Corridor Study Comments - Oak Street & Oconee Street

The comments below were submitted to the Planning Department regarding the Corridor Study for Oak Street & Oconee Street (these comments have not been edited).


What are the visual conditions and/or quality of life aspects along the corridor that you most value?
  • The green way is a great aspect of this area and so is the proximity to downtown. I would like to see the green way better utilized for Low impact development. 
  • The section from E. Broad to Mamma's Boy has some interesting, historic architecture. The views of the river and greenway is pleasant. 
  • Walkability and connections to the parks are the aspects of this neighborhood that drew me to it, though both of these components could be improved. 
  • Preserving greenspace and enhancing access to it; improving walkability with more sidewalks and crosswalks; also bicycle safety. For both my own needs and to improve the character of East Athens (Chicopee-Dudley), I'd like to have a safer, more attractive and more direct walking route to UGA.
  • bike lanes
  • I like that there are no big plastic signs advertising national chain stores. If you drive down Gains School Road, there are Kroger, Blockbuster, and Dominoes establishments all along the way. I like that the corridor, with Mama's Boy, Nuci's Space, Weaver D's, and the Farmer's Exchange, so far is pure Athens.
  • Visually I hope there is much landscaping and trees. My biggest concern though is that I work on Foundry Street and feel like I am taking my life into my hands to make a left hand turn onto Oak Street when traffic is completely backed up. I really can't stress how important it is to take the traffic situation into consideration for this location. I do not feel it can handle an enormous store or traffic will be backed up all the way downtown.
  • Athens does not need another Chinese goods outlet. Why don't you do something that will help the local economy ?
  • Historic buildings such as the Jittery Joe's Roastery, Hodgson's Oil, etc. Relatively light traffic conditions and bike friendliness are also important. Unique character.
  • I appreciate the improvements make via the greenway project that have make at least a stretch of the corridor safer to bike on via the off-road multi-use path connecting to Wilkerson and the river views (mainly only for pedestrians and cyclists using the bridge). I also like seeing the steeple ruin which is more like a tower than a building, the Hogson Oil Building which UGA did such a great job of restoring for new purposes, and the remaining trestle (with a nice new bus shelter along the corridor that artistically mimics it).
  • I value the ability to walk to work (I work at the University)., though I wish there was a safer and more convenient way to get there.
  • Not filled with national brand name stores. Has a distinct Athens feel.
  • Please stop the Wal-Mart.
  • On December 5, 2010, a scarce Confederate ""Cook & Brothers"" Marked Percussion Infantry Rifle sold at auction for $13,000.00 US Dollars (with "Cook & Brothers" mark and the stamp of the original flag of Georgia). The rifles are considered the finest made by the Confederacy, and were produced at the "Cook & Brothers" Armory, located just below where a new wWal-Mart
    is proposed in downtown Athens, Georgia. In 1845, George Cooke painted "A VIEW OF ATHENS FROM CARR'S HILL, which is on display at the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library on the University of Georgia campus. "The Chapel" of 1832 is central on the 'Acropolis' of the downtown. However, now a Wal-Mart is posed to take its place, just up Oconee Hill, within this historic view. Our history should be save. The Greenway MUST be protected! What I also know is the new level of crime and vice a Wal-Mart downtown WOULD create. low wage worker's families, would be restless waiting in the new Wal-Mart parking lot for the family member inside, to leave their shift. thus, they would search east Athens and 'the block' for drugs and soft security of homes and cars... this WILL happen. it seems to me, that the store is being proposed MAINLY for UGA students. they can afford a 'Whole Foods' or 'Trader Joe's', don't you think?
  • The Small businesses, organizations, and public spaces. (specifically: The Jittery Joe's Roaster, The Green Way, Nuci's Space, and Mama's Boy restaurant.)
  • I like the mix of University, downtown, and historic architecture with the possibility of a river and parkway area
  • Preservation of historic warehouses and other structures, as well as scale, height, and density of structures along the corridor. Unimpeded use and visibility along the Greenway for pedestrians, cyclists, and runners.
