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New Projects Make Downtown Streets Safer, More Accessible

July 03, 2023

This summer, Courtland Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive are being transformed to help keep pedestrians and bicyclists safe.

Atlanta Downtown Improvement District (ADID) is leading the effort with support from ATLDOT and other local partners. The centerpieces of the two projects are an expanded sidewalk on Courtland Street and a protected bike lane on MLK Drive.

Work is underway—or, in the case of Courtland Street, is already completed. Last week, ADID unveiled their improved sidewalk along the west side of the street between Renaissance Parkway and Currier Street. 

Sections of this car-heavy one-way road previously did not have any sidewalk at all, or the existing infrastructure was too narrow or damaged to be considered safe and accessible. The project added and expanded the sidewalk along this stretch of Courtland, drastically improving walkability. It also included planting trees and landscaping, creating new curb ramps at intersections, and installing new pedestrian signals, crosswalks, and a new granite curb. Enhancements also include stormwater mitigation tactics to reduce flooding.

The project was a collective effort between corridor stakeholders and ADID and is part of a larger influx of investment in the SoNo area, including hundreds of new residential units at 505 Courtland.

Further south, work has begun on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive’s protected two-way bike lane between Capitol Avenue and Forsyth Street. The project will not only create dedicated space for bicyclists but will also help slow vehicle speeds on the street, making it more hospitable overall. ATLDOT recently completely resurfaced the roadway—including the new cycle track—as part of the larger Downtown Resurfacing project. Work is set to wrap on MLK later this summer.

Both the Courtland Street and the MLK Drive projects align with ADID’s Downtown Atlanta Master Plan, which was approved by the City of Atlanta in 2017. One of the plan’s pillars is enhancing the city center “through much-needed design improvements that make it safer and more accessible, adding to the overall livability of Downtown.”“What’s notable about these projects is the speed at which we were able to complete them,” said Stacy Grolimund, Senior Project Manager of Transportation at ADID. “They’re proof that through collaboration with local partners and the City of Atlanta, we can make real progress in a short amount of time.”

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