One of the more eye-popping statistics to come from Midtown Alliance’s annual, formal meeting on the state of the subdistrict last month was this: 1.2.
That’s the number of acres—out of 770 acres total—that’s permanently protected parks and plazas right now, in a core business district that prides itself on being as pedestrian-friendly and metropolitan as any in Atlanta.
Like the next phase of the Midtown Art Walk that's currently under construction, a new parklet project off Atlanta’s signature street is expected to start beefing up that meager acreage number soon.
Midtown’s next conversion of street parking spaces into a communal gathering place is planned near the northwest corner of Peachtree and 11th streets, outside retail spaces occupied by Sugar Factory Atlanta and Silverlake Ramen at the 1010 Midtown building.
As Midtown Alliance transportation project manager Julie Harlan wrote in a recent Saporta Report column, the 11th Street parklet would help address a “severe” lack of public spaces by creating a sidewalk extension on a section of street that’s considered “excessively wide for the number of vehicles that travel on it.” The goal, as with all parklets, is to boost pedestrian activity and nearby businesses, while slowing down cars.
Plans call for decking over three parking spaces—similar to Spring Street parklets installed last year—in the shade of existing, mature trees to create a “welcoming refuge,” Harlan wrote. A bike and scooter corral, an ADA-accessible ramp, welcoming lighting, planters and other greenery, and a range of seating are planned. It’s all meant to jibe with Midtown’s grand “action plan” to enhance public life, which was compiled alongside Gehl Studio, an urban design consulting firm.
According to Harlan, Midtown Alliance has submitted final construction plans for the 11th Street parklet to the City of Atlanta.
Next steps call for establishing a memorandum of understanding to map out park maintenance responsibilities, hiring a contractor, and beginning construction this year, per Harlan.
The reclaimed space in public right-of-way will be “truly for everyone,” Harlan wrote, “[including] residents, patrons of surrounding restaurants and businesses, office workers, and other visitors.”
For Midtown Alliance, the project would continue momentum from 2022, when four new public spaces were created across the district. Alongside the Spring Street parklets, those included Commercial Row Commons, the Arts District Plaza, and a new pocket park and dog park on 10th Street.
Follow us on social media:
• Midtown news, discussion (Urbanize Atlanta)