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Peachtree Center Avenue Cycle Track

In July of 2015, Central Atlanta Progress and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District worked with the City of Atlanta to deliver the Peachtree Center Avenue Cycle Track, to support the need and desire to accommodate cycling in Downtown Atlanta. A cycle track is a separated bicycle facility that runs alongside a roadway. The proposed cycle track will convert the westernmost northbound lane on Peachtree Center Avenue to a two-way, 8-foot-wide cycle track with 2-foot minimum buffer delineated by thermoplastic striping, flexible plastic posts, and durable green pavement markings in conflict zones. On-street parking and/or formal loading zones will be provided along the east side of Peachtree Center Avenue. Project support was based on citywide goals, as well as the vision for the continued revitalization of Downtown.

Background and Project Genesis

In response to Mayor Reed’s goal to increase the number of commute trips made by bike within the city and the subsequent effort to accommodate the growing need for safe cycling facilities in the City of Atlanta, the City created the CycleAtlanta Plan 1.0 (see Corridor A for Peachtree Center Ave) to create “high-priority” bicycle routes throughout the city. The information was collected using a mobile application that culled the geospatial information of cyclist on to illustrate highly trafficked cyclist routes (see example data collection below).

Courtesy of Cycle Atlanta mobile application data  
Downtown community celebrating the Inaugural Ride ceremony

That information was then overlaid with existing roadway capacity and physical functions to establish the resulting high-priority routes that are intended to facilitate bicycle use throughout the city.

Data collected identified Peachtree St as the major north-south thoroughfare for cyclist movements through Downtown; however, the lack of existing ROW, topography and conflict with the Streetcar guideway, precluded Peachtree St. Thus, Peachtree Center Ave was selected as the alternative. Peachtree Center Ave possessed similar central connectivity functions, flat topography and excess roadway capacity. Prior to the development of the cycle track, engineers studied Peachtree Center Ave’s overall vehicular throughput at various points of the day and then used forecast modeling to predict the proposed changes’ which included the removal of one through lane. Also note, that all models incorporated the previous cross section of Peachtree Center Ave as 3-throughlanes because of the sporadic stopping, loading and parking that rendered at least one of the curb lanes unnavigable. The resulting data projected ‘inconsequential delay’ during most periods of travel throughout the day and a slight increase, deemed tolerable, in delay during the PM peak period.

The project team worked closely with the Downtown community and all of the property owners along the street with the intent of proactively addressing concerns about the modification.  Some of the concerns and conflicts were easier to address, while others admittedly involved compromises; however, at all times final design decisions were based on safety considerations for all roadway users. CAP/ADID is committed to the on-going monitoring and evaluation of the cycle track to ensure that it is a safe facility for not only cyclists, but pedestrians and cars as well.  As the cycling network expands across the city and this type of facility is introduced in additional locations we have to make it work in the existing context of the city.

CAP/ADID is striving to serve all modes of transportation in Downtown and ppon completion in the Summer of 2015 the Peachtree Center Ave Cycle Track provides a critical link to other cycling facilities planned in Downtown on Peachtree Street, John Portman Boulevard, Edgewood Avenue and Auburn Avenue, as well as a citywide network proposed by the CycleAtlanta plan.

In an effort to accommodate the growing need for safe cycling facilities in the City of Atlanta, the City created the CycleAtlanta plan – a supplement to the Connect Atlanta plan – aimed toward creating “high-priority” bicycle routes. The resulting high-priority routes are intended to further multimodal transit options and facilitate bicycle usage throughout the city.

If you have questions or comments about the project please contact Wesley Brown at wbrown at atlantadowntown.com.