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krazeeboi

Peachtree corridor revitalization

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I saw this story show up on Planetizen on the home page of UP and didn't see it discussed here, so I just decided to create a thread for the Peachtree Street revitalization project. If one already exists, this one can be merged with the existing one, but I believe this deserves its own thread.

A group of business and civic leaders have proposed a $1 billion, 20-year plan for the revitalization of Peachtree, which includes new sidewalks and bicycle lanes, improved lighting and landscaping, buried utility lines and a string of small parks and plazas, about one every quarter-mile. The plan, which is being fine-tuned, would be financed in part with new taxes on property owners along the street.

The plan also includes two streetcar lines that would cost up to $450 million. The longest, a 15-mile stretch from Brookhaven in the north to the Fort McPherson area in the south, would cut through Buckhead, Midtown, downtown and the emerging Castleberry Hill district. A separate four-mile line would circulate in the downtown area among hotels and tourist attractions, from the Georgia Aquarium to the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic District.

Also, the Peachtree name, which now changes to Whitehall Street in downtown, would extend south all the way to Fort McPherson.

A particularly hard sell could be the establishment of a special tax district. Downtown, Midtown and Buckhead already have established community improvement districts (CIDs) where commercial property owners tax themselves to enhance the area. Other general funding issues are covered in this article.

Here's the image from the AJC:

image_5123083.jpg

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I really like the idea of extending the Peachtree name. It could help spur devopment along that route, which seems to detoriate the farther south you get.

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I'm surprised this bit of news isn't more of a hot topic in this subforum.

At any rate, this proposal looks like a good one. It's good to see Atlanta getting a signature street that's more fitting for the big city it is. There also doesn't seem to be as much opposition to this as I thought there might be.

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I'm surprised this bit of news isn't more of a hot topic in this subforum.

At any rate, this proposal looks like a good one. It's good to see Atlanta getting a signature street that's more fitting for the big city it is. There also doesn't seem to be as much opposition to this as I thought there might be.

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The Fort McPherson site seems to be the area with the most uncertain future and I could understand citizens and elected officials wanting to approach the project with caution and get more information. That most businesses and residents along Peachtree support being in special tax districts to finance the project takes off some concern. Atlanta is about to get two more sites in need of redevelopment, the Hapeville Ford plant and the Doraville GM plant. Hapeville's proximity to the airport and I-75 and I-285 and Doraville near the I-285 and I-85 Spaghetti Junction are more likely to appeal to developers than the Fort McPherson site. Extending Peachtree and offering transportation alternatives could level the playing field. All three have the same potential that Altantic Station did. Addressing the Zoo Atlanta situation, is necessary too-Zoo Atlanta lags behind zoos in comparable cities. Giving some cohesiveness to one Peachtree corridor will benefit tourist and suburbanites who don't frequent downtown-too many Peachtree Streets to be sure if your on the one that will take you to Midtown and on to Buckhead. Improving traffic flow, better intersections, and burying utilities to improve aesthetics from downtown to Buckhead is probably the most obvious need for the best known stretch of Peachtree. A street car using at least a parallel corridor would provide a transit alternative for visitors and residents alike that would make the areas served much more pedestrian friendly-an area that hurts Atlanta when being compared to other similar sized cities-only Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth are worse.

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Today the Peachtree Corridor task force will give their recommendations to the Mayor.

image_5237944.jpg

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http://www.ajc.com/news/content/metro/atla...6peachtree.html

There is today's AJC article about the plan.

My only thoughts about the renderings:

1) Looks like the plan will be to take a lane or two of traffic away from Peachtree St. While I think this is a good idea, I also think the road happy folks at GDOT will have a fit and cause this to get tied up. How dare we SHRINK a road??

2) If I had never been to and didn't know anything about Atlanta, and someone showed me the "before" pictures and said "this is our world-renowned street" I wouldn't think too highly of Atlanta. It's amazing how little has been done to make it a great thoroughfare. The Brookwood picture is especially ugly with all the powerlines, lanes, no landscaping, no signage consistency, etc. It's good that they have a plan in place but it's taken too long.

