Buford Highway Development
The Norcross Comprehensive Plan team set up shop at the Norcross Gateway International Food & Music Festival on September 15th. This event allowed us to capture a great representation of the many Cultures in Norcross. For this pop-up, we focused on development along Buford Highway and gathered opinions on what Norcross Residents imagine for its future. For what purpose? To energize and renew the corridor, and to further improve social connections across Buford Highway. We asked about vision, allowable uses, scale (height and distance from the right-of-way), parking, walkability, and safety. As you read through, some of the following graphics display a series of filled dots that represent participant preference. See what your fellow residents had to say:
Participants gave us their vision for Buford Highway in 20 years. Some said they view the area as an authentic Metro Atlanta destination known for international cuisine. Others stated that it would support local small businesses, and many envisioned Buford Highway as an extension of Historic Downtown with a unique, complimentary identity.
Restaurants, parks, and small shops were most favored of the following uses, followed by multi-family housing and townhomes.
Additionally, the same sample of participants would like to see less of the following:
To ask about scale, we broke Buford Highway up into its Character Areas as mentioned in the last blog post. However, opinions on height allowance were similar and most people felt that 3-5 stories was most appropriate to suit the nature of the wide streetscape. Some even said 6-7 stories might fit along Buford Highway in between Jimmy Carter Boulevard and Lively Avenue.
Desired minimum setback requirements also contribute to the scale of a place. A setback is the distance a building sits from the property line or right-of-way. Most people seemed to think that 10 – 25 feet was most appropriate along the corridor.
Participants would like to see revised parking regulations make a difference along Buford Highway. They selected all of the following suggestions except for one: Maintain of increase the number of required space.
Buford Highway will be affected by plans already in place, including proposed greenways. Participants stated that existing crosswalks are sparse, only serving some major intersections. We gathered that midblock crossings should be added along the corridor, which would reduce the walk time (noted by teal arrows below) to cross safely.
Participants indicated that improving Buford Hwy should be a priority for Norcross and should be addressed in the Comprehensive Plan update. Some suggestions include: more medians with pedestrian refuges, more lighting at S Cemetery St and Buford Highway, and to adjust traffic signal timing to better suit pedestrians crossing Buford Highway.