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A new ‘complete streets’ initiative kicks off in Midtown

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Fifth Street awaits a makeover that could improve safety on roads for pedestrians, cyclists, and others

A photo of 5th Street in Midtown.
Fifth Street pedestrians and cyclists could be in for quite a treat.
MidtownATL.com

Midtown Alliance recently launched an initiative to improve a major neighborhood thoroughfare, aiming to better accommodate alternative modes of transportation.

A new installment of Atlanta’s “complete streets” projects, this plan would welcome a makeover of just more than a half mile of Midtown’s 5th Street, which links an abundance of residences, retail, and restaurants near Georgia Tech.

The stretch of road in question runs from the 5th and Myrtle Street intersection 0.6 miles west to the downtown Connector at Williams Street, which abuts part of Tech’s campus.

Rethinking 5th Street’s construction and lane striping would—ideally—improve safety in the east-west corridor for buses, bicycles, walkers, and more, according to Midtown Alliance.

“The project will also address public safety, stormwater runoff, lighting, beautification/greening, curb management (loading and parking), sidewalks, outdoor restaurant seating and more,” according to a Midtown Alliance press release sent to Curbed Atlanta.

With the help of the city’s TSPLOST program, the Alliance, in tandem with architecture firm TSW, has begun the designing and engineering phase of the plan.

Proposed enhancements, per MidtownATL.com:

  • Replacement of damaged sidewalks and curbing.
  • Additional/upgraded ADA ramps and crosswalks at all intersections.
  • Complete pedestrian lighting for safety.
  • Infill street trees and furniture.
  • Milling, repaving, and restriping of roadway.
  • Upgrade existing bike lanes and signage.
  • Project Funding
  • $750,000 in Midtown Improvement District funds
  • $1.5 M in City of Atlanta TSPLOST funds

This design portion of the road’s revamp comes on the heels of a public engagement period during which Midtown Alliance and TSW fielded neighbors’ wants and worries.

During a pop-up community outreach effort, passersby on 5th Street checked out proposals for various street layouts, including bike lanes, greenspaces, crosswalks, and parking.

A photo of the pop-up community engagement event on 5th Street.
Neighbors and passersby check out prospective plans for the street.
Midtown Alliance

“They also left positive and negative comments about 5th Street, along with ideas for improvement,” said the press release. “TSW and Midtown Alliance will conduct additional feedback sessions at more 5th Street ‘pop-ups’ and community meetings, before creating a comprehensive plan.”

So there’s still time to speak up about the initiative. Concerned parties can weigh in via the Alliance’s website.

The design and engineering phase is expected to conclude next summer, and construction could begin a few months later.