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With grant funding, makeover planned for famed Jackson Street Bridge moves forward

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It’s high time Atlantans (and tourists) stopped parking in the bike lanes to snap selfies

a rendering of the parklet design, with people using wide sidewalks.
The bridge, with its iconic downtown view, could one day look like this, per plans unveiled last year.

One of Atlanta’s most popular—and arguably best—photography spots, the Jackson Street Bridge, just took another step toward becoming more inviting to pedestrians and cyclists.

The City of Atlanta accepted a $10,000 grant this week from Colorado-based advocacy group PeopleForBikes that would help fund the “Placemaking” project, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The upgrades would create a mini-park—or “parklet”—on the bridge, as well as bring trees, shubs, and seating.

A rendering shows new seating and protected bike lanes. AECOM, via NPU-M

It would also entail a road diet, which means sacrificing a car lane in exchange for wider sidewalks and bike lanes.

Today, the bustling bridge features three car lanes—two in each direction and a center turn lane—and two striped bike lanes on either side.

A cross section blueprint shows how the road would be restriped. AECOM, via NPU-M

Oftentimes, though, the bike lanes are blocked by cars parked by people snapping selfies with the Atlanta skyline.

The mini-park project, the brainchild of Neighborhood Planning Unit M, would not only make the bridge more inviting to pedestrians (wider sidewalks) and cyclists (new, protected bike lanes), it would also accompany reduced speed limits, per the AJC.

The project had been expected to start construction in spring this year, according to initial plans.

Atlanta planning commissioner Tim Keane told Curbed in an email that his department has been working with neighborhood leaders on the design and “we are now seeking an encroachment permit for installation.”

Keane said he expects the project will be complete before the end of the year.

An overhead blueprint of the plans. AECOM, via NPU-M

This story was updated on September 20, 2019 at 3:23 p.m. to include a response from Atlanta planning commissioner Tim Keane.