3) As far as Lee St goes (the last picture), where on earth do they think all of those pedestrians are going to come from? Is there a reason why there would be such an attraction to walking under the MARTA tracks??

4) I'm not understanding how they plan to fit streetcars into the narrow portion of Peachtree downtown. Judging from the renderings, they don't know either.

5) Where are all those mid-rise buildings coming from (Edgewood and Brookwood). Are they going to tear down that Wendy's that they just built? (sarcasm)

6) I love the plan, but I have to think the state will go to great lengths to bog it down in legislation.

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I agree. Peachtree get's pretty tight downtown. I really don't see how they could put a streetcar in. As far as the state of Georgia is concerned, it's run by a bunch of right-wing psychos, and if Atlanta wants this, it's going to have to do what it's always done in the past----raise the money by itself and let everyone else in this state criticize it (even though it's a great idea). This state makes me sick sometimes.

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The West End Marta Station on Lee Street is one of the busiest in Atlanta (5th to be exact). There is a tremendous amount of foot traffic in the area. There are always a large number of locals, students from Spelman/Morehouse, and visitors walking around. There is also the Metropolitan Arts District a block away on the backside of the station. Further down Lee Street (Oakland City) is another story, but there are a lot of warehouses that can be developed between West End Station and Fort McPherson. And let's not forget the Beltline has a few proposed stops in that vicinity. Once the name is changed it will also give the area a needed boost attracting those who want to live or own businesses on Atlanta's version of 5th Ave. It is going to take some time, but hopefully in our lifetimes we will get to enjoy the finished product.

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Keep in mind that

1)they've been studying this for over a year, including having public comment so I'm sure they've considered all sorts of issues such as yours.

2)the streetcar will not have a dedicated lane but will have shared lanes with cars.

There are some HUGE files on the website with the entire plan including some pictures of how each segment will be treated and some before and afters.

The AJC has a few of them here

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Keep in mind that

1)they've been studying this for over a year, including having public comment so I'm sure they've considered all sorts of issues such as yours.

2)the streetcar will not have a dedicated lane but will have shared lanes with cars.

There are some HUGE files on the website with the entire plan including some pictures of how each segment will be treated and some before and afters.

The AJC has a few of them here

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Sharing a lane with a streetcar is exactly like sharing a lane with a bus. It follows all the same traffic rules as a bus, only it rides a LOT better, runs on electricity, holds a LOT more people, and (wonder of wonders) runs on rails embedded in the street. If the streetcar tracks are in the leftmost (inside) lane, cars turning left will have to wait in line behind the streetcar to turn. If the tracks are in the rightmost (outside) lane, cars turning right will have to get in line behind the streetcar in order to turn right. Again, just like a bus. At no point will cars be turning right or left across the path of a streetcar moving in their direction.

Houston is different. They do NOT have a shared-lane streetcar. It's a median-running LRT. Most of the accidents happen when cars turn left across the path of the LRV's. People do not expect to have to look out for things coming from behind them when making a left turn from the leftmost traffic lane.

The only way that streetcars as proposed for Peachtree are faster than buses is in the boarding/alighting process: a streetcar has more and wider doors than a bus. Beyond that, they will perform identically to a bus, unless you do things like signal priority (pretty easy to do for vehicles on rails) and space stops out more (people are willing to walk further for a streetcar stop than they are for a bus stop.)

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I live about 2 blocks from Peachtree in Midtown and I will use this thing all the time, assuming it has a reasonable frequency.

I almost never get in my car on the weekends and use taxi's, occasionally MARTA, and more often than not, my feet.

Being able to take a streetcar down to Phillips, the Tabernacle, the Dome, up to Buckhead. or even just the 6 blocks up to 12th to go to the restaurants/bars on Crescent would be wonderful! I can't wait.

There are 2 differences I see between a streetcar and buses.

1) I know where the street car is going without having to look at a bunch of schedules.

2) There hopefully will be a regular schedule.

