Atlanta To Nix Peachtree Pedestrian Project

Rather than committing to a new direction for urban design, Atlanta is backpedaling on a 'people-friendly' makeover on three blocks of Peachtree Street.

1 minute read

March 14, 2022, 7:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

A pedestrian-oriented pilot project on Atlanta's Peachtree Street will soon disappear, despite early promises that the project would "signal 'the beginning of a cultural shift' in terms of how intown public space is utilized," writes Josh Green. "Applauded by urbanists, the initiative was described as the first step toward making that stretch of Peachtree a curbless, permanently shared space."

"Building on an Atlanta City Studio concept from 2018, the initiative installed small removable barriers and verdant planters to open up street lanes for pedestrians, bicyclists, and e-scooter riders, spanning from Baker to Ellis streets in front of marquee hotels and numerous restaurants and office towers." Now, "All planters, signage, wheel stops, and other elements of the planning department’s shared space project will be pulled."

"Sources including downtown residents indicate that Richard Bowers, president of commercial real estate firm Richard Bowers and Co., opposed the changes to Peachtree Street and was influential in the city’s decision to remove shared lanes."

The article notes that the city's planning department and Bowers have not responded to requests for comment. "But Amir Farokhi, Atlanta City Councilor for downtown’s District 2, confirmed the plans and said his efforts to keep the demonstration project in place were ultimately fruitless."

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