In 2015, stakeholders created and funded a full-time planning position for the Memorial Drive Corridor from Downtown to East Lake. This effort grew out of the Georgia Tech Imagine Memorial study commissioned by Councilmember Natalyn Mosby Archibong in 2014 and builds on years of planning work by Councilmember Carla Smith and neighborhood leaders.
The long-term goal was always to spin this role into a new Community Improvement District. Unfortunately, we don’t have the support of key commercial property owners to do so at this time. The current fundraising model is not sustainable. Some donors have been incredibly generous and patient, while other stakeholders who benefit from the work haven’t contributed. An enormous amount of work remains for the Corridor to reach its full potential as the best urban street in Atlanta. The need for a permanent organization to advocate for limited public resources to be spent on Memorial Drive will only grow. It’s possible that a new coalition will form to continue this work in the future.
Greg Giuffrida has made the difficult decision to step down and pursue other opportunities in Atlanta. He will continue to collaborate on a limited volunteer basis with neighborhood and non-profit organizations on projects that improve safety and walkability on Memorial Drive.
ATLANTA _ Residents and business owners in the Memorial Drive neighborhoods will have the opportunity to help plan the future of the Corridor at a public design studio Sept. 27-29 for the Imagine Memorial LCI plan.
We’re trying a different approach with community engagement with this plan. Rather than hosting a handful of weeknight meetings over a few months, we’re hosting a design studio over three days, including day and evening hours and a Saturday. Some people can’t attend weeknight meetings, so we want to give more options for stakeholders to participate.
A team of planners and urban designers from Lord Aeck Sargent will be available the entire time to listen to your ideas, and actually sit down with you to sketch out designs in real-time. We hope it’s a more interactive and creative approach to planning that reflects the unique character of our part of the City.
MARTA route #21 stops in front of the school on Memorial Drive. Bikes may be locked to the signs at the north end of the campus. Parking is available on the back (east side) of the campus. Enter the driveway on Clifton Street nearest to Memorial Drive and follow the signs for “Public Meeting.”
You may drop by any time that’s convenient for you, but we are also seeking groups to schedule specific blocks of time to focus on certain areas. For example, leaders from the East Lake neighborhood may schedule a time to visit together for a work session to focus on their specific concerns. Any group can schedule a time by contacting Eboni Brown at 470-234-5323 or email@example.com.
To learn more about the LCI program and what topics it covers, please keep reading.
All qualified parties are encouraged to review the RFP and consider making a submission. The deadline is 5 p.m. Eastern on Friday, June 9, 2017. Stakeholders are also welcome to review the RFP and participate in community engagement later this summer.
UPDATE: Answers to questions submitted for the RFP are available here.
ATLANTA _ The Imagine Memorial Transportation Committee formed from the 2014 Imagine Memorial study has been working closely with Georgia Department of Transportation staff on advocating for long-term safety improvements to Memorial Drive. The death of pedestrian Barbara Crawford on March 20 and a rash of recent crashes give this work a new sense of urgency. Here is an update on projects that are being introduced in response:
1. Short-term: Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons (PHBs)
Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons are enhanced mid-block crosswalks activated by pedestrians that use flashing red lights to require all vehicles to stop. (See below for more details; a local example can be seen on North Avenue at Georgia Tech.) Georgia DOT’s District 7 and Traffic Safety and Operations teams are currently considering new PHBs at the following locations, in order of priority:
Kirkwood/Parkview: In the vicinity of Campbell/Eleanor/Howard Streets, near the site of the March 20 fatality. The exact location will be determined by engineering judgement based on topography, sightlines, and observations of current pedestrian and traffic patterns.
East Lake: Existing crosswalk at Daniel Avenue, at the northeast corner of East Lake Park.
Cabbagetown/Grant Park: In the vicinity between Boulevard and Pearl Street, likely near Berean Avenue.
Oakland Cemetery/Grant Park: In the vicinity of the Cemetery’s pedestrian gate and the Grant Park commercial district.
Funding: GDOT’s “Quick Response” program, which allows urgent safety projects to be designed and built on an accelerated schedule of 3-4 months. The upper limit is $200,000 each. The first two projects will likely be funded in Fiscal 2017, which ends June 30.
Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI) has released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for developers to submit proposals for Phase II of 890 Memorial Drive, known as the Lofts at Reynoldstown Crossing.
This former warehouse was in the process of being renovated by a private developer when the combination of the economic downturn and damage from the 2008 tornado stalled the project. It was acquired in 2011 by Atlanta BeltLine, Inc., and work was completed on 29 condominium units and one commercial space. Twenty-eight of the units were sold as workforce housing in 2012 to families earning under $69,000.
Following the successful development of Phase I, ABI is looking to begin the next phase of construction. There are several goals a developer must meet, including:
Housing with a minimum of 40% of the units meeting the affordability requirements outlined
A commitment and feasible approach towards long-term affordability exceeding 50 years with public or community control over the decision to convert affordable workforce units into unrestricted units
Pedestrian-friendly design of all street and Atlanta BeltLine corridor frontages in keeping with the BeltLine Overlay District
A project design and use of the site which activates the area through interactive Memorial Drive and/or Chester Avenue frontages