Stakeholders pulling for a long-planned bridge near Little Five Points that would lift pedestrians and cyclists out of traffic have scheduled a "bona fide charrette" next month in hopes of lighting a fire under the project. An open "community-driven design and planning session" for the Freedom Bridge concept will happen on the evening of Oct. 22 at Manuel's Tavern, a longtime incubator of genius schemes and dastardly collaborations. First pitched a quarter of a century ago, the pedestrian and bike connection would span Moreland Avenue where it meets Freedom Parkway — a spot where PATH Foundation trail users are often stuck for extended periods of time, waiting for traffic lights to change and sucking car fumes.
The bridge originally proposed for the site (as seen above) would have been a granite-clad, tree-lined path that curved elegantly over Moreland Avenue. Having recently defeated a highway proposal in what is now Freedom Park, neighbors actually pushed back against the bridge idea at the time — it seemed too much like road infrastructure, after all — and the idea was quietly shelved.
With alternate transportation on the upswing and Beltline fever rampant, intown zealots dusted off the plans and launched a "Freedom Bridge ATL" Facebook page earlier this year, calling for a bridge that's a functional, architectural statement. Supporters include Ryan Gravel, the Beltline visionary, Don Bender, a developer credited with helping revitalize Little Five Points and Ken Edelstein, a longtime Creative Loafing editor and current president of the Candler Park Neighborhood Association.
Last we checked, all logistics (including potential funding sources) were still being sorted out, but the passion was clearly there.
This "group of neighbors collaborating to build a bridge" is promoting their upcoming meeting at Manuel's as follows:
"Help us develop a vision bridging Freedom Park for pedestrians and bikers that will be enjoyed for generations. The bridge will connect our neighborhoods and complete the trail from downtown Atlanta to Stone Mountain."
· Glorious 'Freedom Bridge' Vision Near L5P has New Life [Curbed]
· Freedom Bridge Atlanta [Flier]