Peachtree Steet Shared Space
CLIENT: City of Atlanta
Purpose of Project
Through this project, the City of Atlanta is redesigning a portion of Peachtree Street Downtown as a shared space, one that will function for the next generation of mobility and public life. While the new design as a shared space will continue to allow cars, it will shift the focus to creating safe and ample space for people to walk, bike, ride transit, gather, rest, and enjoy Downtown Atlanta. The redesign will create an iconic and essential civic space for Downtown Atlanta, where publicly-owned open space is limited and land costs are at a premium.
The potential redesign of Peachtree Street between Marietta Street and North Avenue in Downtown Atlanta is focused on making the corridor more pedestrian and bike friendly and will investigate design alternatives for opening the street. Some design features may include wider sidewalks, bike lanes, removal of curbs and temporary closures to traffic to encourage more pedestrian use in the street.
Our Role on the Project
Modern Mobility Partners (MMP) is responsible for evaluating the existing conditions of bicycles and pedestrians, including their access to and from transit stations and stops along the corridor. MMP was supposed to conduct in-person observations of how pedestrians and bicyclists use the corridor, but in light of COVID-19 and a lack of pedestrian activity, MMP is using historical data, photos, and traffic counts to infer how people use the corridor in their everyday lives.
MMP is also leading the traffic analysis using a subarea VISUM model developed by MMP as part of a separate project to understand how potential design changes to the corridor will impact vehicular traffic. Two scenarios will be developed, and impacts will be modeled including vehicle miles travelled, origin-destination patterns, and use of parallel facilities, among other measures. This analysis will feed into the overall scenario evaluation and prioritization.
The Peachtree Street corridor is the heart of downtown Atlanta. A shared space is a relatively new concept in the U.S. without many case studies to understand the impacts of the road network. MMP used VISUM modeling to simulate the shared space concept to measure the impacts to the vehicular road network. The model outputs indicate how much additional vehicular delay or traffic can be anticipated along Peachtree Street and surrounding streets. MMP worked with City of Atlanta staff and Toole Design to adjust vehicular capacity within the model and presented the information in a manner to help policy leaders make decisions that will be the most beneficial to residents, employees, and visitors of the area.