Over the past 10 years, ARC’s Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) program has spurred cities, counties and communities of all sizes to undertake planning and create transportation-efficient land use strategies for activity centers, town centers and corridors. Not only does the LCI program award local planning funds to communities in the region, but the program also makes implementation funds available for LCI areas. These implementation funds, which enable LCI communities to implement some of the transportation improvement projects identified through the LCI plan, are awarded on a competitive basis and require at least a 20 percent match from local governments.
With the economic slowdown experienced over the past few years it could easily be assumed that the number of transportation projects moving towards implementation would simultaneously slow down. However, the opposite seems to have occurred and ARC’s LCI program has helped local jurisdictions contract for the construction of 18 projects in the past six months alone.
This is significant because since the LCI program began in 1999, a total of only 49 projects have been authorized for construction. This recent increase is likely attributable to two factors: half of these 18 projects received American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds, which expedited approvals, and secondly, the change in ARC’s role from program oversight to hands-on project management helped to keep projects on schedule.
The 18 projects are located throughout the region, from Forest Park to Alpharetta and from Acworth to Conyers. Since the first LCI grants were awarded in 2000, the program has helped to fund 96 transportation projects to local jurisdictions that total almost $170 million, including the federal funds and the necessary local match. Of those projects, 48 have been completed or authorized for construction, 23 are advancing on schedule, eight are considered to be “of concern” and 17 were awarded in 2010.
In all, with its latest round of grants that were announced in February, ARC’s LCI program has assisted 107 communities with more than $180 million in planning and implementation grant awards. The 18 LCI projects underway in 2010 include road improvements and/or pedestrian and bicycle enhancements in the following LCI areas:
- Alpharetta Street (Roswell)
- Barge Road (Atlanta)
- Cobb Galleria Parkway
- Forest Park Downtown
- Gwinnett Arena/Civic Center
- Hammond Drive (Sandy Springs)
- Memorial Drive (Atlanta)
- North Decatur Road/Emory Village
- Peachtree-Dunwoody Road (Sandy Springs)
- Piedmont Avenue (Georgia State)
- Roswell Street (Marietta)
- Russell Square (Acworth)
- Sigman Road (Conyers)
- Simpson-West Peachtree Street (Atlanta)
- Tucker Downtown
- Virginia Avenue (Hapeville)
- West Peachtree Street (Atlanta)
- Woodstock Downtown
For more information on the LCI program, please visit ARC’s LCI website: