Study calls for no driveways on parkway

Mon, 08/13/2007 - 9:01am
By: Ben Nelms

No curb cuts and driveways along South Fulton Parkway. The addition of a four-lane urban boulevard to mitigate traffic. Maintaining the highway’s current 300-foot buffer. And the addition of five new roads and traffic signals crossing west metro Atlanta’s only east-west state route corridor. Those were some of the recommendations proposed in the now-completed South Fulton Parkway Corridor Study that will be considered by the Union City Council in September.

The South Fulton Parkway Corridor Study was conducted by Nashville-based RPM Transportation Consultants, LLC. The objective of the study was to examine transportation and land use needs spanning the next 20 years along the 6.5-mile section of the South Fulton Parkway annexed last year by Union City.

Most notable in the completed study was the 20-year proposal to create five new streets to cross the parkway, each with a traffic signal. Current parkway intersections with traffic signals can be found at Ga. Highway 92 and at Stonewall Tell. Also proposed for the parkway is the addition of 12-foot multi-use paths inside the buffer area along both sides of the highway. The proposal includes maintaining the parkway’s current 300-foot right-of-way.

Another key feature of the study is the traffic mitigation proposal to construct a four-lane urban boulevard on the north side of the parkway running parallel to it. The proposal calls for having the four east-west lanes divided by a 20-foot median with four-foot bike lanes and five-foot sidewalks on each side of the roadway. Roadway improvements are also proposed for much of the 6.5-mile span south of the parkway.

The completed study will be presented to the city council in September.

Projections over the next 20 years showed 2,272,000 square feet of retail space, 2,072,000 square feet of office space and 17,100 residential units on nearly 4,000 acres where virtually nothing exists today. Those projections far exceed those of Camp Creek Retail Center in south Fulton and Atlantic Station near downtown Atlanta, though Atlantic Station will have more office space.

Conducted through a number of public meetings, the study addressed issues such as residents’ observations of traffic speed, traffic flow patterns and signaling and soliciting opinions on mass transit, congestion relief, alternative transportation methods and work/live situations related to inter-parcel access roads.

RPM staff said the current traffic flow along Union City’s portion of the parkway is 9,000-17,000 vehicles per day with projections for 2027 ranging from 22,000-41,000 per day. Numbers for the north and south traffic flow on Ga. Highway 92 showed 23,000 currently with projections for 2027 at 52,000 vehicles per day. Both those numbers may be conservative given the explosive growth occurring in the unincorporated area of south Fulton County and projections for Douglas and Carroll counties. Further still, South Fulton Parkway’s future role in transportation takes on even more significance given that it is the only east-west traffic corridor in west metro Atlanta other than I-20.

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