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Shocker! New Transportation Strategy Isn't All About Cars

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As cool as the new Inman Quarter (aka 280 Elizabeth Street) and Krog Street Market developments may seem, they're pretty lame if nobody can actually get to them without enduring a traffic nightmare. Fortunately, Atlanta-based planning, architecture and landscape architecture firm TSW has devised a plan to improve accessibility for — brace yourself — pedestrians, bikers AND cars. According to TSW, "The strategy proposes accessibility and mobility enhancements that look beyond just moving as many cars through the area as rapidly as possible." That's refreshing, yes? The plan was presented by Councilman Kwanza Hall to Atlanta City Council this month and approved 13-0.

One of the main components to the strategy is the addition of shared spaces, an urban design concept focused on reducing barriers between pedestrians and motorized vehicles by decreasing the number of curbs, flattening medians and minimizing the demarcations between cars, cyclists and pedestrians. You know, generally making areas more sharable.

To this end, mid-block pedestrian crossings (some with rapid flash beacons to alert drivers), Beltline and street access points, bicycle parking and "sharrows" will be added. Sidewalks will be rebuilt. A number of traffic calming measures will be put into place in the form of small roundabouts, medians and pedestrian refuges. The full plan lists each little tweak and big change along North Highland Avenue, Elizabeth Street, Atlantis Avenue, Irwin Street, Lake Street, Krog Street and Edgewood Avenue, along with the cost of each upgrade.

· Old Fourth Ward/Inman Park Transportation Strategy Adopted [TSW]
· Krog-Lake-Elizabeth-North Highland Transportation Strategy [Complete Plan - PDF]
[Images via the proposal presented to the city.]