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South Downtown MARTA Makeover


Project Overview

The South Downtown MARTA Stations Makeover project is an effort led by Central Atlanta Progress and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District to evaluate, design and execute creative place making enhancements for Downtown Atlanta’s South central business district’s MARTA rail stations, specifically the Five Points and Garnett stations– generally the station and a one-block radius.. This report identifies and illustrates immediate-, short-, and long-term projects to transform the appearance of and experience at the two rail stations.

Community Input and information Synthesis
The Project Team performed a comprehensive research effort to fully understand the issues and opportunities surrounding the two stations prior to making design recommendations and prior to much of the public input process. This process included previous planning studies, site visits, base mapping for existing conditions and demographics, and station area assessments. The base mapping exercise at the Downtown and Station Study Area levels included analyzing data, such as community resources, existing land use, vacant parcels and parking lots, land ownership and current / future development projects, transportation networks and demographics.

The Project Team synthesized the results from the station assessments, the surveys, and intercept feedback to devise five Guiding Principles to support MARTA’s overall goal of increasing ridership. The specific elements used to address the guiding Principles at each station vary. The majority of the methods focus on near-term, community based improvements, most of which can be completed within two years and with limited funding.
 

Station Area Assessments
The Project Team conducted station area assessments based on criteria derived from the overarching issues that became apparent during focus group meetings and the intercepts. These include:
• Urban Context within one block of the stations
• Safety and Security in and around the stations
• Wayfinding and signage in and around the stations
• Usable public space at the stations
• Circulation, access, and views into and out of the stations

Opportunities and Prioritized Implementation
• Re-design and mock-up a four-sided pylon sign
• Trim or remove trees blocking entrance views in the Main Plaza Ramp
• Add café seating at Brotherton Street entrance
• Paint tree trunks or add tree socks for color on Main Plaza Ramp
• Add string lighting and seating in the small flex plaza areas on the Main Plaza RampAfter the prioritization process, design concept revisions, and Steering Committee design review, the Project Team presented the prioritization list and recommended tactical urbanism projects to the Atlanta Downtown Neighborhood Association (ADNA) and Castleberry Hill Neighborhood Association (CHNA) in February 2015. The Project Team asked for feedback on the top tactical urbanism projects for each station, listed in the following section.

Priority Projects for Five Points Station
• Re-design and mock-up a four-sided pylon sign
• Implement a mid-block crossing on Peachtree Street
• Remove the City of Atlanta kiosks at Broad Street Plaza
• Add seating in the Upper Plaza and at Alabama and Forsyth Street
• Add pop-up retail and vending in Upper Plaza
• Create tree socks for trees at Alabama and Forsyth Streets
• Install art on the MARTA Vents
• Paint a mural on the Peachtree Street entrance
• Add light art or art to the defunct sign in the Upper Plaza

 
 


Priority Projects for Garnett Station

• Re-design and mock-up a four-sided pylon sign
• Trim or remove trees blocking entrance views in the Main Plaza Ramp
• Add café seating at Brotherton Street entrance
• Paint tree trunks or add tree socks for color on Main Plaza Ramp
• Add string lighting and seating in the small flex plaza areas on the Main Plaza Ramp
• Create tree socks for trees at Alabama and Forsyth Streets
• Install art on the MARTA Vents
• Paint a mural on the Peachtree Street entrance
• Add light art or art to the defunct sign in the Upper Plaza

 

Implementation Timeline

The project team is currently working to transform the appearance and experience of the Five Points and Garnett station areas by incremental implementation of the design ideas identified by the project team's community outreach, research and review of best practices. Project plans are available in their entirety here:

Executive Summary

Full Report

For additional project information and details please contact Wesley Brown at wbrown at atlantadowntown.com or 404-658-5983.