Update - December 15 from Councilmember Alex Wan
State Representative Stacey Evans and I recently met with GDOT representatives to discuss their plans to install a roundabout at the entrance of Monroe Drive and Buford Highway Connector across from Fire Station 29. GDOT had recently solicited input from the community about this project, and many of you had voiced your concerns about the initial indications that the interchange would be completely shut down for 10 months during construction.
We are relieved to share with you that we received assurances that such an extended closure is now off the table. Instead, the construction will be staged in such a way that sections of the interchange will be closed for much shorter durations (needed due to the extensive site grading work that will be required). Additionally, we learned that this work is not slated to begin until mid-2024 as GDOT spends the bulk of next year in the design process.
Rep. Evans and I will remain in close communication with their team and continue to share out all information on this project as we receive it.
Feedback Re: THE NEXT ROUNDABOUT FROM GDOT IN PIHI
GDOT is collecting feedback for their NEXT proposed roundabout, planned just up the road from the one they just completed. This one would on Monroe Drive across from Fire Station 29, between Cirque Daiquiri Bar and the new apartments being built by Fairfield Residential (at the former Intown Suites property).
Their proposed plan would close the entire exit for 10 months! UNACCEPTABLE!
While the other roundabout was hugely disruptive, especially at the beginning of the project, at least the exit was OPEN. Having the other exit closed for 10 months would be devastating for both residents and businesses in the area. Not to mention our FIRE STATION.VOICE YOUR CONCERNS WITH GDOT ONLINE
Here is some suggested wording you can copy and paste:
Not opposed to the roundabout in general.
I am opposed to the 10-month, 5-mile detour that will cripple local businesses, adversely impact residents and the efficiency of Fire Station 29, and make the work of the mail carriers who have offices in the USPS Midtown Carrier Annex Post Office at 415 Plasters Ave NE Ste 100, Atlanta, GA 30324 impossibly difficult.
I request GDOT return the project to the concept phase and invite all businesses, property owners, and residents within the 2-mile radius to assist in alternate detour and exit closure impact.
I request GDOT engage more inclusive communication tools with impacted stakeholders. It appears that GDOT has not sought to involve the public until very recently with a postcard, after it approved the project concept (on 4/7/2020) and preliminary design (on 2/2/2022). Postcards are inadequate for a project as significant as this.
I request GDOT engage the Piedmont Heights Business Alliance and the Piedmont Heights Civic Association in assisting with a Public Hearing Open House (PHOH) to engage impacted stakeholders.
This exit will impact 1,000s of residents and 1,000s of small businesses who have been hit three times in the last year: 1) Cheshire Bridge taking 1.2 years to rebuild 2) Atlanta Gas Light Project going up and down Piedmont Road 3) Monroe/Armour Drive Roundabout Construction that happened all within a year and a half in the area, we would like to come up with an alternative to the proposed plans. Many of the businesses are trying to recover from the 30-60% loss in business caused by these transportation projects. And needless to say, this is on top of the recovery efforts of COVID-19.
What PHCA and PiHi Alliance are doing on your behalf:
1. PHCA and PiHi Alliance are seeking support from the Ansley Park Civic Association, Morningside-Lenox Park Association, Woodland Hills Neighborhood Association, Linbergh Lavista Corridor Coalition, Livable Buckhead, and Lindridge Martin Manor Neighborhood Association to write a collective letter to GDOT expressing their objection to this project timeline.
2. PHCA and PiHi Alliance are contacting our state and city representatives to gain support for our objection.
3. And more!
Reached out to our state Representative Evans, who will be attending the Annual Neighborhood Meeting. She supports our efforts regarding this roundabout.
Reaching out to all the businesses that will be affected by this current plan and trying to plan ways to get parking for construction workers that will not affect the flow of traffic during construction.
Asking Councilmember Wan to coordinate the city streets to be paved in these areas at the same time to alleviate additional traffic disruptions.
Reaching out to the Atlanta Fire Chief on what GDOT has planned for their fire station right where the traffic island will be built.
Compiling recommendations to provide GDOT.
What YOU can do:
1. MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD! The comment period for this project is open until November 11, 2022. All organizations agree the comment period is unacceptable and will require additional time to properly recommend alternatives to this proposed plan. Let GDOT know how you feel and how you will be impacted by their proposed plan.
2. Learn more about the proposed project. Visit their website here. Review their presentation (PDF) of the proposed project.
GIVE YOUR FEEDBACK TO GDOT!
By the way, if this kind of proposal gets you fired up, consider joining the PHCA Board of Directors or our Planning Committee. We can use extra help staying on top of these types of projects with the city and state! Contact PHCA VP Cole Patton for more info.
PHCA Vice President