The city formed a Refresh Committee last year to develop a plan for renovating the stretch of LaFayette Road from the entrance of Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park to Battlefield Parkway. The presentation was held immediately following an Opportunity Zone work session.
Carmine Fischetti, a designer with the DCA's local government assistance division, said the challenge was to tie LaFayette Road to the area’s surrounding historic resources, such as the military park.
In addition, Fischetti suggested ways to beautify the downtown corridor by adding sidewalks and greenery. A bicycle lane and way-finding signs to local attractions and historic sites could also be installed, he said.
“We can tweak the business mix so that it is more related to the historic resources,” Fischetti said.
“This is a no-brainer,” Fort Oglethorpe mayor Lynn Long said. “We should take advantage of the 150th anniversary of the battlefield. Let’s get it done.”
“We can turn the corridor into something that draws people to the area,” Fischetti continued. He suggested the road be made pedestrian-friendly with a “shop-able area” that also creates a sense of community.
The designer said LaFayette Road is physically wide and can be narrowed.
“We can put the road on a diet in a sense,” Fischetti said. “We need to do something more or even radical to get people excited and change their vision of the street and area.”
The design team divided the LaFayette Road renovation project into three phases: a gateway to Battlefield Parkway, the corridor’s general character and a gateway round-a-bout into the military park.
Other changes to the road, such as adding speed tables instead of speed bumps to slow speeding motorists, was discussed.