  • The smaller historic cottages and overall building size; the amount of green space, including not just Dudley Park, but mature trees scattered throughout the area; the sense of black history; the fact that it is--or has been--an affordable close-to-town neighborhood not only for the black community, but also for young families and members of Athens creative community
  • The fact that we have no WALL MART. Seriously, lets keep the Classic City Classic. It gets worse every year - we loose Hot Corner, we get a Starbucks. A Wall Mart will be the death blow.
  • (Comments focused to Oak St. section at downtown primarily). I DON'T want to dominant visual feature along the corridor to be a huge box store. Selig says it will be mostly hidden from view as traffic approaches downtown from the east, but given the topography of the lot, I can't see how they can guarantee this. I'd like the architecture to be in synch w/ that of downtown and surrounding buildings, not a 'one size fits all' mall like in Buckhead and other places Selig has developed. Can we not somehow incorporate the old brick buildings into the development. Shame to lose that history and cultural aesthetics they convey. A pedestrian friendly SIDEWALK is crucial as many of us from this neighborhood walk along/cross Oak St to UGA.
  • Scale! Scale! Scale! prevent big-box & strip mall developments! Avoid massive street front parking lots (tuck parking around sides & backs of buildings & develop retail in small village-like clusters of shops rather than strips. Encourage adaptive reuse, historic preservation, & incorporation of existing structures where ever possible. Plant trees!!!
  • Walkability, Carr's Hill, neighbors, hardwood trees, birds, vegetation, permeable land, traditional single-family residences, local businesses.
  • The vistas across the river and the historical nature of the area and the story the remaining buildings tell of the warehouse district. Also a key part of future transportation will be the build-out, improvement, and accessibility of the greenway trails.
  • Would love to be able to walk to restaurants, shops and greenway. Bike path off of the roadway.
  • I think it is very important to consider the impact on the river and natural areas in the corridor. Many small businesses and residential spaces breaks up the visual impact and creates a more unique and welcoming entrance to the downtown area.
  • Walkability, human-scale development, bike-ability & green space
  • The cityscape as you travel down Oconee Street into Downtown. I’d like to see a code that makes all business development should have aesthetic values that match the interior city. Match the Classic City
  • Small businesses & green space along and near river. It would be good to consider larger watershed issues & other adjacent neighborhoods as they affect the Oak/Oconee Corridor – local ownership
  • I attended this meeting not knowing it was mainly for the people who live in the area. My comments therefore will be of someone who lives on the far east side(near Whit Davis school), and mostly just drives through Oak/Oconee St. into town. It's not a very nice drive, but gets better near the greenway, with Mama's Boy, Nuci's Space, the restored Hodgson's Oil, the ruined steeple, Farmer's Hardware condos.
  • I value seeing Athens shining at the top of the hill when entering the city from Augusta.
  • Older buildings, that have great aesthetic value for future development and re-furbished (like the industrial areas in Charlotte, NC where the use of buildings with this type of character while conservation of our historic buildings.


What are your top concerns about the future of the corridor?
  • Bicycle transportation on Oconee street is quite tough. Future development should include bike lanes. Also I would like to see better storm water runoff retention in this area as well as all of Athens. It would be nice to create bioswells and rain gardens to collect the runoff so that it doesn't go straight into the North Oconee. Other cities have done this successfully. 
  • Traffic is usually backed up from the Barnett Shoals intersection. The buildings and businesses after Mama's Boy look run down and questionable. I would not feel safe walking or riding a bike because of heavy traffic and concerns about safety. This is a main road to Athens and it looks really bad. 
  • I am most concerned that traffic improvements will focus too much on vehicle congestion without addressing pedestrian access. 
  • Fix medical office loophole 
  • Graceful transition from commercial to residential, i.e. no parking deck across from residential. 
  • Preserving and enhancing the life of the neighborhood as a neighborhood; making sure that local pedestrian traffic gets as much attention as vehicular traffic flow. Encouraging local businesses that will serve residents (restaurants, grocery).
  • lack of bike lanes
  • I would really hate to see franchises, chains, or corporations move in. A lot of people are talking "grocery store," but if that were the case I really hope that it was a mom and pop grocery store - like the co-op.
