The Jackson Street Bridge, long a place for photographers to get the least original—but possibly the prettiest—angle of Atlanta’s skyline, could soon get a bit of scenery itself.
The city’s planning department announced on June 6 that the bridge is one of two sites to be awarded grants as part of Atlanta’s new “Placemaking Program,” which aims to “transform under-utilized streets and public property into active, vibrant, and safer public places,” according to a press release.
The Jackson Street Bridge project would entail the buildout of a mini-park, called a “parklet,” with trees, shrubs, and seating.
The placemaking effort would also mean putting that short stretch of Jackson Street on a road diet—cutting out a lane of the road to make way for bike lanes and wider sidewalks.
The bridge is currently three lanes wide with a bike path on each side. Once the parklet is developed, the west side of the bridge would hold two lanes for cars, and the east side would have two bike lanes. A small shoulder would separate the drivers from the cyclists.
The tiny park idea stems from Neighborhood Planning Unit M, which represents, among other Atlanta neighborhoods, Old Fourth Ward, which holds about half of the Jackson Street Bridge—the south side of the bridge is in the Sweet Auburn Historic District.
The design illustrated in the renderings came courtesy of David DiGioia of NPU-M.
NPU-M’s transportation chairman, Jonathan DiGioia, said he and the organization are thrilled about the announcement.
“Whenever we talked to neighbors and community organizations about this idea, there was always a lot of excitement,” he told Curbed Atlanta in an email. “I think creating a parklet on the Jackson Street bridge will make this even more of a signature place for NPU-M, the surrounding neighborhoods, and the city.”
The other project selected for a Placemaking Program grant would “activate key intersections along the White Street corridor to improve bike and pedestrian access” in West End. The plan could bring roadside murals to the area as well.