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Kirkwood Neighbors’ Organization supports repurposing section of downtown Kirkwood

Crime and public safety Kirkwood and East Lake Trending

Kirkwood Neighbors’ Organization supports repurposing section of downtown Kirkwood

The Kirkwood Neighbors Organization is in the early stages of repurposing a section of downtown to make it safer and reduce traffic. (Screenshot via Zoom)
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By Patrick Saunders, contributor 

Atlanta, GA — Early plans are being circulated to repurpose a section of downtown Kirkwood to make the area safer and reduce traffic as soon as 2022.

The project at the Kirkwood Triangle at Hosea Williams Drive and Oakview Road would make pedestrians and bikes more visible and create opportunities for public gathering spaces, according to landscape architect and civil engineer Jack Cebe.

“There’s a lot of pedestrians, a lot of cars, there’s not a lot of great visibility, and that leads to crashes,” he said Wednesday during a Kirkwood Neighbors’ Organization meeting.

The asphalt in the area would be repurposed to create a new public open space, new parking-protected bike lanes and new parking spaces. Cebe has been meeting with downtown businesses to garner support for the project.

“These are very, very early idea-generation concepts,” he said. “We look forward to working with other members of the community to refine these.”

Cebe is also applying for a grant with the City of Atlanta Placemaking Program.

“Once we get a grant … we will come back to the community to try to refine these ideas and implement them,” he said.

KNO unanimously approved a letter of support for the project at Wednesday’s meeting.

In other highlights from the meeting:

– The Atlanta Police Department has increased patrols in Kirkwood recently, according to Sgt. D. Simmons. “We’re preparing for the summer and the warmer months and as we get this COVID vaccine happening and start to have more individuals on the street, we’re just upping the ante and trying to be proactive,” she said. “People get out more in the summer months and that’s when we see an increase in crime. So we’re trying to stay on the front side of that.”

– KNO voted unanimously to approve the group’s 2021 budget in the second and final vote needed for passage. Last year’s Spring Fling was canceled due to the pandemic, and the City of Atlanta has a moratorium on such events until further notice. “We hope we’ll be able to do a Spring Fling-type event in the fall and be able to come back to the group and extend the budget and extend what we were able to pay for,” KNO President Katie Kissel said.

– KNO voted 13 to 5 in favor of Atlanta City Council legislation that would annex the property at 211 and 215 Memorial Drive and change the property’s land use. The property is currently zoned as a single-family residence and would be changed to mixed multifamily residential. The legislation will go to the Neighborhood Planning Unit at the end of February and then to the Atlanta Zoning Review Board.

– KNO’s Kirkwood Cares committee finished fixing a leaking roof at a house on Warren Street and are planning a “huge project” to redo a sinking bathroom at a house on Sutton Street, according to committee chair Justin Schaeffer. They’re also applying for a grant from Home Depot. “We’re hoping to get $5,000 in Home Depot gift cards for materials to help with those projects,” Schaeffer said.

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