Column: Peachtree Road celebrates wrap-up of Phase II work

By Maria Saporta
Published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Friday, December 14, 2012

Peachtree Road in Buckhead has become Atlanta’s latest example of a “complete” street — a landscaped corridor that is welcoming to bicycles and pedestrians as well as vehicles.

To celebrate the opening of the second phase of the Peachtree Road transformation project on Dec. 11, pedestrian and bicycle advocates joined business leaders and government officials at the ribbon-cutting ceremony in front of the Pinnacle office building across from Phipps Plaza.

For nearly a decade, the Buckhead Community Improvement District has been coordinating the private and public financing of the Peachtree Road transformation effort.

“At a time when resources for infrastructure improvements are more difficult to get, we are able to do more with less,” said David Allman, board chair of the Buckhead CID and president of Regent Partners.

Phase II of the project cost $32 million, with $11 million coming from federal stimulus funds; $5 million from the Georgia Department of Transportation; $4 million from the Atlanta Regional Commission; $1.5 million from the City of Atlanta Quality of Life bond program;$3.3 million from donated right of way from property owners; and $6.5 million from the Buckhead CID.

The one-mile long project — from the MARTA overpass to Roxboro Road — included granite curbing, medians, hardwood trees, seasonal landscaping, bicycle lanes, wider sidewalks, modern lighting, buried utility lines, street furniture and dedicated left turn lanes at signaled intersections.

The project has turned one of the most pedestrian-unfriendly areas in Atlanta to a pleasant place to walk, bicycle, work and shop.

Jim Durrett, executive director of the Buckhead CID, said that Phase I and Phase II of the Peachtree Road transformation has also improved traffic flow along Peachtree Road. The first phase cost about $30 million and improved Peachtree Road from Piedmont Road to the MARTA overpass.

“This project represents one of the many ways we are transforming our city into a world-class destination,” said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. “Great cities are investing in their infrastructure.”

The Buckhead CID also has begun working on Phase III, which will extend south past Maple Drive to East Shadowlawn Avenue.

JumpStart

Already 27 local nonprofits have entered a contest to get a “technology makeover” worth up to $35,000 from Norcross-based Milner Inc., a full-service provider of business-to-business solutions in document imaging and technology.

Milner is giving nonprofits in the 20-county metro Atlanta area an opportunity to compete in its second-annual “Technology JumpStart” contest.

Two winning organizations will receive an office equipment and technology makeover to help their organizations operate more efficiently for a total value of $35,000.

“This is our way of thanking nonprofit organizations in metro Atlanta for the work they do in providing charitable services in our communities.” said Charlie Gibson, a vice president of Milner. “This contest enables us to give back to the communities in which we do business — an endeavor for which we are very proud.”

The deadline to register for the contest is Dec. 31.

More information about the contest is available at www.milner.com/jumpstart.

Womenetics POW! Awards

Nominations are being accepted for the Womenetics’ 2013 POW! Awards honoring leading Georgia women who have made an impact on business and society.

“Women who are POW! Award winners are those key ‘forces-of-nature’ who change the landscape of business or bring a business approach to nonprofits — women who trigger change from within as they challenge the status quo both in business and society,” said Elisabeth Marchant, CEO of Womenetics, which will be giving the award along with Porsche Cars North America.

The third annual Georgia awards event will be held on April 17 at the Georgia Aquarium. Winners must be able to attend the event to be eligible.

Nominations are being accepted electronically through www.womenetics.com/Ways-to-Engage. All nominations must be submitted by Jan. 9. Winners will be announced in February.

Paw it Forward

The newest cause of Bob Littell, who calls himself Chief NetWeaver, is “Paw It Forward – Inspiring Stories of People and their Pets — saving and serving each other.”

The website — www.pawitforward.net — has a dual purpose.
The first is to build a community of animal rescue advocates who will come to read and share reciprocal rescue and extraordinary service stories.

The second purpose is to raise money for animal rescue and adoption centers as well as service dog organizations.

Money will be raised through the sale of “Paw it Forward” wristbands that are being sold through the website.

In fact, Littell said that he has added another title as “Chief PetWeaver” to reflect his new venture.

“We will hopefully be connecting more humans with abandoned and homeless pets who become our companions,” Littell said, “and who will, over time, paw it forward and make their pet owners thankful many times over for having done so.”

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