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Atlanta Weighs 'Midtown Connector' Freeway Cap

The billion-dollar project would create a 25-acre park and 3.5 miles of new bike and pedestrian routes.
February 23, 2021, 5am PST | Diana Ionescu | @aworkoffiction
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A proposed 25-acre park over Midtown Atlanta's I-75/I-85 freeway seeks to capitalize on the recent trend of "freeway caps" and reconnect neighborhoods torn apart by the interstate, writes Josh Green in Urbanize Atlanta. The project, expected to cost somewhere in the neighborhood of a billion dollars, is "an effort to boost park space for pedestrians and cyclists, enhance safety and street connectivity, improve air quality, and reintroduce both sides of the Connector as one conjoined Midtown community."

Backed by a non-profit partnership called the MCP Foundation, the park project "would require a range of public, philanthropic, and private dollars—and/or a possible new service tax district in the area around the park." The partnership has developed detailed plans for street upgrades, structural safety, new bicycle and pedestrian connections, and stormwater management for the 10-block stretch that would be affected.

The project could also improve safety in the busy corridor. According to its supporters, "by way of Connector exit reconfigurations, shoulder upgrades, and a new collector-distributor system, the project has the potential to reduce interstate crashes by 52 percent, travel delays by 37 percent in northbound lanes and 13 percent southbound, while slashing car collisions on Midtown streets by 15 percent."

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Published on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 in Urbanize Atlanta
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