Since the Eastside Trail debuted in 2012, at least some of its patrons have longed for better connectivity to bustling Ponce de Leon Avenue, allowing for easier access to Whole Foods. And CVS. And Green’s Beverages.

According to Atlanta BeltLine officials, those wishes for enhanced pedestrian connections in a rapidly developing part of town will start to come true this month.

Contractors are expected to begin work in early July on a streetscape-enhancement project along a roughly half-mile section of Ponce, spanning between Boulevard and John Lewis Freedom Parkway.

The goal is to improve pedestrian and cycling conditions at the confluence of four intown neighborhoods. But the project’s highlight will be an ADA-access ramp installed on the north side of Ponce, between the area’s CVS and the BeltLine.

Courtesy of Atlanta BeltLine Inc.

The ramp system will look similar to Edgewood Avenue’s metal-ramp connection to the Eastside Trail where Old Fourth Ward meets Inman Park. The surface, however, won’t be serrated metal, in order to spare dogs’ feet, as BeltLine civil engineer Nancy Newell explained during a meeting last month.

Existing bike lanes on Ponce will be milled and resurfaced, and flexible delineator posts will be installed in places throughout the project. Bike lanes will be extended on both sides of the BeltLine, up to the entrance of the new Kroger in Poncey-Highland.

A sample of one section for Ponce de Leon Avenue upgrades. Courtesy of Atlanta BeltLine Inc.

A layout of the Ponce ramp system, which will look similar to Edgewood Avenue’s metal-ramp connection to the Eastside Trail, as pictured above. Courtesy of Atlanta BeltLine Inc.

Planners were unable to extend the lanes all the way to John Lewis Freedom Parkway due to tight right-of-way constraints and existing traffic-lane configurations on that section of Ponce, as Newell explained. Existing bike lanes end just east of Ponce City Market.

Elsewhere, a new crosswalk will be installed in front of Ponce City Market, allowing BeltLine patrons connecting down to Ponce, or vice versa, to bypass car traffic entering and exiting the Midtown Place shopping center. Two raised medians will also be installed on either side of the BeltLine.

Where floral, raised medians will go. Courtesy of Atlanta BeltLine Inc.

Expect trees and new lighting in buffers between sidewalks and the refreshed bike lanes. Traffic signals will be reconstructed at Boulevard, Glen Iris Drive, Midtown Place, and the entrance to Kroger and the 725 Ponce development, according to Newell.

Construction is expected to take about 18 months total, with anticipated completion in December 2022.

Until then, expect rolling lane closures on the street, and partial closures of the BeltLine just north of the Ponce bridge.  

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