Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Mayor Franklin cuts ribbon on Peachtree Boulevard Phase I

The Peachtree Boulevard Transformation from Maple Drive to the Buckhead MARTA station is complete! Today, Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin joined community and business leaders to cut the ribbon on phase I of the transformation.

*** Photos from today’s ribbon cutting: http://www.peachtreeboulevard.com/ ***

“I know that Buckhead is setting the standard,” Franklin said. “Buckhead is a part of our community that prides itself on setting very high standards for livability for quality of life, and I know this project is going to set a new high standard for Atlanta.”

Walking along this stretch of Peachtree in Buckhead now means wider sidewalks protected by landscaped buffers and shaded by dozens of willow oaks. Planted medians ease the way across the new crosswalks with time-displayed signals. Better lighting improves the view at night. The choice to walk in Buckhead just got easier.

The Peachtree Boulevard Transformation is the major enhancement of a stretch of Peachtree Road in Buckhead into a more livable, walkable, bikable and drivable promenade. The transformation allows Peachtree to live up to its reputation as Atlanta’s “signature street,” making it a destination, not just a throughway.

“We want to get people out of cars by giving them an inviting place to walk,” said Buckhead neighborhood activist Sally Silver, who was instrumental in the conception of the transformation, which began in the mid ‘90s. “Put some trees and benches and some street lamps between you and that car coming down the highway, and it increases your comfort level. It makes people feel more welcome to be out there.”

Phase I is only the beginning. Phase II is longer and extends from the MARTA bridge to Roxboro Road north of Phipps Plaza. The Buckhead CID is working with GDOT to acquire right-of-way through purchase and donation. Pending the release of state funds, development of Phase II is set to begin in 2008.