BY ELLIE HENSLEY
Spring Street is quickly becoming one of the most active and dynamic corridors in Midtown with several residential and office projects recently completed or currently under construction bringing thousands of residents and workers to this once sleepy part of the district. With Georgia Tech and SCAD coming to life for the Fall semester, Spring Street is buzzing with activity.
To support the need for safer bicycle and scooter trips along the corridor, Midtown Alliance and the Atlanta Department of Transportation teamed up to bring a southbound bike lane to Spring Street. Midtown Alliance designed the project and the City is managing the implementation. The first phase of the project was implemented as part of a planned repaving project from 13th Street to 3rd Street. The next phase will add additional protection in the bike lane buffer, extend the bike lane further north on Spring Street and add a northbound bike lane on West Peachtree Street.
While not yet complete, this project has experienced its fair share of challenges – developers needing to temporarily close the bike lane, damage to the lane from utility tie-ins, and drivers ignoring the signs and lane markings and parking in the bike lane. Some of this is unavoidable in a dense and growing urban district, but issues like parking in the bike lane are preventable.
Up Next: Parklets and Planters
The bike lane generally hugs the curb along Spring Street, but there are two blocks where existing utility poles and curb extensions don’t allow for that. These two blocks (Peachtree Place to 8th Street and 4th Street to 3rd Street) also have on-street parking. In these two blocks, the parking spaces are rendered inaccessible and will eventually be repurposed as parklets – space for people.
To create yet another layer of protection for cyclists, scooter riders and future parklet users while beautifying the corridor, Midtown Alliance has purchased and will install 50 rectangular planters in the bike lane buffer on these two blocks. These planters are low maintenance as they employ a self-watering feature using a wicking system and 30-gallon reservoir. The planters will be installed in the coming weeks and seasonal plants will follow once the weather gets cooler.
Stay up to date on the Spring Street and West Peachtree bike lanes by following their project page here.