In car-obsessed Atlanta, does Peachtree Street’s pedestrian-friendly transformation have legs? – Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia 2021-06-23 18:37:43 –

As part of the Shared Street Project, the two lanes of the Peach Tree between Baker and Ellis will be blocked by cars, increasing pedestrian traffic.

Photo by Thomas Wheatley

A short section of downtown Peachtree Street is on a diet. This is a diet that slims down the corridor, which is famous for being clogged with cars, from four lanes to two lanes, freeing up space to provide pedestrians with the necessary breathing space.

Phase 1 of the city planning department’s three-part effort, which began on Monday, is between the two central lanes and the newly created pedestrian spaces adjacent to each of them, including planters, wheel stops, and flex posts. Brings a physical barrier to the. The finished product, which can be achieved in a year or two, is similar to the Dutch style. Woonerf— A vibrant space shared equally among pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.

However, whether or not the complete plan will be realized depends on “Shared streetDemonstrations affect traffic patterns, local businesses, and the thorough safety of dissecting downtown between Baker and Ellis Streets.

Peach Tree Street Shared Street
Workers started their establishment on June 22nd.

Photo by Thomas Wheatley

Peach Tree Street Shared Street

Photo by Thomas Wheatley

Historically, Atlanta design has catered drivers at the expense of pedestrian and cyclist safety, says city planning commissioner Tim Keane. As Atlanta’s population grows, the project shows increasing attention to people who use alternative modes of transportation such as walking, biking, and mass transit.

According to Keane, the three-block section of Peachtree Street was chosen as a target for change because it is located in the heart of a “low-city” area. He has a wealth of businesses in the area, including the Peachtree Center hub, AmericasMart, hotels and restaurants, and, by chance, the magazine’s office, but most of the businesses that are truly involved in the community at the street level. Means no.

Peach Tree Street Shared Street
Planter has been added

Photo by Thomas Wheatley

According to Keane, the goal is “to find out how many new opportunities this creates in these few blocks.” Imagine, for example, that you could take a sip from the Peach Tree Center kiosk and enjoy it in the shadows of downtown skyscrapers, or bike downtown without worrying about getting under a speeding pickup truck. Please try.

Darin Givens, co-founder of the Urbanist Blog ThreadATLThe Shared Street Project says it sends a “really important message” to the driver. “These streets aren’t all of you and your needs.” In an ideal world, he adds: The more it is, the more you will get from those who expect the streets to be all car streams. “

According to Keane, most of the stakeholders involved in the city during the planning process have expressed support for the pilot project, or at least cautious optimism. Certainly, some drivers may find the change inconvenient. “But the driver who wants to fly may need to change routes.” Others can instead slow down and look around.

Phase 1 is expected to last 90 days, after which the city will paint new pedestrian spaces and add more seats. Based on how it goes, authorities will design a vision of a permanent shared space and begin brainstorming where the next space can go.

“This type of street renovation is not suitable for all streets, but for many,” says Amir Faroki, Atlanta City Councilor for the district that includes this part of Peachtree Street. “I think our ambition is not only that no one is killed in the streets of the city, but that everyone feels comfortable in our city, regardless of transportation.”

According to Givens, Edgewood Avenue, especially the bar strip between the East Side Trail on the Beltline and the I-85, is a great place to continue this effort. (City traffic officials have recently begun blocking the busiest Edgewood to combat street racing and stunt driving rashes.) That’s not a bad idea, Faloki said, downtown, midtown, Add to other crowded roads in places like Old, District 4, and Little Five Points could also benefit from a road diet.

There are few initiatives in Atlanta to improve the lives of non-drivers. I often encountered pushbacks.. The Peachtree Street Project “shows that it’s more comfortable to soak your toes in water, but I’d like to eliminate the historic timidity in this space,” says Faloki.

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