  • My top concern is traffic. Secondly I do not think a Wal-Mart fits in with the character of downtown though a grocery of moderate size could be very nice. I am not attached to the current structures that sit there with the exception of the Jittery Joe's building that has received a lot of improvements in the past year and services local foot traffic.
  • I'm very concerned about plans for a possible Wal-Mart, or any other non-local big-box store, in the corridor. There is a voluminous quantity of data that show that Wal-Mart does not actually add anything to a local economy, shuts down local businesses, and treats their employees poorly. I'm also concerned about gaudy condominiums adding to the ones that have already been built, especially since those are by no means full. Finally, I'm concerned about additional traffic issues that could arise from development in that area without proper planning.
  • Like many others, I'm very concerned about the proposed massive-scale big box development. There's a reason why these types of developments are traditionally located along major freeways, interstates, and bypasses. The traffic volume they generate is immense, and this section of the corridor is already a major traffic bottleneck. I'm not sure how such a development can be located at the heart of town without overwhelming the infrastructure even if it is massively upgraded.
  • I am most concerned about traffic and safety.
  • That it not be commercialized in an "anywhere-in-America" way
  • Please stop the Wal-Mart.
  • Well, I called Selig Enterprises with my suggestion. Because of the very history of this location, the Confederates, the Slaves, The Bat Factory, The rifles, the bayonets, and ALL the artifacts of colonial Athens still in the soil there, I suggested THE HISTORIC ATHENS GREENWAY GROCER... perhaps a "MARKET OF CHOICE"... with brick facades, gas lamps at the entrances, and objects Athens History placed on display throughout the Market's Organic selection of healthier offerings. Wal-Mart
    is not a grocer of healthy food. the citizens have demanded and must received what IS best for their communities' long term health. http://www.marketofchoice.com/
  • I believe that a large box store, such as a Wal-mart, would destroy local small businesses, ruin the aesthetic appeal of the city and skyline, cause irreversible environmental damage to the Green Way and surrounding areas, and create enormous traffic problems.
  • Traffic is already a mess and I am worried that the current plans could rearrange the area for r worse and make it take even longer to get from there to the east side in the Morning and evening. Its not enough of an advantage to have a big of there. No more student apartments or condos or gameday considerations.
  • Intrusion of a "big box," irresponsible corporate presence over the objection of the neighborhood and community. The "if we build they will come" attitude should not be endorsed. Instead, the Planning Department should make a conscious and careful choice about the type of development and anchor store (if any -- I am not opposed to non-development of the corridor) that will establish a presence on such a defining area of the city.
  • That Lexington Road will become even more of a highway corridor into town, further fracturing the corridor as it exists; that Peter Street will be destroyed as a Loop-10 cut-through to help advance development; that huge building/box stores and residential developments will not take into account the history and scale of the existing neighborhood; and that the property taxes will be pushed upward effectively pushing the black community out of their long-term neighborhoods; that our government will do nothing to help protect and promote the vision of Athenians for their own town's development.
  • A Wall Mart being put up, four miles from an existing Wall Mart down on Lexington. Parking screwed up forever. We close every historic and Athens-owned business - the 40 Watt, Last Resort, The Grill, Wuxtry, The Caledonia Lounge - because suddenly its worth it for landlords to raise their prices so high that only national chains can afford to open there. We get an Olive Garden, a Super Target, a Best Buy - and suddenly I may as well live in Buford.
  • Traffic: turning left from Wilkerson onto Oak is very difficult at present. Will only become worse w/ addition of increased traffic to/from HD tract. Aesthetics: the HD tract should not "stick out" as we enter / leave downtown. It needs to mesh with the topography. Lighting should be kept to a low minimum; no retail signs (especially NO FLASHY/BLINKING LIGHTED ones). It needs to be more pedestrian friendly.
  • Overdevelopment of unsustainable retail that will threaten the character of downtown nearby. Auto traffic is also a concern as this corridor should be made more attractive for bike & pedestrian traffic. Allow the commercial corridor to be easily accessed from nearby residential as well as recreational opportunities on the Greenway. Riverfront elements of this corridor should be utilized for public spaces with great effort taken to preserve/restore the natural environment in these particular areas.
