Midtown is moving forward with plans to transform bus stops with symbolic, functional, custom art pieces along one of its highest ridership routes and most quickly developing streets.

Midtown Alliance, a coalition of business and civic leaders that seeks to improve the subdistrict, has issued a Request for Qualifications for creative types capable of handling the job.

Specifically they’re looking for artists, fabricators, or artist teams who can create coverings over bus stops that improve their character, comfort (read: shade), accessibility, and convenience.

Preference in the RFQ process will go toward local Atlanta artists. Ditto for designs “inspired by Atlanta’s lush but shrinking tree canopy” that provide “a functional and inviting experience for both bus commuters and community members,” according to Midtown Alliance’s RFQ issued Sept. 25.

The tree-inspired transit stops are the result of a 10-month Bus Stop Enhancement Study that included community input and produced a “powerful vision,” per Midtown Alliance.

That study pinpointed the rapidly growing West Peachtree Street and Spring Street corridors as prime testing grounds, where Midtown’s bus ridership is highest.

Current context for Midtown's first bus stop in question, the southeast corner of West Peachtree Street's intersection with Ponce de Leon Avenue. Midtown Alliance

Midtown Alliance

The first two enhanced bus stops in the pilot phase, however, will both be along West Peachtree Street, separated by about eight blocks, or a half-mile.

They'll take shape at the southeast corner of West Peachtree Street and Ponce De Leon Avenue, and the southeast corner of West Peachtree Street and Peachtree Place. Artist proposals can include one or both sites, according to the RFQ.

The first site, situated adjacent to MARTA’s North Avenue station, is easily walkable to buildings housing some of Midtown’s largest employers, including train company Norfolk Southern’s new headquarters.

The latter site, also located near a MARTA hub, is where two planned multimodal streetscape projects—the Central Midtown Connector and West Peachtree Street Quick Build LIT Lanes—will potentially come together, as Midtown Alliance points out.

Context where Midtown's second artful bus stop is planned, the southeast corner of West Peachtree Street at Peachtree Place. Midtown Alliance

Midtown Alliance

According to design specs, the bus stops should provide some rain protection in addition to shade, along with integrated lighting, should the artist prefer. Neither stop should be enclosed on any side, and all sharp edges are forbidden.

The project budget is $60,000, to cover all aspects of the installation including artists’ transportation to the site. All artists must be at least 18 years old to apply.

Midtown Alliance’s deadline for receiving credentials from applicants is noon on Monday, Oct. 23. Design proposals are due Nov. 13. Winners will be notified in early December.

Once artists are picked, the bus stop enhancements are scheduled to happen in early 2024.


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