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Two Midtown projects aim to enhance pedestrian experience, mobility

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Commercial Row Commons and 10th Street Bridge updates could make the area less car-centric

A rendering shows a retail strip activated with wide sidewalks and tree coverage.
An early vision for Commercial Row Commons.
Images: Midtown Alliance

Two projects on tap for Midtown could make the already walkable neighborhood noticeably more pedestrian-friendly and maneuverable, and there’s still time for the public to weigh in on them.

On September 10, Midtown Alliance is hosting an open house to discuss the Commercial Row Commons initiative. It strives to realign the intersection of Peachtree Place and Peachtree Street and repurpose public space to create a better pedestrian experience at the retail strip.

As is, tables and chairs at Commercial Row’s restaurants impede the flow of pedestrian traffic through what Midtown leaders call an “important MARTA-access corridor.”

A Midtown Alliance blog post says the plaza’s creation “will provide both a clear and unobstructed pathway for pedestrians, as well as a dedicated and relaxed space to enjoy.”

The project is currently in the programming and design phase, and Midtown Alliance spokesman Brian Carr tells Curbed Atlanta construction is on track to start next year.

An early aerial rendering of the Commerical Row Commons project shows new trees, wider sidewalks, and a median in the road.

As it’s planned now, the enhancement would reimagine 26 feet of current roadway as public space, bring new greenery and better lighting to the area, and repair sidewalks and curb ramps, among other changes.

Permanent seating has also been removed in the latest version of the plans, Carr said.

Meanwhile, a few blocks away, the 10th Street Bridge project aims to foster a more multi-modal experience on the typically car-choked bridge spanning Interstate 75/85.

“With the inventory of available land in Midtown shrinking every season, one prong in our parks and open space strategy is to be opportunistic and find underperforming, publicly accessible spaces that can be revitalized,” Carr wrote in an email, in regards to both projects.

The 10th Street Bridge now features auto lanes running in each direction, constantly packed with cars.
The current state of the 10th Street Bridge.
A blueprint shows new bicycle lanes on and near the 10th Street Bridge.
How the bridge links Midtown with Georgia Tech.

The 10th Street Bridge, between Williams Street and Techwood Drive, now features three auto lanes running in each direction separated by a turn lane.

The enhancements would create barrier-protected two-way cycle tracks there, as well as bring ADA-compliant sidewalks to the bordering intersections.

A public meeting to discuss the bridge’s impending upgrades was held this week, but the community still has until September 19 to weigh in on the project.

Construction is estimated to start in 2022.