Thursday October 22nd, 2020 4:28AM

Gainesville has big plans for Park Hill Drive corridor

By Mitch Clarke Director of News and Content

Click the photo above to open a photo gallery of artist renderings of possible improvements along the Park Hill corridor.

The stretch of road from Green Street near the Gainesville Civic Center to the Atlanta Botanical Garden may look significantly different in the next few years if the city officials have their way.

Park Hill Drive, which is known at various points by different names, would see improvements to help the flow of traffic, upgrades to sidewalks and crossings to help pedestrian access and upgrades to storefronts in the area, which officials say could drive even more economic development along the corridor.

"Strategic public investments promote private investments," Rusty Ligon, director of community and economic development for Gainesville, said, citing a quote city officials often use in talking about projects like this one.

Under the city's proposal, which is still in the planning stages and has not been funded, the area from the Civic Center to the intersection with Enota Drive – considered the South Corridor – would see improved pedestrian access and a roundabout at Riverside Drive to help with both the flow and speed of traffic in that area.

Crosswalks would be added near the Inn Between Deli and at Oak Tree Drive. Existing sidewalks in the area would be extended to link with the walking/cycling lanes on Riverside Drive. Parking along the corridor would be reorganized and relined.

Officials are also proposing to establish a Green Street Trail Head near the old Green Street Pool that would link walkers or joggers in the Longstreet Hills neighborhood and elsewhere to Green Street and, possibly, Rock Creek Park.

In the long-term, officials hope to improve the appearance of storefronts in the area, and perhaps build a multistory building there that would space for existing businesses and provide opportunities for new businesses. Upper floors might include office space or loft apartments. Additional parking would also be created.

Officials would also implement what they call a "road diet." The center turn lane on the road would be slightly narrowed to accommodate 6-foot-wide sidewalks along that stretch of the road.

On the so-called Northern Corridor – Enota Drive to the botanical gardens – city officials hope to develop property at Enota and Park Hill, across from CVS, into a mixed-use area of businesses, townhomes and single-family houses. This part of the project would also redevelop Northlake Plaza with shopping, green space and additional housing options. Pedestrian access would also be enhanced on this stretch of road.

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News
  • Associated Tags: pedestrian safety, City of Gainesville, economic development, Park Hill Drive, Riverside Drive, City Park
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