I realize buses are on a schedule and thousands of people are capable of figuring out how to get from point a to point b using them, but they've always seemed way to much effort for me. :-)

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I live about 2 blocks from Peachtree in Midtown and I will use this thing all the time, assuming it has a reasonable frequency.

I almost never get in my car on the weekends and use taxi's, occasionally MARTA, and more often than not, my feet.

Being able to take a streetcar down to Phillips, the Tabernacle, the Dome, up to Buckhead. or even just the 6 blocks up to 12th to go to the restaurants/bars on Crescent would be wonderful! I can't wait.

There are 2 differences I see between a streetcar and buses.

1) I know where the street car is going without having to look at a bunch of schedules.

2) There hopefully will be a regular schedule.

I realize buses are on a schedule and thousands of people are capable of figuring out how to get from point a to point b using them, but they've always seemed way to much effort for me. :-)

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The major difference is that you know exactly where the street car will take you, and you know that sooner or later one will come around again. With a bus, unless you know the schedule, you may not be as confident of its timing and its destination (even though the bus is probably just as reliable). Transit is all about perception. Rail has the ability to attract huge investments and transit oriented developments based to some extent on this logic.... just think about it- how many TOD's have you seen spring up around a bus stop?

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According the Atlanta Journal Constitution there is a $1 billion dollar plan to rebuild the Peachtree Street corridor.

Under the 20-year plan streetcars would be added which would be very modern and sleek, similar to MARTA's subway cars.

New sidewalks and bicycle lanes, designer street lighting and landscaping, buried utility lines, and a string of parks and plazas along with stations spaced about a quarter mile apart would be included in the project.

The plan includes two streetcar lines that would cost $450 million, the longest, a 15 mile stretch that would run from Brookhaven in the north to the Fort McPherson District in the south, that would cut through Buckhead, Midtown, Downtown and the Castleburry Hill District. A separate 4 mile line would circulate in the downtown area among hotel and tourist attractions, from the Georgia Aquarium to the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic District. Several connections would also connect to the proposed Beltline rail system.

In addition a street name would take place along Whitehall Street, and it would be named Peachtree Street all the way from North Buckhead south to the Fort McPherson District at the city limits of Atlanta.

The project would be built in three phases, starting with Downtown and Midtown, then Buckhead and finally from Downtown south to the Fort McPherson District.

A special taxing district would encompass the entire Peachtree Corridor, and the remainder of money needed would come from the city, state, and federal governments.

Note: There are also 17 post regarding this issue under " Peachtree Corridor Revitalization", this particular post is just intended to be a general summary of the project. :thumbsup:

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According the Atlanta Journal Constitution there is a $1 billion dollar plan to rebuild the Peachtree Street corridor.

Under the 20-year plan streetcars would be added which would be very modern and sleek, similar to MARTA's subway cars.

New sidewalks and bicycle lanes, designer street lighting and landscaping, buried utility lines, and a string of parks and plazas along with stations spaced about a quarter mile apart would be included in the project.

The plan includes two streetcar lines that would cost $450 million, the longest, a 15 mile stretch that would run from Brookhaven in the north to the Fort McPherson District in the south, that would cut through Buckhead, Midtown, Downtown and the Castleburry Hill District. A separate 4 mile line would circulate in the downtown area among hotel and tourist attractions, from the Georgia Aquarium to the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic District. Several connections would also connect to the proposed Beltline rail system.

In addition a street name would take place along Whitehall Street, and it would be named Peachtree Street all the way from Brookhaven to the Fort McPherson District.

The project would be built in three phases, starting with Downtown and Midtown, then Buckhead and finally from Downtown south to Fort McPherson.

A special taxing district would encompass the entire Peachtree Corridor, and the remainder of money needed would come from the city, state, and federal governments.

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Are they going to rename Peachtree Road in Buckhead/Brookhaven to Peachtree Street ?

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No, that section that is under streetscape renovations will be known as Peachtree Boulevard.

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Actually Peachtree Boulevard simply refers to the steetscape plan of transforming the street into a "Boulevard". The Peachtree corridor plan is for the entire stretch to labeled simply as Peachtree.

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