Bicyclists and walkers will have a safe path through a mammoth new interchange soon to be constructed at the intersection of I-285 and Ga. 400, thanks to some dogged community activists.
Georgia Department of Transportation recently committed to provide a multi-use path along both Ga. 400 and I-285.
“The final design for the path will be determined by the design-build team (which is still to be selected),” said GDOT spokeswoman Natalie Dale. “It will be a separated facility from the roadways. A person would have to scale a tall fence to get from the path to the freeway.”
But these advocates (including but not limited to Bike Walk Dunwoody, Georgia Bikes, Atlanta Bicycle Coalition and PEDS) aren’t finished. Some of them met Wednesday with Georgia Department of Transportation planners to seek a trail extension farther north of the interchange along Ga. 400. They also want a safe path across new bridges on Mount Vernon Road and the redesigned Abernathy Road/Ga. 400 Diverging Diamond Interchange, said Joe Seconder, vice president of Georgia Bikes.
The ultimate goal is to connect new multi-use trails through the new interchange to existing trail networks to the north and south, like the PATH 400 trail in Buckhead (planned to connect to the Atlanta Beltline) and the Roswell and Alpharetta greenways. These paths would also someday connect eastward to Dunwoody, Chamblee and Doraville; and westward to East Cobb.
That, my friends, is good for us all. Because walkers and bikers aren’t the only ones who benefit from incorporating trail networks into interstate plans. Providing more human-powered transportation choices can help reduce traffic for others who have no choice but to drive.
Construction of the $1 billion interchange project is expected to start in 2016 and end in 2019.