Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Should some of intown Atlanta's one-way streets become two-way?

Posted By on Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Some intown community leaders and business owners are examining whether Piedmont Avenue and Juniper, West Peachtree and Spring streets — all one-way roads which encourage high speeds and lane changes — should become two-way, a move that they think might boost pedestrian activity and slow down traffic. Midtown Patch's Amy Wenk quotes several business leaders at a Midtown neighborhood meeting last week:

Scott Selig, vice president of real estate firm Selig Enterprises, said two-way streets are better for business.

"The one-way streets are not appealing" for prospective tenants, said the developer whose company partnered with Daniel Corporation on the upscale 12th & Midtown development that includes the Loews Atlanta Hotel. Juniper Street runs along the east side of the property.

One-way streets allow high-speed traffic to cut through town. They are not forgiving to people who are searching for a business entrance. It's too easy to miss your turn on a one-way street.

"It really becomes an ordeal for someone to figure out the best way to get to you," Selig said.

Retailers are more successful along two-way streets because traffic goes slower and drivers can easily turn around if necessary, he said.

The proposal, which we first heard about in 2007 during the creation of the city's first-ever transportation plan, is still in the very early stages and would require more studies. As Wenk notes, allowing two-way traffic along Spring and West Peachtree streets would require talks with the Georgia Department of Transportation, which maintains portions of the roads.

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