Gwinnett adopts transportation plan. Now what about transit?


After more than two years, Gwinnett County’s new comprehensive transportation plan is finished, board-approved and ready to roll.

But what may be the plan’s most important creation — a spinoff study focusing specifically on the county’s transit-oriented future — is still several months away from completion.

More from myAJC.com: Gwinnett lobbies for higher hotel tax to help fund Infinite Energy plans

Gwinnett began its transportation study in 2015 and used consultants, other officials and public input solicited at more than 60 events to create a sweeping 91-page document meant to guide the county’s decisions through the next quarter-century or so. The plan, approved Tuesday by the county’s Board of Commissioners, includes long lists of potential short-, medium- and long-term projects, including most, if not all, of those selected for the new special-purpose local option sales tax that Gwinnett voters approved in 2016.

Possible transportation-related projects range from helping widen I-85 between the DeKalb County line and Pleasant Hill Road to dozens of pedestrian improvements and new trails.

“It solves a lot of current problems,” Gwinnett Department of Transportation director Alan Chapman said, “but it also looks at future population growth and employment growth that will create additional travel demands in the county.”

The study also makes broader, more philosophical recommendations on how the county should make transportation-related decisions moving forward. Those suggestions include adopting “land use approaches supportive of [the] transportation network.”

“The recommendations that follow,” the plan says, “emphasize the need for intensified development within the County’s existing and future activity centers with access to transportation corridors. County policies and investments can create a connected transportation network that includes higher-capacity modes of transit and supports attractive, walkable and bikeable neighborhoods complete with homes, parks, civic spaces, and other amenities.”

Gwinnett’s transit offerings — and the expansion thereof — have been a hot topic this year. And they’re likely to get even hotter in the coming months.

Early on in the transportation planning process, officials decided they’d need to undertake a separate study that focused more specifically on Gwinnett’s transit future. That transit study officially launched over the summer and, Chapman said Tuesday, should be wrapped up in the first half of 2018.

“We’re putting together recommendations right now,” Chapman said.

Those recommendations are expected to include information about which types of transit expansion — anything from heavy or light rail to more local bus service — may be most financially feasible (and palatable) for residents.

Commission Chairman Charlotte Nash has said she wants residents to vote on some kind of transit expansion in Nov. 2018, and the findings of the county’s study are likely to have a significant impact on that potential referendum.

GWINNETT COMPREHENSIVE TRANSPORTATION PLAN

The scores of recommended projects listed in the plan include:

  • Widening I-85 from Pleasant Hill Road to the DeKalb County line
  • Upgrading several intersections on Sugarloaf Parkway
  • Widening Peachtree Industrial Boulevard from Holcomb Bridge Road to I-285
  • Widening Ga. 20 from Buford Highway to Peachtree Industrial Boulevard
  • More than 50 sidewalk and pedestrian safety projects, including several on Jimmy Carter Boulevard
  • Investigating “the development of a major transit hub”
  • Encouraging the development of “complete streets,” which provide access for drivers, bikers and walkers

View the full comprehensive transportation plan at gwinnettcounty.com.

MYAJC.COM: REAL JOURNALISM. REAL LOCAL IMPACT.

The AJC's Tyler Estep keeps you updated on the latest happenings in Gwinnett County government and politics. You'll find more on myAJC.com, including these stories:

Never miss a minute of what's happening in Gwinnett politics. Subscribe to myAJC.com.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Police: Shooting ‘justified’ after man shot in head in Marietta
Police: Shooting ‘justified’ after man shot in head in Marietta

A man who shot a 45-year-old in the head is not expected to face charges, Cobb County police said Sunday.  Robert Thomas was taken to WellStar Kennestone Hospital Saturday afternoon after he was shot in the head, Cobb County police spokesman Sgt. Wayne Delk said. The shooting happened following a dispute in the 3300 block of Quail Run in Marietta...
Cross-country team cleans up overflowing trash in elderly couple’s yard
Cross-country team cleans up overflowing trash in elderly couple’s yard

A high school cross-country team in upstate New York helped an elderly couple take out the trash Saturday -- lots of it. Ann and Robert Dobson live in the Rochester suburb of Greece. For more than six years, garbage from a nearby shopping plaza has blown onto the Dobsons’ front yard, Rochester First reported "Last summer when I cleaned...
Man with gun shot by Atlanta police, GBI says
Man with gun shot by Atlanta police, GBI says

A man is in critical condition after an Atlanta police officer shot him Saturday night, the GBI said. Police responded to the 2000 block of Hapeville Road in southwest Atlanta after someone called 911 and reported a suspicious person, GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles said. The man, whose name has not yet been released, was sitting on a porch holding a handgun...
$10,000 reward offered for information in case of missing CDC employee
$10,000 reward offered for information in case of missing CDC employee

The parents of Timothy Cunningham, who hasn’t been seen or heard from since Feb. 12, have partnered with Crime Stoppers to offer a $10,000 reward in his case, police said Saturday. The money is earmarked for information that “leads to an arrest and indictment in this case,” Atlanta police spokesman Officer Donald Hannah said, but...
College student discovers true paternity in science class
College student discovers true paternity in science class

One woman got a whole lot more than she paid for in a college science class when she uncovered a nasty family secret. The unnamed student discovered that her father — the man who had raised her since she was a child and who she called “dad” for her entire life — wasn’t really her father. He was her uncle. And the...
More Stories