There is buzz in many circles about Buford Highway….and it’s future. And to guide the future, it’s best to have plan to follow!
Buford Highway Master Plan
Back in February, 2016, the cities of Chamblee and Doraville received a grant from the Livable Centers Initiative to study the Buford Highway corridor through those two cities. From this study, the Buford Highway Master Plan was created.
The Buford Highway Masterplan is part of the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Livable Centers Initiative (LCI), a program that helps communities envision and fund sustainable growth through planning studies and transportation projects in metro area downtowns, activity centers, and corridors. The project began in September 2016.
Why a Master Plan?
The purpose of the Buford Highway Masterplan is to provide a community-based vision and plan to revitalize and enhance the Buford Highway corridor by promoting Buford Highway’s multicultural diversity while advancing multimodal forms of transportation, increased mobility and safety, and an enhanced quality of life, including housing opportunities, for residents, workers, and visitors of all ages and incomes.
What Were the Recommendations?
There were a total of 105 final recommendations!!! That’s a lot!
But, Buford Highway has long been thought of as the I-85 alternative, and not a street/road where there is actually people walking, shopping and living! But some of the recommendations were:
- Short-term, medium-term, long-term, on-going
- Creation of an Implementation Committee
- Enhanced buses and bus stops along Buford Highway
- Multi-use sidewalk and path along Buford Highway
- Additional mid-block crossings for Buford Highway
- Curb cut consolidation along Buford Highway
- 35 mph travel speed for entire stretch of Buford Highway
- Improved pedestrian amenities at 285 overpass
- Creation of the BuHi Night Market
- Creation of BuHi Lanterns
- Creation of a signature open space along Buford Highway
In the various presentations, one of the key items pointed out was the consolidation of curb cuts. When you try to create a walkable community or district, cars crossing the sidewalk do not make for a good pedestrian environment.
Take the Pinetree Plaza Shopping Center, located in Doraville on Buford Highway. Granted, it’s a longer shopping plaza, but it has SIX access points…or Curb Cuts to enter the center. One of these has a stop light, and ideally, should be the ONLY entrance to the plaza. This would allow for a much safer walk along the center. Keep in mind, this center was also developed post-have the retail on the street concept, so the front of the center is a asphalt parking lot…also not very conducive to the pedestrian experience. But all that can change with long range planning and as land uses change along the corridor.
For more information about the study and the results here are various links that will provide additional information.