The Midtown Alliance is moving forward with plans to convert street parking in the neighborhood into “parklets,” or small pocket parks. New conceptual renderings for the proposed pint-sized parks were recently unveiled alongside an updated timeline for the project.
“While Atlanta Department of Transportation (ATL DOT) crews are hard at work on a ‘quick build’ bike lane project on Spring Street, Midtown Alliance is looking ahead to the rare opportunity to create more open space in the district once the project and a similar project on West Peachtree are completed,” the Midtown Alliance this week wrote alongside the new renderings. “One of the impacts of the ‘quick build’ design is that some on-street parking spaces behind the barrier-separated bike lane will no longer be accessible to vehicles.”
These spaces are being “re-envisioned” as “places for people,” based on collaboration with retail tenants in the corridor and the results of a community survey conducted earlier in the year. The Midtown Alliance had more than 300 respondents weigh in with feedback regarding the proposed parklets. Residents most requested bike parking, shade, landscaping, seating, and art.
“Our parklet initiative is a great example of taking leftover or orphaned spaces and retooling them as functional and attractive places for the community,” Ginny Kennedy, director of urban design at Midtown Alliance, said. “Similar to recent plaza improvements implemented in partnership with MARTA at Midtown and Arts Center Stations, the parklets will feature public art and landscape enhancements to elevate the pedestrian experience and invite the public to enjoy these outdoor amenities.”
The parklets are planned for Spring Street between 3rd and 4th on the west side adjacent to The Standard; Spring Street between 8th and Peachtree Place on the west side adjacent to University House; West Peachtree Street between 3rd and 4th on the east side adjacent to Tower Square; and West Peachtree Street at 13th Street on the east side adjacent to McCray’s Tavern.
ATL DOT is expected to complete most of its work on the Spring Street barrier-separated bike facility before the end of 2020. Permits from the Georgia Department of Transportation are still needed, however, to complete the project. Following the completion of the bike lanes, construction on the parklets is expected to start and finish in 2021, paid for in its totality by the Midtown Improvement District.