Memorial Drive traffic study plannedAttendees study proposals for improving the Memorial Drive corridor in October 2014. File photo by Kim Hutcherson
Editor’s note: After this story was published, Decaturish was alerted to several factual inaccuracies within the article. This story has been revised after discussions with officials involved in the project in order to provide the correct information. We apologize for the errors and any confusion those errors caused. We always strive to be accurate and correct misinformation when it is brought to our attention. To report a possible correction in any article, please email us at email@example.com.
By Ace MacNeill, contributor
A new traffic study is being considered for the Memorial Drive corridor. The study would gather data on traffic patterns on Memorial from Candler Road to Capitol Avenue.
The traffic study is being conducted as part of a federally-funded safety project along Memorial Drive in order to determine if one of the lanes can be reused or removed. There’s been $2.8 million allocated for the project, a combination of Atlanta Regional Commission and Georgia Department of transportation funds.
Decaturish asked Councilperson Natalyn Archibong what she would like to see accomplished if the traffic study is completed; she said making the road safer should be a top priority.
She would like to see it become a safer corridor for walkers and cyclists, with inclusion of green spaces. Archibong said there’s a need for new amenities, including restaurants and businesses, along Memorial.
Archibong said she hopes Memorial will become “a gateway to Atlanta.”
The Imagine Memorial Drive Project first started as a graduate project for an urban planning class at Georgia Tech. It was spearheaded by Archibong and class professor Mike Dobbins, who previously served as an Atlanta Planning Commissioner.
After nearly three decades of failed attempts to redevelop the corridor, there is now more forward momentum to get these projects off the ground.
The traffic study would be the first of these projects to be completed, with a proposed start date of early 2016.
Greg Giuffrida, a student at Georgia Tech who worked on the project, is now the Memorial Drive Corridor Executive. He said there’s a need for both the community and GDOT to gather details on traffic flow, accidents, and road conditions.
“GDOT, the neighborhoods, and other stakeholders are in discussions about commissioning this study and we hope to finalize the scope in the next month or two,” he said.
Giuffrida noted the massive space Memorial encompasses, serving as a border across two counties and eight neighborhoods. He said Imagine Memorial needs to find a way to “balance between higher density growth and lower density historical character” in the western portion of Memorial Drive.
“Imagine Memorial is very clear in supporting the neighborhoods in maintaining the zoning that they have approved in their various master plans,” Giuffrida said. “On the Fulton side, most of that zoning calls for higher density on Memorial. On the DeKalb side it varies, from a few potential commercial nodes that could support higher density, to existing single-family zoning, like much of East Lake. That said, the balancing act of infill density is happening city-wide and Memorial is no different.”