The Atlanta Regional Commission awarded $800,000 in its latest round of Livable Centers Initiative grants to 11 metro Atlanta communities, including Avondale Estates.
The city's grant of $50,000, will be used to study the feasibility of a roundabout, road diet and “Better Block” demonstration project.
Avondale Estates' grant approval follows the city's desire to address speeding, cut-through motorists and economic development along U.S. 278, which is North Avondale Road inside the municipal limits.
The city commissioned a walkability study in 2013, which recommended constructing a roundabout at the intersection of North Avondale Road/U.S. 278 and North Clarendon Avenue.
ARC's LCI grants aim to help communities create new plans for quality growth and help develop innovative policies that support more vibrant, connected neighborhoods.
Upon completion of their studies and plans are complete, those communities will be eligible for additional LCI funding for transportation projects needed to bring their ideas to fruition.
Since its inception in 1999, LCI has assisted 113 communities with approximately $15 million in planning grants to create strategies that reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality. An additional $173 million has gone to help recipients build transportation projects that help them accomplish their goals.
The LCI program is funded with federal transportation dollars. The grants fund 80 percent of the study, with the recipient making a 20 percent match. So altogether, there will be a $1 million LCI investment in these 11 communities, $800,000 from the LCI program and $200,000 in local match.
“Over the years, LCI has helped communities across metro Atlanta reinvent and improve themselves, creating more places that attract residents and businesses alike,” said Kerry Armstrong, ARC Chairman. “Our local government partners have used these grants to the benefit of their individual communities and the entire region.”
LCI communities cover only five percent of the region’s land area, but contain seven percent of its residential development, 24 percent of its commercial development and 38 percent of its office development.
“Communities are eager to revitalize their town centers and underutilized properties to create places that foster a vibrant neighborhood feel and environment,” Doug Hooker, ARC's executive director, said in a statement.
“LCI grants have helped communities re-imagine what they can be, and then helped them make those plans a reality.”