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8-14-04 Joint Vision Statement for University Parkway 2-4-2000

Since the Joint Vision Statement for University Parkway in February 2000, little significant progress has been made on the upgrade of GA 316.

University Parkway - SR 316
Joint Vision Statement
For
Counties of Gwinnett, Barrow and Oconee

February 4, 2000

 

University Parkway extends from Interstate 85 in Gwinnett County, metro Atlanta, through the length of Barrow County, to the Athens Loop in Oconee County. It connects the many institutions of higher learning in metro-Atlanta, including Emory, the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University Center in Gwinnett County and the main campus of the largest university in the state at Athens.  It also forms a connection between the counties along the corridor and the adjoining counties.


          Local government officials, business leaders, research scientists and regional leaders view this as a vital transportation corridor with much high quality economic development potential.  Commuter rail and better airport service between metro Atlanta and the University of Georgia will be made possible through this corridor.  Presently, University Parkway has numerous unsafe grade-level crossings that limit the parkway's potential.


            To realize its potential, the federal and state governments must take steps to upgrade the University Parkway to limited access freeway status with grade separated crossings with the compatible development of rail, airport facilities and pedestrian friendly amenities.  Safety concerns and the avoidance of traffic gridlock require this commitment with all deliberate speed and sufficient funding to make it happen.  Without this commitment and action, the metro Northeast Georgia region and the State of Georgia can miss out on the quality of life amenities and economic development opportunities that can come from Yamacraw, biotechnology and the efforts of the Georgia Research Alliance.


            State agencies and the Governor have invested much in research/technology development. The Yamacraw Project, technology transfer efforts at the University of Georgia, biotech research and development at UGA, and the Georgia Research Alliance also have much to gain from quality development along this important corridor.


             The county governments along the corridor supported naming the corridor University Parkway.  The counties have adopted sign ordinances to protect the corridor and have developed infrastructure, zoning and development plans consistent with the quality development envisioned.  Many property owners and business persons have joined together to promote a quality corridor.  The University of Georgia has also been supportive.


             It is imperative that state and federal funding be made available as quickly as possible to make the corridor upgrade a reality rather than just a dream of many along the corridor.  The county governments support state and legislative studies of these issues, including the proposed House Study Committee.   The county governments support and pledge cooperation in this effort

DONE, this 4th day of February, 2000.

 

Wayne Hill, Gwinnett County Chairman

     

Eddie Elder, Barrow County Chairman

 

Wendell T. Dawson, Oconee County Chairman

 


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