ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Downtown Alpharetta’s surge in pedestrian traffic has spurred city officials to add a signaled crosswalk at Main Street and Marietta Street.
The spot is a frequent unprotected crossing for pedestrians and lies about midway between the two nearest protected crosswalks at Old Milton Parkway and the HAWK signal at the Town Green.
At its May 4 online meeting, the City Council awarded a contract for $192,000 to Total Chattahoochee Group for construction of the crosswalk that will include the construction of brick medians to offer a refuge area to pedestrians and installation of a mast arm with a HAWK beacon system. Additional work will include upgrading the existing handicap ramps and additional concrete medians and striping.
Public Works Director Pete Sewczwicz said the company is requiring a six-month lead time before the mast arms for the signal can be supplied, which puts completion of the project in the fall. He said the department will work to expedite the project by beginning work 30 days before the mast arms are delivered.
Sewczwicz said the department is also looking to add some landscaping to the northern side of the crosswalk, most likely low shrubs so as not to impair sight distance.
Councilman Dan Merkel said the protected crosswalk is needed to improve safety in the city’s downtown.
“I think this is a great thing,” he said. “It’s going to slow things down going into downtown, because you come down crossing Old Milton Parkway, and you’re picking up speed.”
In other action at the May 4 meeting, the City Council heard an update from representatives from urban planning firm MKSK Studios on plans to construct a pedestrian connection between the Alpha Loop, a linear park surrounding the downtown business district, to the Big Creek Greenway that runs east of Ga. 400.
The so-called “Alpha Link” would be a multi-use trail connecting the two paths at North Point Mall.
MKSK principal Darren Meyer told council members designers are looking at three options currently. The first includes a crossing at Haynes Bridge Road, then up the Ga. 400 corridor to Encore Parkway. A second option would start at Encore Parkway, across the Ga. 400 bridge east to North Point Parkway, then to the mall and Greenway. The third option would be at Encore Parkway with a trailhead near North Point Parkway.
MKSK is conducting an online survey for residents to review the proposals and express their thoughts. The survey, available at visionalphalink.com, runs until May 25.