  • Crime, insufficient infrastructure, congestion, traffic, over-development, student housing displacing all traditional Athenian residences.
  • Traffic is a huge issue at this choke point crossing the Oconee River and the greenway. Can the road be expanded to carry additional traffic from a proposed development? Can the bridge be rebuilt? If so who will pay for it? How can the greenway be expanded into downtown? How can we insure expansion of the greenway when new development comes?
  • Will student housing make it look worse? Will UGA move into Carrs Hill? Will you widen the road, destroy the communities by putting in a 4 lane road? Would love a grocery store!
  • My main concerns are traffic congestion and the potential to negatively impact local businesses.
  • I can’t emphasize enough that a huge development with a big box (>30,000 sq.ft.) would destroy my neighborhood. Seriously. Also, a bike & pedestrian path connecting Oak St with East Campus would help a lot.
  • Over population and ugly box businesses
  • Increase & enhance foot and alternative transport options. Crossing Oak/Oconee on foot bike now is hazardous and certainly no convenient. Any option to do some overhead pathway from park (N) to opposite side of Oconee (south)?
  • What little the area has going for it will be destroyed, if a big box store gets dropped like a bomb into the Armstrong and Dobbs lot. It will be like a giant tumor growing on the side of downtown, and the increased traffic will be a disaster. I predict more people will stay away from downtown due to the added congestion. Also, a 24-Hour Wal-Mart will bring a community policing nightmare to the area. If you think an after-hours disco caused a bunch of problems, think how much more trouble could be caused by people hanging out all night at Wal-Mart after drinking at bars.
  • I am very opposed to having a big box store anywhere near downtown and I am especially opposed to a Wal-Mart in this area. I would like to see a cap on square footage that would require any space to be consistent in size with stores downtown. One exception to cap would be a grocery store. I would like to see a very small independently owned grocery store. This store must offer value priced groceries and be welcomed by the neighborhood residents. I would like to see any future development plans incorporate the existing historic structures. Many of the existing businesses in This corridor have façades that look sad and tired. in a perfect world ACC would offer incentives to beautify these business and place tenants in vacant buildings.
  • The destruction of our historic resources that their value is priceless and would be lost forever, maintaining buildings with this character and renovating these resources for conversion to retail, restaurant, bar, condos, apartments, office space.


What are the visual conditions and/or quality of life aspects along the corridor that you least value?
  • I least value the tailgating areas. It creates unnecessary impervious surface cover to close to a water resource. If more of these get developed, I would like to see it done using low impact design such as permeable road surfaces, storm water collection (bioswells, rain gardens, more trees). No matter what gets developed I hope that environmental sustainability is the number one priority. I would hate to see this area developed using archaic development methods that increase storm water runoff and further worsen the impact to our rivers. 
  • Traffic, run down buildings, safety issues, not visually attractive at all. 
  • Currently the corridor seems mainly to be a passageway from the east Athens neighborhoods to downtown. I would like to see more development to serve the adjacent neighborhoods. I would also like to see the two sides of Oak Street better connected and better access to the Dudley Park and the Greenway from the corridor. 
  • Car traffic that makes walking unpleasant and unsafe; derelict properties.
  • keep trees and greenery
  • The developments along East Broad such as 909 Broad.
  • This corridor is dangerous to cross and cars are known to speed through red lights. As for quality of life, it concerns me that bus stops often don't have at minimum a place to sit. I appreciate the clever art bus stops but there are too many places where there's not a seat at all, much less shelter. This is a corridor where better bus facilities would be especially useful, even if just those basic bus stop signs that have built in seats.
