Friday, March 11, 2011

North Metro Atlanta Multiuse Trails: The Facts

Here's a Sampling of what’s proposed/planned in the North Metro Atlanta Area:


“Construct a multi-use trail within power line easement from existing trail system in Cobb County, crossing Chattahoochee River with new bicycle and pedestrian bridge, through Morgan Falls Park, east to Colquitt Road, north to Pitts Road - Project to link to other on road bike facilities, including City of Dunwoody.”

Will provide the ability to:
§  Safe pedestrian and bicycle access across the Chattahoochee River into East Cobb / Columns Drive. Will interconnect with Bob Callan Trail and Silver Comet Connector. Silver Comet Trail runs from Smyrna to Anniston, Alabama.
§  Will go north to Roswell and connect into their trail system (towards Lake Lanier)
§  These extensions will make it possible and practical to commute via bicycle between Alpharetta, Roswell, Dunwoody and Cobb County.

Benefits will include:

§  Providing unimpeded access to the Chattahoochee River and National Park Land for everyone, not just a few homeowners.
§  Providing children with routes to school that reduce their dependency on parents’ automobile and government provided buses. The “Safe Routes to School” Program seeks to open up “Dead End” cul-de-sac neighborhoods such as those found on Columns Drive. Instead of driving 3-4 miles, kids can walk or ride their bike to school.
§  Reducing roadway congestion, thereby saving energy and improving air quality
§  Providing more direct and safer travel routes for bicyclists and pedestrians
§  Increasing residents’ ability to walk or bicycle to restaurants, shopping, entertainment, recreational facilities, and places of employment. These extensions will make it possible and practical to commute via bicycle between Alpharetta, Roswell, Dunwoody and Cobb County.
§  Increasing opportunities for recreation and exercise, thereby reducing the trend toward obesity
§  Sustaining development and property values


Thirty-seven (37) separate studies on multiuse trails by government agencies and academia show that:

§  An overall approval of pedestrian/cycling trails existed within the local community after they were built.
§  Fears about decrease in property value and increase in crime were seldom voiced after those concerned read the studies. 
More information may be found here.

Examples of similar, existing trails:

Roswell Riverside Trail
                §  Runs along the Chattahoochee River in Roswell

§  Runs from Smyrna to Ga-Ala state line, then connects to Chief Ladiga Trail to Anniston. Typically listed as an amenity in real estate listings. (Do an Internet search for “house for sale silver comet trail” & see how many property owners include having this amenity nearby.)
§  Many neighborhoods have created and advertise their own additional side access trails to the Silver Comet 
 
§  Links south to Roswell's Riverside Trail and north into Forsyth county, eventually to Lake Lanier  

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