by Jonathan Copsey / Appen Newspapers
March 28, 2011
MILTON, Ga. - The first draft designs of a new Crabapple master plan were unveiled to the public during a meeting by Roswell-based planner Lew Oliver.
"I expect plenty of disapproval and discussion," Oliver said to the crowd at City Hall March 21.
Oliver's suggestions centered around adding several relief streets to the Crabapple area, including one branching north from Charlotte Drive to link up with Milton High School, in an effort to cut down on student traffic that helps clog the roads in the mornings and early afternoons.
A roundabout could be placed near Arbor Drive and Crabapple Road, turning Lacoma Trace into a major cut through for traffic trying to turn left up Birmingham Highway.
The main thrust of the efforts was to mitigate the effects of traffic in the area and to slow it down. Rerouting the traffic was not likely to happen, Oliver said.
"It's a very dismal future for North Fulton with traffic," Oliver said.
He added that traffic design in Atlanta for the past 50 years has been centered around the idea of using cars exclusively. Other modes of transportation – including bikes and walking – have been marginalized until fairly recently.
Through the use of wide sidewalks and trails, Oliver hopes to bring back the feeling of a small-town neighborhood, with plenty of people walking, riding bikes or driving golf carts.
Oliver also suggested the use of creek beds and waterways that converge on the old town as "green fingers" - that is, multi-use pathways for pedestrians and cyclists.
He noted there was no way to solve the traffic problems that plague the area, and that it will in fact get worse in coming years. Residents could expect the population to grow by at least another 12,000 if Milton goes by its standard one-house-per-acre policy to fill the remaining 6,000 acres in the city. The number could be much higher if density is higher and the surrounding cities continue to grow as well.
While no definite plan was given for a possible city hall, if Oliver has his way, the gas station in the heart of Crabapple would be replaced with a town green where a city hall complex could be located.
The design process will continue in the coming weeks to create a complete master plan for Crabapple that the city can use to direct growth development in the area.