  • First, I dislike developers packing as many rental properties into as small a space as possible. There are 14 (!) new rental properties that are being built on Oconee Street between the corner of Georgia and Oconee and the corner of Carr and Oconee. Second, I am concerned about the safety of the area. Contrary to what you may have heard, there are many, many cars that are broken into, especially over any holiday. For example, I have had my cars broken into three times in the last four months. Third, I am concerned about how difficult it is to access this area by bicycle. When I first moved into this area, I was able to walk to campus by cutting through the cemetery. Why is that no longer possible for the general public? I know that the apartment complex on China street has a passageway to the cemetery.
  • Fast food restaurants, parking lots, Wal-Mart or other big box presence.
  • Please stop the Wal-Mart.
  • i remember the mini malls both downtown AND at O'Malley's BEFORE the bar had it's glory years. no one is against an affordable convenient grocery store, but why must it be a Wal-Mart which is certainly not conducive to a historic downtown? i too have seen many failed projects come and go in Athens. I remember 'the born loser's club', which was in a warehouse behind Sparky's. many Athenians invested huge dollars in that social club, only to lose THOUSANDS when the speculator left town late one night with all the cash, before the doors even opened to the club! I have seen many such failures in downtown, and this large/out of scale/ chain reeks with disaster. In 1969, I integrated Clarke County Public Schools when I integrated Gaines School. I have seen MANY A&Ps, PIGGLY WIGGLYs, BELL's, SKY CITY's, ROSE'S, WINN DIXIE, PARSONS MARKET, QUALITY MARKET'S etc etc etc. Let me tell you a little something that you probably didn't know about this historic trace of land down broad before the river. The famed Athens Bat Factory was located right in the very location that we are talking about. the professional bats produced in that factory were considered the finest professional bats before the Louisville sluggers!!! When the Classic Center was built, part of the special funds raised through citizens taxes was to develop a plan designing proposals for the property leading down below the Classic Center to the river. Athenians paid, and those designs should be honored! They included a 'Bat Factory' cafe and museum, bike paths (the river walk), a Confederate Museum, and an African American Museum AND an outdoor amphitheater for concerts and drama!!! The Late Mr Griffith and Mr Culpepper took great care in pointing out what WOULD take place. I believe that the commissioners and mayor saw the quick fit of Wal-Mart on vast property and calculated the new numbers, and were off to the races.... of course a market could exist in our charming downtown, but not the soulless buildings Wal-Mart is now famous for producing, all across the American heartland ."
  • No more student apartments or condos there until they can sell all the ones across the street from the roaster. Wal-Mart would be so tacky and inappropriate.
  • Rapid, comprehensive development of the corridor is not necessary.
  • The highway scale and function of Lexington Road; lack of sidewalks and bike infrastructure; lack of proper bus stops to protect against weather; the intrusion of massive three-story homes and condos into existing factory cottage neighborhoods; the potential intrusion of big box-scaled businesses.
  • The big box stores. I want the Classic City to stay Classic. I will vote for whomever shares my values and work against anyone who does not.
  • Lack of pedestrian - friendly infrastructure, especially along Oak section.
  • Tailgate Station sucks! Too much auto traffic....
  • Having my car and home burglarized, parking lots, apartments, Ambrose Properties' signage, difficulty walking and driving on Georgia Drive. Approved plans to further choke the area (Oconee St. between Triby and Poplar) with more parking and traffic as property owners maximize the number of bedrooms they can fit on a lot. Mosquitoes.
  • Traffic again is the main issue. The streets are already over capacity and traffic frequently backs up on Oconee Street even during off hours.
  • Liquor stores, gas stations
  • I’m not very certain that we need a high density apartment complex so close to well-established neighborhoods.
  • Heavy traffic along Oak & Peter St.
  • Tailgate Station
  • Traffic congestion, lack of sidewalks, poor drainage, visibility of parking areas with little landscape/visual or aesthetic relief / lack of food store for residents, few services besides fast food
  • I think you heard a lot of people at the meeting, who basically do NOT appreciate changes to their area forced upon them. Thus, I would advise that the only welcome changes are going to be problem-solving of current things, not things that cause more problems that weren't there before. Drainage and traffic seemed to be the big gripes. The "Bike Lane Faction" comprises less than 1% of the population, and the "Walk to Grocery Store" is about as small. People are already getting their groceries one way or another. The area is hilly, and pleasant weather is less than half the year. Lugging groceries far distances in bad weather is a young person's idea of fun.
