The (NBCA) discussed Monday night potential uses for the land around the Ga. 400 toll booths, should the toll actually be rescinded at the end of 2013 .
The topic is an important one for the NBCA, considering around 50 acres of land to the east will come back into play within their region if the toll booths are removed and Ga. 400 is narrowed (see accompanying photos). Should the land again become available, NBCA President Gordon Certain said he wants to be ready to make a recommendation for its use.
Certain said the was briefed on this subject and learned that narrowing Ga. 400 would be a $6 million project. In addition to the narrowing, an underground tunnel that runs laterally across the expressway for toll both workers would have to be dealt with, along with the toll booths themselves being removed.
"It will look like it was never there," Certain said.
NBCA members discussed why such drastic measures would need to be taken just because the toll is eliminated. Certain explained that without the changes, traffic would slow down too much and create a danger for drivers.
Certain said that there are a number of potential outcomes for the land, including being sold as real estate or used as a public green space.
"It is conceivable that if the tolls come down and they narrow the road there, GDOT could hold the land and not release it and still authorize a park to be there. That is another possible outcome."
Leanne West was in attendance on behalf of residents on Glengary Drive, which would be directly impacted by potential changes. West said that she and her neighbors are opposed to any kind of development coming in around them as a result of the tolls ending on Ga. 400.
"I bought on a dead end street because i wanted to live on a dead end street. We don't want a park next to us we don't want our street extended to have six more neighborhoods behind us. Our whole neighborhood would definitely be very upset if the land got changed to something else and our road was used as access for it."
There is also a possibility that the could be extended into the area in question. If the trail is extended, West said that she and her neighbors would be concerned about privacy.
"It is literally putting strangers in their backyard all day long," she said.