As I reflect on the first part of 2020, the effects of COVID-19 on businesses was unimaginable. Some have been forced to shutter, while others have thrived and adapted to meet the needs of communities. No one could have prepared for this level of business disruption, but Gateway85 CID has continued to work with its member property owners to move in a positive direction and make progress on our goals and objectives. Since January, we have forged ahead on our projects and studies, continued to create and open new sidewalks, improved signal timing along our main corridor, co-hosted a candidate forum, and taken our communications to new levels with an updated website, member spotlights, virtual meetings and more. As we continue to adapt to a new “normal”, I hope that you will contact me anytime with your suggestions on how we can continue to improve Gateway85 CID and make it the best place to do business in Gwinnett County and the state.
Have an incredible day!
Gateway85 CID’s projects and studies are critical to planning and executing infrastructure improvements that will increase property values and attract new diverse businesses. Following are the latest updates.
Jimmy Carter Boulevard Signal Timing
Despite lighter traffic due to more people continuing to work from home, Gateway85 constantly reviews the signal timing along our main corridor of Jimmy Carter Boulevard to maximize traffic flow. Has your commute improved?
Freight Logistics Study
Atlas has led the charge on the Freight Logistics Study to learn freight movement patterns through the district and to identify how best to overcome any obstacles that impede that movement. To date, 206 different projects have been identified and include intersection improvements, pedestrian upgrades, roadway operational projects, new connections and capacity expansions. Gateway85 will announce project plans following the final presentation at the end of this month.
Truck Parking Study
New driving and parking rules have affected truck drivers, and Kimley-Horn has been leading a large study to learn where trucks are currently parking within the district and the options available to minimize their impact on businesses and the surrounding community. The study is expected to result in recommendations related to future roadway, intersection improvements and traffic flow projects.
I-85 Corridor Study
Georgia DOT and Gwinnett County are conducting a Comprehensive Corridor Study along I-85, which covers approximately 18 miles and includes Gwinnett County and a small portion of DeKalb County. The study will propose solutions to reduce congestion, enhance traffic operations and improve area safety. GDOT conducted a survey that closed in February and will develop a range of potential solutions based on stakeholder feedback and collaboration. Watch this short video to learn more.
BRT Transit Study
Gwinnett County commissioners approved an $800,000 contract with Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc. to conduct a study to look at a possible bus rapid transit (BRT) corridor that would run parallel to Interstate 85, roughly between the OFS site and the Infinite Energy Center. The county is working with the Atlanta Regional Commission as well as the Gateway85, Gwinnett Place and Sugarloaf Community Improvement Districts to fund the study, which include 50% from the ARC, and 9.4% from each participating CID. The study, called “Satellite Boulevard to Jimmy Carter Boulevard BRT Corridor Study” aims to provide an examination of the study area’s future, which includes previous study findings, to propose a BRT route that would begin at the Doraville MARTA station with the proposed 15-mile alignment following New Peachtree, Buford Highway, Button Gwinnett Drive, Best Friend Road, Brook Hollow Parkway and Satellite Boulevard northeast toward the Infinite Energy Center. The alignment then would cross under I-85 via Sugarloaf Parkway to the Sugarloaf Mills Park-and-Ride. A substantial portion of this BRT route is proposed to be bus only lanes, beginning north of Jimmy Carter Boulevard. This study, which is limited to the 10-mile section from Jimmy Carter Boulevard to Sugarloaf Parkway and across to the Sugarloaf Mills Park-and-Ride, would include an approximately ¾ mile buffer on each side of the BRT corridor that expands to a 1-mile buffer around three transit stations/hubs: Multimodal Hub (near Jimmy Carter Boulevard), Gwinnett Transit Center (at Gwinnett Place Mall), and the Infinite Energy Center. For more information, visit GwinnettBRT.com.
Lighting The Way – Phase II Update
If you feel like the district is brighter, you’re right! It is! On the heels of completing Phase I of the district lighting plan, Gateway85 CID is continuing implementation with Phase II in September. Expect to see another 26 pedestrian lights and five streetlights installed along Live Oak Parkway to Rockbridge Road, which will grow the total number of new lights to 60 pedestrian lights and 31 streetlights within the district. See the map below.
GWINNETT COUNTY’S TRANSIT REFERENDUM
In July, the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners decided to include a transit referendum question on the November 2020 ballot. The Gwinnett Transit Education Forum is a committee of Gwinnett citizens who are working to educate voters on the referendum and the 80+ projects included so they can make an informed decision at the polls or by absentee ballot. The Committee’s tagline is Transit Education: Choose Your Direction.
2020 QUARRY CRUSHER RUN’S RECORD-BREAKING DONATION
Gateway85 has been a proud presenting sponsor of Vulcan Materials’ Quarry Crusher Run for the past five years, an annual race that benefits the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta and Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS). On Saturday, February 22, a record-breaking 952 registered runners and walkers participated in this year’s event at the Norcross Quarry, but the success didn’t stop there. We are proud to announce that this year’s event raised a record total of $53,771!
On Thursday, August 6, Gateway85 CID’s Victoria Smith joined Vulcan Materials as the checks were presented to the Boys & Girls Club of Gwinnett County and the GCPS, including Meadowcreek Elementary School, Radloff Middle School, McClure Health Science High School and Meadowcreek High School.
Thank you to this year’s event participants and sponsors! A date has not yet been set for the 2021 event due to COVID-19 but Gateway85 will continue to share updates via email and its social media channels.
COVID-19 GUIDANCE FOR BUSINESSES
The Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale Health Departments are working hard to keep businesses informed on best practices in the workplace regarding COVID protocols. They recently produced a COVID-19 Guide to serve as a tool for Gwinnett businesses. You can find the guide here.
We hope it proves helpful to you. If you have questions or need more specific guidance, please visit www.gnrhealth.com/covid-19-info.
GWINNETT COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOL’S REOPENING PLANS FOR THE 2020-21 SCHOOL YEAR
On August 4, Gwinnett County Public Schools’ CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks shared plans for transitioning to a blend of in-person and digital learning for students, based on their parents’ choices. GCPS plans to begin online on August 12, with plans to bring a limited number of grade levels to school by August 26, then adding more grades on a staggered basis. Wilbanks’ letter to stakeholders shared that the new schedule is a best-case scenario, and student and staff safety will be the driving factors in determining the pace at which the district will move.
Visit the GCPS website to learn more about the updated plan for the 2020-21 school year.
GREATER ATLANTA CHRISTIAN SCHOOL PLANS TO RETURN TO THE CLASSROOM
As the new school year begins to take shape in new ways, Greater Atlanta Christian School (GAC) released its 2020 reopening plan which outlines the protocols and procedures currently in place to protect its faculty and students.
GAC has invested more than $1.4 million in new technology, becoming one of the first schools in the country to install and use DTEN technology to offer a new synchronous learning experience for students so that classes can be taught face-to-face and online, simultaneously. The school is calling this program “GAC Sync.” Along with GAC Sync, school administrators have adjusted the daily class schedule for middle and high schools students to reduce class sizes, offer more electives and create flex time throughout the day.