  • Traffic congestion
  • All of it is great and as said the monetary and historic value of these historic buildings
    would be tragic and unwise. “Do not allow these natural resources be destroyed or torn down for example “no Wal-mart”


Do you have any other comments about the corridor or the draft of the corridor study?
  • I would like to see consultation with scientist and low-impact design specialist for any development. My last comment is more bike lanes. Oconee street really needs them. I would like Athens to take an even more proactive role in promoting alternative transportation. 
  • Would you mind looking into why the Chicopee-Dudley Neighborhood Association was not utilized as a "planning partner" in the Oak/Oconee St. corridor study/plan? CDNA is an official organization; residents of Carrs Hill, where appears to be no official NA, are listed as partners.
  • I hope we can expand downtown in the pattern that we have it so far of independently owned and locally run SMALL BUSINESSES.
  • Please think long term.
  • Mayor Nancy Denson's line about Wal-Mart has been that there's nothing she or the Commission can do to stop it, but there have been other instances of the city stopping developments they didn't think would be good for Athens.
  • More on large-scale development, we must consider the long-term use of these new buildings, considering this is not an outer-lying area but the very heart of town. In 2000 when the development codes were updated to encourage ""mixed-use"" development, similar to downtown. Something else that should be recognized is downtown buildings are also ""flexible-use"". I've lived in Athens for nearly 40 years and during my lifetime have seen most of the downtown buildings change in purpose. The buildings are solid and flexible and in many cases, what once may have been a hardware store or a pharmacy is now a restaurant or boutique. If there is to be a large development, shouldn't these buildings also be flexible-use? If a big box decides to leave, as Wal-Mart did its first store in Athens, are we left again with another dead building? There should be rules in place to prevent this scenario from happening at the very center of our town. This is the reason we have planning departments, public works, and elected officials. It's not acceptable for there to be ""no rules"" when the world's biggest corporation decides it wants to locate on what may be our most congested in-town corridor.
  • I feel very strongly that the Armstrong-Dobbs development, whoever moves into that area, will have a substantial impact upon the traffic in the area.
  • Please stop the Wal-Mart.
  • At 8.18 cents an hour, at 34 hours a week, i do not believe that paying new Wal-Mart workers less than 15,000 a year (below the poverty level) will allow anyone anything but more food stamps. Athens does not need another Wal-Mart less than a mile for the one that's already on the eastside. as a member of the Athens Clarke Heritage Foundation, a founding member of the Historic Boulevard Association, and of course The Historic Morton, I have lived in Athens since 1962! I have seen many projects come and go. some of which you are too young to remember. I believe with all my heart that this particular project should be stopped. Before Lewis Griffith and C.L. Cullpepper died, both men took me into a room at the civic center (which was convinced through a great community outcry to change it's proposed plan to maintain the historic character of Athens and NOT take down the historic Firehall!). In the room, they presented me with a long term view of the property leading down broad street to Chicopee. In the proposed artist rendering, both a Confederate & African American Museum, both on MLK stood side by side, and an out door theater for live drama, all where Wal-Mart want to be now. no where in this amazing drawing was Wal-Mart. Athens can and has done better!
  • From the meeting is was clear that the city planning department put a lot of work into the study. I think that the main issue is, of course, how the Armstrong & Dobbs property will be developed. Since the proposal for that building project has not yet been given to the planning department, they remain unable to asses this key issue to the corridor's development. I look forward to hearing their recommendations for commercial buildings in this space, and hope that they suggest a size limitation of 30,000 square feet for all commercial buildings in the corridor and the downtown area.
  • My concerns are that I would like the public to be more informed about the development of these parts of town . I believe that the people's input can make for a better space for everyone, more profitable for the investors and more enjoyable to the public.
