accessibility. These projects enable Livable Buckhead to program events and promote walkability and the kind of vibrant pedestrian culture that makes places feel alive. The projects include ADA sidewalk improvements, the West Village Streetscapes project and Peachtree Road Complete Street Phase Three, and all are set for completion by the end of this year.
Starting this month, the Buckhead CID will restore sidewalks, road surfaces and in partnership with the City of Atlanta and Georgia Department of Transportation will install new stormwater infrastructure in the West Village area.
Historically named streets like Irby Ave (after Buckhead’s original name, Irbyville) and Vieux Carré (Old Square) will receive aesthetic and functional improvements to reduce trip hazards and increase safety for those strolling in the village with work anticipated to be complete by year’s end. Anyone familiar with Atlanta’s sidewalks knows that the environment for pedestrians and wheelchair users is inconsistent. Progress on repairs for the city’s astronomical mileage of sidewalks is piecemeal, but improved by the presence of Community Improvement Districts like the BCID that can provide supplemental funds to more quickly address the backlog.
In addition to making sidewalks safer and ADA compliant, these upgrades will make sidewalks more inviting and aesthetically pleasing – an improvement that should have the effect of enticing more Buckhead’ites out of their cars for short trips. Walkable neighborhood streets and pedestrian-oriented districts currently command some of the highest rents nationwide as Americans rediscover the joys of in-town living and connected communities. Pedestrian-oriented places have become major destinations with themed developments across the country popping up to emulate the historical growth patterns of the main streets and urban villages of yore. Municipalities across the country are striving to reinvest in authentic instances and solicit adaptive reuses of these buildings and street grids now, ironically, often forbidden by modern development codes.
Pedestrian improvements are also targeted for Peachtree Road between the rapidly growing shopping and residential Buckhead Village area, and the office towers and MARTA rail connections in the Buckhead ‘core’. Accessibility improvements between these nodes of urban fabric should help guide development and ease traffic woes as the area continues to boom.
Expect these projects to be completed and open by the start of Livable Buckhead’s annual BuckheadWALKS! Challenge and the BuckheadRUN! 5K to be highlighted and well-trodden as we activate the sidewalks by offering prizes and bragging rights to the office that gets out and logs the most steps.
About Livable Buckhead
Livable Buckhead is a nonprofit organization that strives to ensure the long-term viability and prosperity of the Buckhead community. The organization achieves its mission by working cooperatively with individuals, public entities and private businesses to integrate sustainable strategies. Livable Buckhead implements programs related to greenspace, recycling, energy efficiency, commute alternatives, arts and culture, real estate development and land use. For more information about Livable Buckhead and its programs, visit livablebuckhead.org.