With cars flowing through and around its new roundabout, Flowery Branch is now looking at improving one of the streets that shoots off the traffic circle.
A study is planned for often-narrow and primarily residential Mitchell Street, which runs from Spring Street downtown to the City Park overlooking Lake Lanier.
“This will be the first look at how (the city) could lay out sidewalks, landscaping and stormwater (drainage)” along the stretch and the impacts it would have on private property, said John McHenry, community planning director.
“We’re not going to come out of this with exact design drawings but a much better sense of costs, impacts and what’s out there from a survey standpoint,” he said. “It’s a conceptual design approach.”
Through improvements, “we want to be able to create more connections in town, like we’ve been able to do with the roundabout,” he said. “There’s a very limited sidewalk network in the old town.”
Such a project also might improve access to City Park, which “is an underused asset,” McHenry said.
The South Hall city is getting funding help from the Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization, Hall’s lead transportation agency, for the study.
As far as a timeline, “we’d like to have a consultant on board in July, depending on how the process (of seeking proposals) goes,” McHenry said.
Meanwhile, the city’s roundabout is helping with downtown traffic connections.
As part of the Lights Ferry Connector, it gives drivers a long-awaited straight shot between Atlanta Highway/Ga. 13 and McEver Road, two major South Hall traffic arteries.
Previously, drivers had to dog-leg their way through downtown streets to make the connection.
The $2.1 million road also is viewed as a tool to boost economic development. Mitchell Street, particularly, connects with Main Street, which has resurged in recent years with businesses occupying once-vacant buildings.