Attendees at the first Atlanta Downtown Master Plan meeting offer their suggestions on transportation needs.
Attendees at the first Atlanta Downtown Master Plan meeting offer their suggestions on transportation needs.

More than a hundred residents, business owners and other stakeholders converged on Marietta Street’s Gallery 72 on Tuesday night for the first Downtown Atlanta Master Plan open house and meeting.

Hosted by Central Atlanta Progress, the interactive meeting gave attendees the chance to visit various stations to talk about and prioritize what they believe are Downtown’s most pressing transportation needs.

“This is the first meeting in a much longer process over the next eight to 10 months on the future growth and revitalization of Downtown,” said Jennifer Ball, CAP’s Vice President of Planning and Economic Development.

Georgia State University professor of planning and economic development, Dr. Joseph Hacker, touched on some of the areas of transportation that the city wants to focus on, including pedestrian safety and access, bicycling, and bus and rail service.

GSU Professor Dr. Joseph Hacker discussed areas of focus for Downtown’s transportation needs.

The last major iteration of the master plan was 2003’s Imagine Downtown. Ball said that since then there has been more than $4 billion invested in Downtown. The continuing redevelopment of Centennial Olympic Park, Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, Center for Civil and Human Rights and College Football Hall of Fame are just some of the big projects completed in the last decade.

Sure to be part of the ongoing master plan discussion is The Stitch, the ambitious plan to reconnect the heart of the city by capping the Downtown Connector with a ¾-mile platform extending from the Civic Center MARTA station at West Peachtree Street to Piedmont Avenue. This new space would create urban greenspace and foster new development both atop and adjacent to the platform.

Also factoring into Downtown’s future is the transformation of historic Underground Atlanta into a mixed-use development.

CAP is encouraging residents to give their feedback about transportation and other aspects of the master plan via the planDowntownATL.com website or at facebook.com/PlanDowntownATL. On Twitter, use the hashtag #planDowntownATL or visit the Instagram account @planDowntownATL. You can also email your thoughts to plan@atlantadowntown.com.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.