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Midtown Atlanta reveals revamped vision for transportation

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Atlanta’s fastest growing neighborhood is planning for the coming years

An aerial view of construction in Midtown.
Apartments rise near Midtown MARTA Station; 96 percent of all residences and offices in the neighborhood are within a six-minute walk of MARTA.
Matthew Kaas

After more than a year of studies, surveys, and analysis, Midtown Alliance has revealed a new comprehensive transportation plan for the district.

The updated Midtown Transportation Plan outlines an array of improvements in store for transit users, pedestrians, bicyclists, drivers, and even public art lovers.

Some key takeaways from the document include:

  • Bike usage is up — way up — with a 96 percent increase in rider counts along 10th Street following the installation of the east-west cycle track.
Cranes galore in Midtown.
Curbed Atlanta
  • Drivers in Midtown are going way too fast. On Juniper Street, 84 percent of drivers are found to be speeding. Thankfully, the complete-street transformation should help address that and make the thoroughfare more pedestrian and bicycle friendly, study leaders hope.
  • Connectivity to the eastern edges of Midtown is lacking for those who rely on transit. The report lays out the idea for a circulator service — much like the Tech Trolley or Atlantic Station shuttle — to move transit users from MARTA stations in the heart of Midtown to destinations to the east.
  • The 110 MARTA bus that serves Peachtree Street could see an increase in use if the frequency were doubled. Additionally, measures like real-time travel information, stop shelters, and transit signal priority could all be implemented to improve user experience.
  • An “Art Walk” stretching from North Avenue Station to Arts Center Station could bring a mile of pedestrian-oriented activity to the heart of Midtown.
The 29-story Modera Midtown, left, and NCR’s headquarters take shape over The Connector in December.
Curbed Atlanta
  • While Midtown is currently dominated by major one-way streets, proposals are in place to potentially convert segments of a number of east-west streets to two-way use. Potential streets include Pine Street between Juniper and Peachtree streets, 3rd Street between Spring and West Peachtree streets and again between Peachtree and Juniper streets, 4th Street between Spring and Myrtle streets, Peachtree Place between Williams and Spring streets, 13th street between Spring Street and Peachtree Walk and again between Juniper Street and Piedmont Avenue, and 18th Street between Spring and West Peachtree streets. Got that?
  • New traffic signals could be added at intersections across Midtown, providing pedestrians safe crossing on major roads and helping to control vehicular traffic.
  • The long-floated idea for a 15th Street bridge with HOT connectivity is still alive and well.

All of the ideas above, and dozens of others, are outlined in the report.

It’s unlikely all of them will be implemented, but the report does indicate that Midtown Alliance is exploring a range of options when it comes to getting around Atlanta’s fastest growing neighborhood.