The City of Atlanta has a new vision for Peachtree Street

Could Atlanta’s signature street become a shared space that encourages walking, biking and public transit while still allowing cars to drive through at slower speeds? City planners think the idea would work and are asking for your input.

While designs for shared spaces vary, they are typically curbless and include features like special pavement, minimized road markings and signage, pedestrian-only comfort zones near buildings, mixed zones for all modes of transportation in the center, and integrated gathering spaces. Many other global cities have implemented shared space designs for their signature streets, including Exhibition Road in London and Bell Street in Seattle. More information about shared spaces is available on the project website

The effort to reimagine Peachtree Street stems from the Atlanta City Design, which outlines a vision for how Atlanta will sustainably and equitably accommodate future growth.

“Central to that is the success of Downtown Atlanta and the enormous population that it could accommodate with its density and access,” said Tim Keane, the City of Atlanta’s Commissioner of City Planning. “Having exceptionally designed public spaces for people throughout Downtown, including Peachtree Street, will be critical to that success.”

The study will include Peachtree Street from North Avenue to Marietta Street, with the city selecting a portion as the preferred location for a shared space. The study will determine the feasibility of this vision and include the development of two alternative conceptual designs for the selected part of Peachtree Street. The project kicked off internally in August and the final report is expected to be completed by March.

Below is a full list of public engagement activities that the City will host to accommodate public input on developing concepts for Peachtree Street:

Community Input Map: Community members are invited to share their insights and ideas through an interactive online map, which allows participants to submit location-specific feedback about the corridor. The map will be open until Nov. 20.

Virtual Discovery Workshop Week: The first workshop week will be the week of Nov. 16. It will be focused on understanding opportunities and constraints, interviewing key stakeholders, identifying the preferred locations for a shared space, and developing initial design concepts, which will be further developed throughout the process. Community members are invited to participate in several online activities that week, including:

  • Peachtree Shared Space Community Kickoff | Monday, November 16 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Tactical Urbanism 101 | Tuesday, November 17, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Virtual Open Studio | Wednesday, November 18, from 4 to 6 p.m.
  • Community Pinup Session | Thursday, November 19, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Online Survey | Live the week of November 16

Virtual Design Workshop Week: The second workshop series will be held the week of Dec. 14, and will focus on developing a draft conceptual design for the shared space. Event details to follow.

Demonstration Project: A temporary redesign will be installed on a block of Peachtree Street in Spring 2021 to test ideas for the shared space and get feedback from the community to inform the long-term design.

“The goal of this effort is to elevate Peachtree Street’s role as an active, vibrant center of urban life,” said Doug Nagy, Deputy Commissioner of Transportation. “The more attractive we can make Downtown as a place to live, work, and play, the more we can cut down on citywide traffic in the long term.”

The study will build on an initial idea developed by the Atlanta City Studio in 2018 by engaging more of the community; analyzing traffic impacts and recommending solutions; conducting historical and environmental due diligence; identifying opportunities for activation; diving deeper into the design details; and testing the concept through a demonstration project. 

“We know that Peachtree Street can better serve our community,” said Monique Forte, the Department of City Planning’s project manager for this study.

Photo: Photo by margo_soulxray on Deposit Photos