Why We Love It...
The project extended/improved sidewalks, historic lighting and a textured brick median almost all the way up to Holcomb Bridge. This really helped create more of a historic feel on one of the main gateways into the historic district. The city had the right intentions when they approved this project. Not only does it immediately improve the functionality, safety and aesthetics of the corridor but it also will, over time, encourage better development.
The current mish-mash of strip centers, muffler shops and closed fast food joints is unsightly at best and blight at worst. The good thing is that we are heading in the right direction. Some good new businesses have opened up in the last couple of years and the streetscape will gradually improve.
What We Would Change...
In a perfect world, there are several things we would do differently on this one. First and foremost, the power lines and 1960's style highway lighting should have come down. It's hideous and the improvements are almost overwhelmed by the power lines and lights. Unfortunately, the budget just wasn't there to do it.
We would have done the median differently by putting in brick pavers in the median rather than the stamped asphalt and there would have been more median islands to both act as pedestrian refuge areas and to create friction with the auto flow to naturally slow the traffic down.
There are no bike lanes and that's a shame but it makes sense because the traffic is still too fast along the corridor. The aforementioned median modifications would have helped slow down the traffic a bit and 5-10mph is really all that's needed to make bike lanes a logical and usable option.
Right now, we are still left with what our friends at Strong Towns call a STROAD. A street/road hybrid that moves traffic too slow to be efficient and too fast to provide a platform for value. If you want to create a great street for people, the speeds need to come down to the 30-35 mph range. If you want to create an efficient road for traffic flow, they need to go up to the 55 mph range and eliminate a lot of the curb-cuts that are there now.
So, all in all, we've made huge progress but there's still a lot of work to be done in many areas along Alpharetta Hwy.
image: City of Roswell