With a magic wand, how would you change full blocks of Peachtree Street, from 17th Street down to the doorstep of the Fox Theatre?

While they’re not offering wands, that’s the question Midtown Alliance is asking in their ongoing quest to make Atlanta’s most iconic thoroughfare not only more memorable but safer for everyone on it, or near it.

At a public open house event last month, Midtown Alliance unveiled draft concepts for how two sections of Peachtree Street could be modified, by way of new public spaces and street design changes, so that it prioritizes pedestrian safety and enjoyment over vehicles that often speed through the street’s current incarnation, at times with horrifying results.

Another problem, per Midtown Alliance, is that Peachtree currently lacks exciting or memorable places found on the great urban streets of the world.

In November, the nonprofit membership organization hired engineering firm Kimley-Horn and Snøhetta, the global design firm known for turning New York City’s Broadway corridor into a pedestrian zone near Times Square, to help implement changes.

Two draft maps revealed in March show potential "refresh" changes (for example, “café zones,” new medians, flex spaces, and gardens) from 17th Street down to Ponce de Leon Avenue. (Eventually, plans call for modifying the entire length of Peachtree in Midtown, from the Buford-Spring Connector to North Avenue.) 

The Peachtree North section from 17th to 11th streets where safety and aesthetic upgrades could be implemented. Midtown Alliance

The Peachtree South map section from 11th Street to Ponce. Midtown Alliance

The changes wouldn’t be as seismic (or brilliant, some might say) as plans for Peachtree in the PACMAN report recently compiled by Georgia Tech’s College of Design’s School of City and Regional Planning.

The Peachtree study aims to build upon Midtown Alliance’s 2022 Public Life Action Plan, which calls for retailers and developers to join the push for more vibrancy and engagement at street level in the subdistrict.

The first Peachtree Street Visioning meeting took place in November, and according to Midtown Alliance, more meetings will be held through the second quarter of 2024, or what’s considered the project’s planning period.

Anyone with big ideas for how Peachtree might better evolve who also represents a building, property, or institution along the corridor is encouraged to send an email to transportation@midtownatl.com.


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