Atlanta Highway

The Process

Lexington Road and Atlanta Highway Corridors are viewed by many as serving a single purpose. While the roads are heavy traffic corridors, gateways to downtown, and the entrance to several businesses and neighborhoods, there is a chance for something more—the opportunity to add lasting value to the entire community. Connect Athens is a unique opportunity to think creatively and act boldly to create lasting improvement strategies for the Lexington Road and Atlanta Highway Corridors.

The Corridor

The Atlanta Highway corridor extends from Business 78 Highway to Epps Bridge Road and is the western gateway into Athens. For decades, the corridor has served as the major retail spine for the community including regional destinations like the Athens Mall. Through the corridor plan the Planning Team will explore conditions and trends outside the right-of-way related to economics and land use while addressing overall mobility along the corridor. The plan’s recommendations will emerge from community conversations and critical evaluation of strategic opportunities.

A vision for the future of the corridor.

Please review the draft vision statement and let us know your reactions through form below.

With a development approach that is deliberate and transformational, the vision for Atlanta Highway is a visually attractive and economically productive western gateway for Athens that provides: a variety of community needs, development that is intentional and resilient, and a range of efficient choices for people’s safe movement.

atl vision
1-Not at all, 3-Somewhat, 5-Completely

Help shape the plan.

Please review the Atlanta Highway recommendations then share your priorities. The boards that were presented at the meeting can be viewed here. It may be best to open this file in a new tab to reference throughout the following exercise. Please check the boxes for ten actions that are most important to you. If there is an action that you feel is missing, you may add one at the bottom of each section.

How do we enhance mobility in the Atlanta Highway Corridor?

 

atl boards A

1. Construct the GDOT interchange improvement as currently designed.

2. Construct a trail access point to connect to the planned Middle Oconee River Greenway.

3. Improve pedestrian crossings at Heyward Allen Parkway, Athens West Parkway, Huntington Road, Mall Access Road and Cleveland Road.

4. Coordinate signal timing throughout the corridor to improve traffic flow at peak hours.

5. Improve existing bus stops to include shelters, benches, and improved signage.

6. Maintain existing pedestrian connections to the mall and ensure safe pedestrian passages through the existing parking lot.

7. Install plantings at key intersections to bring greenery into the corridor and provide visual interest.

8. Maintain side streets and existing connections to ensure connectivity with the regional network.

How and where do we integrate green space along the corridor?

 

lex boards B

1. Target zoning / code enforcement efforts to ensure buildings and grounds are maintained even through periods of vacancy.

2. Divide the corridor into natural clusters or pulses of activities and develop a unique identity for each.

3. Improve the identity of the corridor by installing attractive and consistent signage throughout.

4. Build a living inventory of parcels that includes building specifications, owners, tenants, vacancy, etc. to benchmark and track data over time.

5. Create a growth strategy by identifying "at-risk" vacancy buildings / areas as preferred nodes as the basis for growth and change in the area.

6. Establish a member-based business association responsible for coordinating a unified marketing plan and developing program events.

7. Review development standards and business licensing procedures to identify necessary changes to improve customer service while ensuring quality development.

8. Preserve local flexibility and elicit continual community input.

How do we lessen the impacts retail shifts and ensure Atlanta Highway remains productive and attractive?

 

atl boards C

1. Target zoning / code enforcement efforts to ensure buildings and grounds are maintained even through periods of vacancy.

2. Divide the corridor into natural clusters or pulses of activities and develop a unique identity for each..

3. Improve signage throughout the corridor by making it more attractive and consistent.

4. Build a living inventory of parcels that includes building specifications, owners, tenants, vacancy, etc. to benchmark and track data over time.

5. Identify "at-risk" vacancy buildings / areas.

6. Establish a member-based business association responsible for coordinating a unified marketing plan and developing programming events.

7. Review development standards and business licensing procedures to identify necessary changes to improve customer service while ensuring quality development.

How do we ensure the Mall area remains a vibrant and productive place in Athens?

 

lex boards D

1. Improve signage of Southeast Clarke Park for alternative modes of transportation and enhance park entrance(s) to attract pedestrians / cyclists.

2. Develop festival or concert series within the park to increase exposure and encourage community on the East side. Could be Shakespeare, art fair, or outdoor community festival, outdoor film series, for example.

3. Plant trees along corridor through neighborhood initiatives to beautify and encourage civic pride and stewardship.

4. Install bike racks throughout park to encourage alternative modes of transportation and use of park.

5. Connect all aspects of Southeast Clark Park through trails / park trails. Build up walking trail network to increase use of forested section and diversify uses of park space.

6. Improve signage and widen walking trails to encourage use of both sides and emphasize unity between the two spaces.

7. Connect sidewalks for pedestrian traffic by addressing intermittent gaps.

8. Construct shelter facility along corridor to host Farmer's Markets, art, performances, and other events.