Groups receive $85K for transportation

LAWRENCEVILLE - Four Gwinnett County groups received nearly half the funds awarded by the Atlanta Regional Commission to aid in funding transportation studies tied to redevelopment and new transit options.

Part of the Livable Centers Initiative supplemental studies program, the winners of the $85,000 in funding were the cities of Norcross and Suwanee and the Gwinnett Village and Gwinnett Place Community Improvement Districts.

"The Gwinnett jurisdictions are undertaking excellent work focusing on redevelopment and new transit in the Interstate 85 corridor," ARC spokesman Dan Reuter said. "The ARC is happy to support these efforts."

In Norcross, $35,000 will be used to study the need for parking downtown and in the area around what will be the new Lillian Webb Park.

The study will focus on current and future parking requirements in the downtown area, possible locations for parking structures and lots, and a review of pedestrian safety and the effect it will have if one-way streets around the park are created.

The $30,000 received by the two CIDs will be used to conduct further research about bringing light rail transit options to Gwinnett.

Their study will examine the cost and possible routes for a line on the Interstate 85 corridor that would connect Norcross, Gwinnett Village, Indian Trail Road and Gwinnett Place. The line would then terminate near the Gwinnett Arena.

"The Interstate 85 corridor is one of the most congested in the metro region," said Gwinnett Village CID Director Chuck Warbington. "Our goal is to transform the CID areas into urban centers. In order for that transformation to be possible we have to think about alternative modes of transportation."

The last $20,000 awarded to Gwinnett goes to Suwanee so it can examine Buford Highway from McGinnis Ferry Road to the entrance of George Pierce Park. The goal is to make Buford Highway more pedestrian friendly while also linking it to both the city's old town area and its new town center.

"We are excited to have the opportunity to address the challenges related to Buford Highway bisecting our downtown area," Josh Campbell, the city's planning director, said.

The ARC issued a total of $204,000 in LCI supplemental studies grants. Other winners were Spalding County and the cities of Griffin, Forest Park, Monroe and Palmetto.