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New Visioning Initiative Sets Sights on Improving Peachtree Street

Midtown Alliance is kicking off an initiative to examine what’s possible for a 9-block section of ATL’s signature street.



Peachtree Street is widely acknowledged as a landmark corridor in Atlanta, connecting $19B of economic development prowess between Downtown, Midtown, and Buckhead.

In Midtown, Peachtree Street carries a mix of retail, residential, office, and civic uses. Over time, the corridor’s identity in Midtown has shifted from a residential manor house street in the 1920s to an auto-dominant thoroughfare in the 1950s, to a hive of activity today where we often see cars dodging around double-parked delivery trucks, next to pedestrians, next to patio dining, next to e-scooter parking, next to the MARTA 40 bus … with everyone competing for space … and at the same time the presence of underperforming space near the curb.

While the pedestrian environment has drastically improved since the 50’s, Peachtree remains an auto-dominated corridor.

Can Peachtree Street change to better serve the continued densification happening in Midtown?

This has been the subject of discussion in Midtown since the drafting of the Midtown Transportation Plan in 2016 (see p28) and in transportation thought leader Janette Sadik-Khan’s keynote remarks at the 2017 Midtown Alliance Annual Meeting.

The 2022 Midtown Community Survey included a question about Peachtree Street, asking area residents, workers, and visitors to suggest their priorities for how the corridor could be improved. The results pointed to how this street means many different things to different user groups.

“Given Midtown’s density, our streets are called upon to do a lot of things,” said Dan Hourigan, Midtown Alliance Director of Transportation and Sustainability. “And Peachtree Street in particular carries a lot of potential as both a transportation conduit and a public space asset. It’s where people want to be.”

More Than a Transportation Idea

The Visioning Plan for Peachtree Street from North Avenue to 10th Street will create a new design language for the corridor by questioning what is currently underused asphalt and sidewalks and exploring the future of a livable street that supports a vibrant community. Reallocating and reprioritizing - to balance vehicular spaces with active, human-centered places - is at the heart of this initiative. Among the contributors to this assignment are Kimley-Horn and global design firm Snøhetta, the firm that reimagined the Broadway corridor fronting New York City’s Times Square as a pedestrian space.

Peachtree Street has and continues to operate as a public gathering space during Atlanta Streets Alive, the Atlanta Pride parade, the St. Patrick’s Day parade and other big community events. The ATLDOT commissioner shared last week in a WABE interview with Rose Scott that the City plans to bring the popular Atlanta Streets Alive event back this fall.

What's Next

The community engagement components of the Peachtree Visioning Plan will focus on identifying existing conditions issues and opportunities, discussing what makes a great street, presenting proposed concepts and gathering feedback that may help guide the design. Accompanying the final design recommendations is the implementation plan, which Midtown Alliance and the City of Atlanta can use to sequence priorities and pursue future funding opportunities.

Watch this space for more details about the visioning project and how you can get involved in the coming months.

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