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Half-mile piece of Peachtree Street could be transformed into Dutch-style ‘woonerf’

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Imagine pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists sharing the downtown corridor in harmony

a rendering of Atlanta’s woonerf
The Peachtree Street concept.
Renderings: Atlanta City Studio

Could Atlanta be taking a page from Europe’s urban design playbook?

The city is aiming to convert a half-mile leg of downtown’s Peachtree Street into what the Dutch call a “woonerf”—a shared space welcoming to pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers—according to Streetsblog USA.

The concept entails removing curbs, making the streets and the sidewalks one, as well as ditching surface markings, traffic signs, traffic lights, and other control devices between Margaret Mitchell Square and Baker Street.

That means motorists moving through this three-block section of Peachtree Street without the guidance of lane stripes or stop signs would need to slow down and be mindful of the activity around them.

The Atlanta Department of City Planning told Curbed Atlanta that a request for proposals for a feasibility study will come out later this month.

The project is reminiscent of Peachtree Street’s days as a historic Main Street bustling with people.

How city streets could morph into shared spaces has been illustrated by recent Atlanta Streets Alive events, which shut down major thoroughfares for a few hours of walking, biking, skating, scooting, and celebrating the thought of traversing town without struggling through automobile traffic.

Last month’s Streets Alive saw more than 120,000 people flood a three-mile stretch of Peachtree Street, including where the woonerf would be.

This story was updated on May 1, 2019 at 4:40 p.m. to clarify when an RFP could be issued for the project.