  • We need safeguards against intrusive, out-of-character development like the Selig project--there is no way Lexington Road and East Broad Street can handle that kind of traffic without seriously degrading the quality of life not just for those of us in the corridor, but also anyone coming or going from the east-side of Athens; We really need to protect the river from massive run-off, not just as a major body of water, but as a destination/point of interest; we need to develop the Rails To Trails pathway. Why can't we go against failed national trends and try hard to preserve a smaller scale, affordable, mixed neighborhood with green features as a draw? Athens is not your average (Georgia) town, so why not allude to that and play up its strength of character in development planning?
  • Seriously, I do not want a downtown Wall Mart.
  • Please, with all oversight at your disposal, resist a big box anchor store. We do desperately need a grocer in our neighborhood, but not 100,000 sq foot big box that will yield a net LOSS of local jobs. It's aesthetically and culturally out of synch w/ the HD location and its proximity to downtown. Access to / from downtown and neighborhoods east need safe bike and foot access.
  • This study wisely calls for square footage limitations on new developments. I am extremely opposed to Selig's 95,000 sq ft big box element and especially opposed to locating this massive structure directly on the riverfront. This will surely drive visitors away from the Greenway and negatively effect the quality of life & property values of the adjacent neighborhood. This valuable riverfront property should be incorporated into the new development as a public gathering space to provide outdoor seating for tenant restaurants (thus drawing more customers) and occasionally hosting outdoor entertainment events (more customers). This unique property calls for a landmark, not a Wal-Mart!!!
  • Thanks for conducting the meeting. I hope that we will continue to have intelligent and creative conversations about planning in the Oak/Oconee area.
  • I am not opposed to development of parcels in this district if they are approached in a manner that makes sense in terms of scale, affect on traffic in the area, and a careful consideration of the impact on the existing downtown businesses and also the effects on our historical landmarks and the greenway..
  • Traffic is a main concern. Convenient park and ride lots would be helpful, but only if the bus transit is upgraded to more than one stop an hour.
  • This is an excellent plan overall, and I would gladly campaign for any commissioner that implements a 30,000 sq.ft. retail cap over all of downtown & Oconee
  • Keep Athens Classically Beautiful. Oh yeah, No Wal-Mart
  • Please try and promote reasonable tax base (rents) so tenants (businesses) can afford to remain in business. Also please reconsider large square footage development options for single entity business (i.e. no single big box store especially Wal-Mart). Promote businesses with good employment policies (i.e. Bells not necessarily best even if local).
  • The area you propose to improve is geographically a poor specimen. Boggy on one side, up a cliff on the other. There are a couple of mean bends in the road that people like to take as fast as possible. Would they slow down if there was anything worth looking at? Doubtful. Speaking as an outsider, one observation-- The diagonal on and off ramps leading up the hill (I believe it's Georgia Ave. and Oconee St. where it splits off of Oak) are part of the speeding problem. It can be VERY hair-raising encountering cars coming down those ramps, enough that you always feel you are in some dangerous place where you have to drive as fast as possible. One of the worst areas is right after the light near Nuci's space. If you are coming down the hill from town, first there is the danger of other cars swooping around the corner from William's St. It suddenly goes to 4 lanes, and if you need to be in the right lane because you will need to turn right onto Barnett Shoals after the Bypass, you have to get over ASAP due to the speed and heavy traffic. BUT ALSO RIGHT THERE is the danger of people coming down the Oconee St. ramp, and darting almost head-first across the oncoming lane. It can be very frightening. I think it causes people to drive as fast as possible. I THINK ACCESS TO CARR'S HILL SHOULD BE GREATLY RESTRICTED. CLOSE DOWN BOTH THE ON AND OFF RAMPS AND MAKE EVERYBODY USE PETER ST. AND MAKE PEOPLE HAVE A FULL STOP AT WILLIAM ST., INSTEAD OF YIELD AND MERGE.
  • Excellent idea in plan: having a mutual ground water collection area that also functions as recreational space. I like the idea of generous numbers of trees and green space in this area. I would like to see bike lanes, more green space and trees, parking hidden with landscaping, and continuous sidewalks. All plans should be developed in a way that embraces a 20-30 year vision for future growth.
  • “No Wal-mart or big box stores! Maintain the character and historic and monetary un-tapped value in these buildings
    ” that’s all