By Joe Earle

Peachtree Road, between Ashford-Dunwoody and Dresden, is getting a facelift that includes widened sidewalks, decorative lighting, and street furniture. Homeowners joined DeKalb County officials and project manager Taylor Wright, at center, during a recent walking tour of the area.

DeKalb County officials are taking the first steps toward installing sidewalks, streetlights and other pedestrian enhancements along a portion of Peachtree Road in Brookhaven.

The county has about $3 million funneled through the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Livable Cities Initiative to pay for the work, which will be done along Peachtree from Dresden Drive to Ashford-Dunwoody Road, said project manager Taylor Wright of PBS&J, a construction management, engineering and architecture company.

Recently, county officials and representatives of a neighborhood group walked the road to talk about what could be done to make it more usable by pedestrians.

“I’m excited to see they’re addressing some issues,” said Jim Eyre, vice president of the Ashford Park Civic Association, who took part in the walking tour. “I’m disappointed they’re not addressing (both sides) of Peachtree.”

The proposed work will concentrate on the west side of Peachtree, the area that includes Oglethorpe University and several businesses. The MARTA train runs along much of the east side.

Brookhaven resident Ronnie Mayer, at center, gesturing, took part in a walking tour of Peachtree Road with county officials. They discussed ways to make the road more attractive to pedestrians.

Wright said the project will install sidewalks, streetlights, some benches and landscaping. It may also eventually add some “enhanced pedestrian crossings” to allow walking from one side of Peachtree to the other.

The project is just beginning, he said. “We are just getting into the design phase,” he said.

Construction likely will not begin until 2012. Construction is expected to take a year or less, so the overall project likely will not be finished until 2013.

Public meetings may be called later this year to review proposals and collect reaction, he said. “We anticipate there will be at least one public meeting,” he said.