Brookhaven, GA, May 13, 2016 – by Renee Turner, Staff Writer – The City of Sandy Springs, in partnership with Brookhaven and Dunwoody, has issued a Request for Qualification (RFQ) for the Last Mile Connectivity – Transportation Planning Services RFQ #16-035 that will consolidate the collection of transportation strategies, studies, projects and initiatives, as they relate to the Perimeter Community Improvement Districts (PCIDs) boundaries. The transportation plan will be a “Unified Master Plan” (UMP) for the three-city stakeholders to coordinate planning and development projects.
Possibly a daunting task, the consultant hired will coordinate the UMP with each city having their own individual transportation plans and studies within Fulton and DeKalb counties. The UMP is an attempt to assist in avoiding any multi-jurisdictional conflict that might arise beyond separate borders and individual transportation goals for Sandy Springs, Brookhaven and Dunwoody.
According to the RFQ, Last Mile Connectivity will provide a master plan that is coordinated by taking into account:
- Walking, biking, and vehicle connections from MARTA rail stations to residences, offices, and stores;
- Connection between adjacent land uses such as direct walking paths, trails and other shortcuts. Could also include new technologies such as autonomous vehicles or electric-assist bicycles; and,
- New transit circulator (such as streetcar, elevated, automated people mover or other technology).
The PCID’s own districts include unincorporated central DeKalb commercial properties located from I-285 south to Lake Hearn Drive, within the City of Dunwoody running south to I-285 and north to Mount Vernon Highway, east to Ashford Dunwoody Road and west to the centerline of Perimeter Center West; while Fulton is located east of Barfield Road, north of the Glenridge Connector, west of the DeKalb/Fulton County border, and south of the North Springs MARTA station.
The master plan is designed to avoid the pitfalls of unforeseen conflict that could impact the design phase of projects within the designated connectivity area involving multi-use path, roadway, transit, bicycle, and sidewalk plans underway.
The UMP Scope of Services include:
Task I – Data Collection
The consultant will coordinate and compile information on individual transportation plans using GIS mapping system and other necessary tools.
Task II – Unified Master Plan Development and Overall Vision
Working with each city, the master plan will show active projects, projects no-longer considered, while determining gaps between jurisdictions finding innovative ways to present the data.
Task III – Project List
A project list will be taken from the approved UMP plan which will include project status, funding, cost and challenges; and provide a development strategy recommended for adoption.
Task IV – Determine Inter-Perimeter Transit Vision
Coordination with each respective jurisdiction to develop a transit vision for the Perimeter Market, while looking into potential corridors for the future transit type that might impact multi-jurisdictions, emerging transit technologies, and desired options service.
Task V – Local Jurisdiction Coordination
The consultant will present the findings and make a recommendation to the local jurisdictions including staff, boards, council and mayors for formal adoption. There will be a number of board/council and staff presentation sessions for each jurisdiction.
Task VI – Public Outreach and Stakeholder Communication
The final phase of the project will require the consultant to hold a public meeting covering all jurisdictions, presenting this UMP with Sandy Springs and partners managing and coordinating the logistics of the meeting.
Gaining consensus among three-city stakeholders and more
If in agreement, city stakeholders should come to a consensus if there are any issues. However, gaining a consensus among the municipalities may not be an easy task. Compounding the issue is the consideration of state and regional planning projects for I-285 and S.R. 400, along with local arterials in and out of the PCIDs. Taking into account:
- Establishing sustainability goals to determine Last Mile connectivity systems with measures of effectiveness
- Considering regional connection transportation nodes (i.e. – Cumming, Conyers, Douglasville, etc.)
- Engaging the appropriate mobile stakeholder such as MARTA, GRTA, circulator/shuttle service
- Considering “sub-regional connectivity zones transportation (i.e. Buckhead, Cumberland, Doraville, etc.)
Considering that the boundary between Historic Brookhaven and Buckhead on Peachtree Road are becoming somewhat blurred to a point where it is becoming more like ‘Brookhead’ (or ‘Buckhaven), how will the Sandy Springs UMP impact our community?
Sandy Springs recently held a mandatory pre-submittal conference for the project. The $100,000 contract is for a one (1) year term with two (2) one-year renewal options contingent upon annual appropriations of funds by Sandy Springs. The contract will terminate at the close of each calendar year, but will automatically renew absent any positive action by the City. Deadline for the Request for Qualification is May 26, 2016, 3:00 PM. For more information on Perimeter Community Improvement Districts link on http://perimetercid.org/about.html.
This study will provide a regional perspective how Brookhaven, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody and the PCID can work in unison to improve connectivity and ways to pool resources. Each of the four players have all committed $25,000 for the study.