In Midtown, our streets and sidewalks make up most of our public space. And they need to be thought of as public space, because they have a much larger role to play than just conduits for traffic. These streets and sidewalks must support retail and business activity, create a positive experience, and provide a safe place for people to get around, whether on foot, bike, car or transit.
Midtown Transportation Plan
Throughout 2016, Midtown Alliance developed a comprehensive transportation and implementation plan to assess Midtown’s current transportation system and identify needs, evaluate and prioritize projects, programs and strategies and create an action plan for implementation. This represented the largest transportation planning effort we have ever undertaken to define what’s next for Midtown’s transportation network. We used the opportunity to address questions, do some “myth-busting,” weigh different strategies and achieve consensus on our priorities.
Valuable insight from those who use the network everyday
Our team conducted extensive public outreach, including a survey, interactive website, in-person charrettes, a steering committee and work sessions. We also engaged a multi-disciplinary consulting team of national and local experts.
Midtown residents and workers engaged in 2016 in planning feedback via surveys and in-person events
Top theme that emerged from feedback about the transportation network today was that respondents wanted to feel safer out on the streets when they are walking or biking.
What types of transportation projects will result from this action plan?
We are already translating what we learned from this effort into actionable steps to make the most of our street grid, sidewalks, bike facilities, transit and parking amenities. The action plan recommends both projects and policies to improve our transportation network. The priorities for implementation are based on providing a network that is:
This plan sets forth a path to continue to create the transportation options that the Midtown community needs and wants to sustain its success, with nearly 50 distinct project and policy recommendations at short, medium and long term horizons. Some examples of projects and policies include:
Adding more signalized intersections and pedestrian crossings so people can get across the street more safely. In 2017, we are advancing to the design phase with the City a project to add up to 15 new traffic signals to locations throughout Midtown.
Creating intersection upgrades along Peachtree Street at 14th, 15th, Peachtree Circle, Deering and Buford Highway
Converting 3rd, 4th and 13th Streets from one-way to two-way traffic operation
Repurposing existing travel lanes for parking, loading, bike lanes, pedestrian refuge. Construction work will begin in 2017 on the Juniper Street Transformation project to achieve this, while planning work will ensue on “complete street” projects for Piedmont Avenue and Spring Street.
Increasing frequency of bus transit
Reconnecting the street grid by building streets in several places where they don’t exist, starting with the 15th Street extension that will be in the design and planning phase in 2017.
Slowing down traffic with lane repurposing, and proposing a 25 MPH district-wide speed limit
Identifying longer-term, transformative projects, such as a bike/ped bridge over the I-75/85 Connector and a MARTA rail station at Pershing Point
Get more info about the Midtown Transportation Plan
In our year-long effort to develop the most comprehensive - and actionable - transportation plan in Midtown’s history, more than 150 different project ideas and recommendations made it onto the drawing board to improve Midtown’s transportation network.
Watch this video to learn more about the impetus for this action plan, what we learned about the current state of Midtown’s transportation experience and emerging strategies for the future of transportation in Midtown.
Midtown Traffic Operations Program
Through the Midtown Traffic Operations Program (MTOP), Midtown Alliance is strategically addressing congestion challenges by managing, optimizing, and upgrading traffic and pedestrian signals to improve all modes of travel.
Traffic signals managed throughout Midtown as part of this program
Repairs and upgrades to Midtown traffic signals during 2016
Additional funds invested by the Georgia DOT for signal upgrades
decrease in vehicular delay across all major corridors
hours of travel time saved annually due to improved traffic flow
Additionally, the City of Atlanta announced in 2015 plans to allocate $35 million of funding from the infrastructure bond package to upgrade, sync, and replace traffic signals throughout the city, marking the largest citywide signalization effort since the 1970s.
Employer and Commuter Programs and Services
As the region continues to grow, and Midtown Atlanta continues to welcome in more workers to the district, strategies to reduce demand for car travel at peak periods on major roadways become more important. Midtown Alliance works with employers and commuters on special programs to encourage the use of alternatives to driving alone, including transit, carpool, walking, bicycling, telework and vanpool options. The net effect of these programs is achieved instantly, with fewer cars on the road and better air quality.
Employers and commercial property managers actively working with Midtown Alliance on commute options programs (+10% from 2015)
fewer car trips in Midtown each week because of these program
Commuter engagement sessions to help Midtown workers start using alternatives to driving alone
Transit passes sold by Midtown Alliance in 2016 (up from 52,000 in 2015)
Participants in special Midtown Transportation initiatives, including the 2016 Walk There Challenge, Try Transit and Bike Challenge
Midtown employer Georgia Natural Gas earns accolades for clean commuting efforts
Georgia Natural Gas (GNG), a Midtown Transportation partner, was recognized at the 2016 Georgia Commute Honors awards for its best-in-class commute options program and commitment to sustainability. GNG contributes toward 50% of the cost of employee transit passes and has a strong telework program: some 40% of GNG staff telework at least once per week. In 2016, one out of every four (28.4%) GNG employee commute trips was made without having to drive alone to work in a car.