The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) recently awarded $742,400 in Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) study grants to 11 communities in the Atlanta, Georgia metropolitan area.
The grants will help recipients develop plans and policies that create more vibrant, walkable, and connected places. Once the studies are complete, these communities will become eligible to receive funding for transportation projects such as sidewalks and intersection improvements, to help implement their revitalization visions.
“The LCI program has improved livability and access to jobs and services across metro Atlanta, while also encouraging more healthy lifestyles” said Kerry Armstrong, ARC chair. “In short, it has helped transform communities across the region.”
The 11 LCI planning grants awarded this year include two major updates to plans already underway, and nine supplemental grants to help continue and/or expand existing studies.
The 2018 LCI study grant recipients are:
City of Atlanta
Grant Amount: $120,000
Building on the success of other plans for the West End area, including the 2001 LCI study, as well as the recently opened Westside Beltline Trail, the West End LCI Major Plan update will result in a vision and action plan for the West End LCI study area. The update will help the city assess the strengths and needs of this growing neighborhood.
City of Avondale Estates
Grant Amount: $40,000
Avondale Estates will determine the feasibility of creating a four-leg roundabout at the intersection of Laredo Drive and North Clarendon. The project would ease traffic congestion while improving pedestrian safety.
Central Atlanta Progress
Grant Amount: $50,000
Central Atlanta Progress hopes to reduce congestion while improving safety and air quality by reducing the number of single-occupant vehicle trips within the downtown area. They hope to accomplish this through a program that is attainable, enforceable, business-sensitive, and outcomes-based.
City of Chamblee
Grant Amount: $80,000
The city of Chamblee will design phase 3 of the extension of the Chamblee Rail Trail. This will extend the trail to Ingersoll Rand Drive. It will also provide an analysis of the trail’s interaction with the planned Peachtree Road Streetscape project, and the ongoing Town Center Master Plan process.
City of Douglasville
Grant Amount: $40,000
The City of Douglasville is studying a new corridor plan for SR 92 in its downtown. The relocation of the artery to a new bypass enables the city to reimagine the way in which old SR 92 enters Douglasville’s downtown.
Gateway85 Gwinnett CID
Grant Amount: $30,000
Working with Gwinnett County, The Gateway85 Gwinnett Community Improvement District is studying the possibility of creating a greenway trail along Beaver Ruin Creek to enhance the connectivity and quality of life in the area.
City of Hapeville
Grant Amount: $70,000
Hapeville is studying the feasibility of a roundabout at the intersection of Virginia Ave, “Little” Virginia Ave, Doug Davis, Clay Place, and Hamilton Ave. It will also develop a plan for better signage along the corridor, consistent with the ongoing work of the Aerotropolis Atlanta Community Improvement District.
City of Jonesboro
Grant Amount: $76,400
The city of Jonesboro will develop master plans for trails and for its downtown core, including a new municipal complex and civic spaces. The trails plan will connect existing MARTA and Xpress bus stops with the downtown core area.
Grant Amount: $96,000
Currently, 98% of Buckhead’s workforce commutes from outside the community. This project will develop a comprehensive strategy and action plan to diversify the housing supply, allowing more Buckhead workers to live in the community. It will also help ease traffic congestion.
Contact: Denise Starling, 404-842-2682, firstname.lastname@example.org
City of Marietta
Grant Amount: $100,000
Marietta will examine redevelopment opportunities for housing and commercial development throughout the study area and assess the impact of developments that have taken place since the original LCI plan was developed in 2001. Impacts to the local economy and to existing planned infrastructure will also be examined, as well as opportunities to improve sidewalk connectivity and other transportation networks.
Town Center CID/City of Kennesaw
Grant Amount: $40,000
A product of the recent comprehensive plan update conducted by ARC and the city of Kennesaw, this study will look at pedestrian connections that will get people on the Noonday Creek Trail safely across Cobb Parkway (US 41). This will improve residents’ connections to Town Center Mall, other amenities, and Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park.
ARC has awarded more than $216 million in LCI grants to 119 communities in the past 18 years. LCI communities cover less than 4% of the region’s land area, but in recent years these areas are home to 7% of metro Atlanta’s residential development, 29% of commercial development and 69% of office development.
The LCI program is funded with federal transportation dollars. The grants cover 80% of the cost of each study or transportation project, with the recipient making at least a 20% match. Recipients were selected by ARC along with a diverse committee of partner organizations and planning professionals from around the region.
“For 18 years, the LCI program has seen success after success, helping communities across metro Atlanta re-imagine what they would like to be, and then helping to achieve their goals,” said Doug Hooker, ARC executive director.
“From Atlanta’s West Side, to smaller town centers like Chamblee and Jonesboro, we are seeing increased mobility, revitalized neighborhoods, and greater livability,” he concluded.
Photo of pedestrian underpass in Kennesaw courtesy of the City of Kennesaw.