Imagine Memorial LCI plan kicks off with public design studio Sept. 27-29

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.

When:

  • Thursday, Sept. 27, 10 am to 8 pm
  • Friday, Sept. 28, 10 am to 5 pm
  • Saturday, Sept. 29, 10 am to 2 pm

Where: 

Media Center at Alonzo A. Crim Open Campus High School, 256 Clifton St SE, Atlanta, GA 30317.

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 ebrown@contenteconsulting.com.

To learn more about the LCI program and what topics it covers, please keep reading.

Continue reading “Imagine Memorial LCI plan kicks off with public design studio Sept. 27-29”

So what about bikes on Memorial Drive?

A question that comes up frequently is whether bike lanes are planned for Memorial Drive. The question comes from both cycling advocates and those who believe adding bikes lanes would increase congestion.

Here’s the quick answer: Bicycle facilities are not planned for Memorial Drive in the City of Atlanta at this time for the following reasons:

  • There is not enough room in the three-lane segments
    About 2.5 miles of Memorial Drive in the City of Atlanta currently have three travel lanes. In some locations, the total width is 30 feet from curb-to-curb. Adding bike lanes on both sides would eliminate the possibility of turn lanes. While traffic forecasts predict that Memorial Drive can handle future volume of traffic and transit with two travel lanes, it requires a center turn lane to function effectively. So what about the four-lane segments? There is enough room for bike lanes on either side if the roadway is reconfigured to three lanes. However, that would leave us with a disjointed bike lane that starts and stops multiple times along the Corridor. That space could be put to better use with future streetscapes, transit pull-outs, or on-street parking.

    Memorial-Drive-Lane-Config-Arcadis-Excerpt
    This map from a recent traffic study of Memorial Drive shows current lane configurations. In black are undivided four-lane segments. Orange are three-lane reversible segments.
  • It’s hilly with higher volumes of traffic
    If you ride on Memorial Drive from Capitol Avenue in Downtown to Candler Road in East Lake, you will have to climb a total of 427 feet westbound and 455 feet eastbound, according to Strava. Some of those hills, especially in Kirkwood, are pretty steep. In combination with higher traffic volumes and driver speeds,  it makes for a stressful, hard ride for most cyclists. A few serious riders will do it anyway. But we’re aiming to design for casual riders, too.
  • There are bike alternatives to Memorial Drive and more are coming
    We see cycling as a fundamental part of our transportation system in Southeast Atlanta. We are planning and advocating for a quality network of alternative routes on both sides of Memorial Drive. Projects already planned include Woodward Avenue, the PATH Foundation’s Trolley Trail, the Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail, and multiple “neighborhood greenway” projects funded by the 2016 T-SPLOST tax. There are still some gaps to fill, but we’re optimistic that we’ll build momentum and demand for plugging these as more projects are built out. The map below shows planned bike facilities and some gaps where we hope to build out the network in the future.

    Memorial-Drive-Infrastructure-Connectivity-May2017
    This map depicts planned bike and pedestrian facility improvements anticipated through 2022. Please note that budgets and timelines are subject to change.
  • Safety improvements are in progress that will help cyclists
    The Georgia Department of Transportation is working on plans to resurface and restripe Memorial Drive in the summer of 2018 to a consistent three-lane configuration (learn more about this project here). This will reduce vehicle speeds, create additional shoulder room in some locations, and create a more predictable travel pattern for everyone on the street. (As always, remember that cyclists have the right to travel in the lane of any road in Georgia (except for interstates and other controlled access roads.))

This response won’t please everyone.  

It’s a good thing that cycling advocates are pushing at every opportunity for more and better bike facilities all over the metro region. In the case of Memorial Drive, we have limited right-of-way and there’s simply not enough room to incorporate everything we want. We also have to deal with the reality of this being an urban arterial route with regional commuting traffic. For decades, that reality has dictated the current condition of Memorial Drive. We’re finally beginning to make progress in improving safety for both pedestrians and motorists. The Georgia Department of Transportation has been leading the way in integrating bike facilities on more state routes. Its own regulations now require new projects to incorporate bike facilities wherever there is space to do so safely.  On Memorial, they are working closely with the Imagine Memorial stakeholders, City of Atlanta, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc., and the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition to make sure bike alternatives and crossings are integrated into future plans.

As a promising example, here’s a photo of the new bike signal located at the intersection of the BeltLine Eastside Trail/Bill Kennedy Way and Memorial Drive. It’s the first bike signal head on a state route in Georgia. We hope it’s a first step in creating an urban corridor that accommodates all its users safely.

IMG_20170515_201116
This is the first bike signal located on a state route in Georgia, according to GDOT.

[The author of this post is a daily bike commuter who regularly rides on and near Memorial Drive at all times of day.]

Memorial Drive resurfacing & restriping planned for Summer 2018

The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) is planning to resurface Memorial Drive in Summer 2018. This project offers an opportunity to restripe the street to a lane configuration that is less confusing and safer for both pedestrians and motorists.

Public meetings were held in Reynoldstown on Oct. 18 and East Lake on Nov. 8 to share details of the project and collect input from local residents on the changes. Please see the previous blog post for these meetings to get an overview of the project and why it is necessary to reduce the unacceptable number of crashes on Memorial Drive.

Representatives of the neighborhoods along Memorial Drive in the City of Atlanta have been working closely with GDOT through the Imagine Memorial transportation committee formed by Councilmember Natalyn Mosby Archibong in 2015.

To view a presentation from GDOT on the data and methodology behind this project, please continue reading.
Continue reading “Memorial Drive resurfacing & restriping planned for Summer 2018”

Memorial Drive safety meetings scheduled Oct. 18 & Nov. 8

A pair of meetings to discuss essential safety improvements to Memorial Drive are scheduled on Oct. 18 and Nov. 8.

The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) is planning to resurface Memorial Drive in Summer 2018. This project offers an opportunity to restripe the street to a lane configuration that is less confusing and safer for both pedestrians and motorists.

Representatives of the neighborhoods along Memorial Drive in the City of Atlanta have been working closely with GDOT through the Imagine Memorial transportation committee formed by Councilmember Natalyn Mosby Archibong in 2015. Please mark your calendar to attend one of the following meetings:

  • 6 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 18, at Lang Carson Recreation Center, 100 Flat Shoals Ave. SE (map)
  • 6 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 8, at Drew Charter School Elementary Academy, 301 East Lake Blvd. SE (map)

Your neighborhood representatives and GDOT staff will present details of the project, take questions, and listen to your input. Download a flyer as a PDF here. Continue reading “Memorial Drive safety meetings scheduled Oct. 18 & Nov. 8”

Answers to questions on Imagine Memorial Plan RFP released

Answers to questions from consultants who are considering proposals for the Imagine Memorial LCI Plan have been answered. The questions and answers are available in PDF form here and after the jump.

The Request for Proposals (RFP) is available here. More background on the LCI program and Imagine Memorial is available here.

Final proposals are due by 5 p.m. ET on Friday, June 9, 2017. 

Continue reading “Answers to questions on Imagine Memorial Plan RFP released”

Request for Proposals issued for Imagine Memorial LCI plan

ATLANTA _ Memorial Drive Atlanta, in partnership with Central Atlanta Progress, is seeking proposals from consultants to complete the Imagine Memorial Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) plan. The Request for Proposals (RFP) is available here.

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.

Continue reading “Request for Proposals issued for Imagine Memorial LCI plan”