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Updates from PBA President
Posted on Oct 1st, 2018
The end of summer and the start of school always seem to make for busy times at PBA. Here are just a few examples...
Peachtree Battle Parkway and Haynes Manor Park
There is a lot going on with parks in the Neighborhood. PBA’s Parks Committee and the Haynes Manor Garden Club are working on a project to improve the appearance of the two City of Atlanta parks—Peachtree Battle Parkway and Haynes Manor Park—at the entrances to the Neighborhood at both ends of Peachtree Battle. Carson McIlheney has created designs for both entrances on a pro bono basis, and we are also considering designs for the main stretch of the Peachtree Battle Parkway prepared by Spencer Tunnell some time ago.
PBA has entered into a Friends of Park Agreement with Park Pride, Inc. for both parks. This agreement is a necessary first step to obtaining the approval of the City for our plans. PBA has also entered into a Fiscal Partner Agreement with Park Pride for each of the parks. The FOP Agreement will provide donors with a charitable deduction on their taxes as well as an accounting for how the money is spent.
Before proceeding further, we are waiting for estimates of the cost of these plans so that we can determine whether they are feasible.
The Park around the Bobby Jones Clubhouse
If you have been reading these posts this year, you will recall that PBA and the Atlanta Memorial Park Conservancy have been working with the Haynes Manor Recital Hall Foundation in its efforts to redevelop the Bobby Jones Clubhouse as a recital hall for chamber music and for related purposes. PBA and AMPC are particularly interested in the development of the land surrounding the clubhouse as a passive park.
The City has produced drafts of a sublease for the Clubhouse and related parking and a Memorandum of Understanding for the parkland. Without digging too deeply into the details, let me say that issues have arisen as a result the City’s efforts to squeeze the Recital Hall Foundation’s uses of the facilities as authorized in the sublease into the language contained in the master lease of the facilities between the City and the State. The Recital Hall Foundation, PBA and AMPC have met with JP Matzigkeit who believes that the issues can be resolved, but that the resolution will require negotiations with the State. The resolution process is underway, but the issues have slowed the project by several months.
Traffic usually picks up with the start of the school year, and this year is no exception. We have had a spate of requests from neighbors about an assortment of traffic issues. They range from impatient drivers on Peachtree Battle passing on the right of drivers travelling at the speed limit to the usual tie-ups on W. Wesley and Peachtree Battle at the two rush hours to drivers using our side streets like Dellwood, Manor Ridge, Brookdale and Westover to avoid the main east/west corridors.
The Traffic Committee is going to reach out to members across the Neighborhood to make sure we have a catalogue of all the issues. The Committee will then contact the City to determine what can be done.
The saga of the bridge over Peachtree Creek at Northside continues, but there has been progress. GDOT now says that construction of the bridge and the resulting closure of Northside will start in the summer of 2020. The latest communication from GDOT says the bridge will be constructed on a 24/7 basis, and there is no longer a contingency for their being able to find a contractor that will do the work within their budget.
PBA has been working with AMPC and four other affected civic associations on some remaining details. For example, we have all requested that GDOT install some sort of railing between the traffic and the sidewalk on the bridge. We have also asked that construction start after Memorial Day in 2020 so that the closure/detours will not begin until after the end of the school year.
To maximize our chances of success, we have enlisted the aid of State Senators Jen Jordan and Nikema Williams and Representative Beth Beskin. Senators Jordan and Williams are working with Stacey Key, the GDOT commissioner who represents our district. Representative Beskin is working directly with GDOT staff. We are very grateful to all three for their assistance. Who says bipartisanship is dead! If you see them, please let them know how much you appreciate their efforts on our behalf.
Your Board of Directors has set November 14 at 6:30 as the date for our Annual Meeting. More later, but please mark your calendars.