Public Meeting #2

January 26, 2017

This meeting was held on the final day of the Three Day Workshop. The Project Team prepared a presentation and several physical plans displayed on the walls showing concepts of the nodes studied including: Medlock/Bridge State Bridge/Atlanta Athletic Club, Tech Park and Newtown Park. These concepts are purely conceptual and are used to illustrate a potential scenario for each area. Any developer driven redevelopment and its mix of uses would go through a City approval process based off this community driven Comprehensive Plan. With this said, it’s important to understand transportation implications of these concepts, creating a grid system at these nodes and incorporating them into a master street plan promotes ease of movement through these nodes and multi modal access for future growth.

The first portion of the meeting was an Open House format for people to walk around and view the physical plans as well as Land Use boards that had been displayed all three days. The Project Team followed up with a presentation outlining the work produced during the three days including the transportation and land use concepts. Please review the posted presentation for full details. Three concepts were discussed for 141:

1. Freeway option: designed for moving traffic as efficiently as possible, would include on an off ramps, cons could include not designing for ped/bike/cart use and diminished aesthetics of corridor

2. Grade separated street option: grade separation at the intersection of 141 and State Bridge to increase traffic flow, cons could include not designing for ped/bike/cart use and diminished aesthetics of corridor

3. Designing more local streets in commercial areas to divert traffic option: using the redevelopment of key nodes (Medlock/State Bridge, Tech Park, etc) as opportunities for new public streets to give drivers/bicyclists/pedestrians/carts alternative routes

A master trail system plan was also presented to show continuous loops throughout the City that would carry bike/ped/cart movements. This would give citizens an option other than getting in their car for local trips and could reduce the number of cars on the road in the future.

Next the land use concepts were presented. These land use concepts were framed by changing trends in City form. Johns Creek’s model for the past twenty years or so has been to place buildings in the center of a lot and surround it with parking. You can only drive between buildings and walking/biking is afterthought. A lot of suburban American sees this land pattern – but it can be fixed incrementally over time to improve access and traffic flow. This is implemented by having building face streets and public spaces as well as integrating them into a street grid. These concepts can apply to big cities or small towns.

1. Tech Park

  • Currently we have “scattered buildings, not oriented to any street”
  • Overtime ewe change this by introducing new streets to form blocks
  • Enhancing the existing greenway to accommodate multi-use trails
  • Integrating the already master planned park and new City Hall
  • In time there is a network of streets, multiple options for access
  • This concept shows a mix of uses – as these are variable – it is the infrastructure and street system that matters

2. Medlock Bridge/State Bridge

  • This concepts integrates some existing retail into a new village form
  • The Project Team shows the Regal, Target, Home Depot, Historic Warsaw School, Whole Foods and Publix remaining, but the rest of the commercial properties reorganizing, facing the streets and resting in a grid
  • New Streets are introduced on all four quadrants integrated with trails, landscaping and parking to create “complete streets”
  • The Athletic Club site reflects the same principles aforementioned and also includes an idea for a performing arts center and a series of green spaces
  • This site also included a creek trail in the buffer behind the property which would run through the whole development adding another layer of connectivity

3. Newtown Park Node

  • This concept shows that after a life cycle of a shopping center it can be reborn as a more walkable village
  • A round about is integrate4d into the Haynes Bridge and Old Alabama intersection
  • Buildings are brought up to the street and new streets form internal grids for alternative routes including trails connecting to Newtown Park
Lastly the Project Team presented a case study in Sugar Land, TX. A City with similar stats to Johns Creek this is illustrating an example of a largely suburban community integrating a town village development into their existing landscape. This development includes a City Hall, public town green and mixed use.

Key Takeaways:

  • Public understands alternative routes at nodes and is generally supportive of this initiative
  • Condensing commercial is preferred rather than promoting sprawl
  • Public would like to maintain or enhance character of 141, design street for local residents not through commuters
  • Turning derelict shopping centers into temporary or permanent green spaces is another idea heard
  • Partnering with developers to help curb the costs of building new infrastructure (streets, trails, etc) was supported
  • Public wants to continue the development of low density housing (i.e. single family detached units on 0.5 acre lots or more) versus condos/apartments/townhomes
  • New developments near public schools (esp high schools) should be designed to promote walkability/bikeability/golf cart use so students can safely utilize off-campus lunch and after school destinations without the use of a car.