Can a trail unify a neighborhood? If it generates enthusiasm and connects the regional greenway network it can. That's exactly what the Rottenwood Creek Trail in Marietta aims to do.
Our team was asked to develop concepts for a trail that would run through a southern portion of the city. It would serve the local community but also act as an important conduit for the regional trail network.
The impacts the new four-mile trail will have within the community are tremendous. The trail will connect to two different universities that have more than 8,000 students, offer access to cultural spaces and international art, bypass a five-lane highway, connect more than 100 acres of active and passive open space, and create safe passage through a suburban area. The trail will also offer an opportunity to use Rottenwood Creek as a natural amenity and educational resource.
We represented several stakeholder groups throughout the planning process and developed a project website, hosted multiple public outreach forums, and branded the trail with “Live Rotten” with an identifiable logo. The final product included a vision plan, an approved concept report for the Georgia Department of Transportation, and a detailed trail concept. The initiative was so successful in engaging the community, that the City of Marietta received $400,000 in Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) funds to move forward into design development. The city’s hope is to use this project to spur other regional partners to rethink how trails can improve the community. And, that’s something our community development team can definitely support!