Little Five Points project to improve safety of pedestrians, bicyclists, vehiclesA sense of perspective adds to the experience of Little Five Points. Credit: Kelly Jordan
By David Pendered
Little Five Points is to be a safer and more pleasant place to walk and bicycle upon completion of a project that got its start Monday with $290,000 in funding approved by the Atlanta City Council.
The money the council approved is to pay for a smart mobility improvement study for an area that stretches well beyond the crossroad that gives the place its name. The council approved the measure unanimously, without comment.
The study area reaches from Little Five Points to MARTA’s Inman Park/Reynoldstown Station. It encompasses neighborhoods on both sides of Moreland Avenue.
The project is part of an entire transformation of the area that some civic leaders have been working on since 2014. That’s when business leaders won the city’s approval to create a mechanism for owners of commercial properties in the area to fund projects in the L5P Community Improvement District.
The retooling of Findley Plaza was another CID project. The park is at the heart of the district and its new look includes the removal of railings around planters that were intended to keep people from sleeping in the planters or using them for personal needs.
Plans for the mobility improvement project calls for the L5P CID to manage the project on behalf of the city. Atlanta’s recently established Transportation Department is overseeing the project and is to approve any recommendations before any work might begin, according to terms of the draft agreement that traveled with the legislation.
The project is to be finished this year. The draft agreement does not set a target completion date. Craig Pendergrast, chair of the L5P CID is named, as the CID’s point person on the project.
The council tapped two sources of funding for the $290,000 project:
- Up to $190,000 is to come from the 1 percent sales tax for transportation that was approved by city voters. The money has three purposes – concept development, preliminary engineering and design, according to the enabling legislation.
- An additional $100,000 is to be provided by the Atlanta Regional Commission. It is to pay for preliminary engineering and design, plus cover the $14,500 allocated for project management.
The planning funds are divided between two geographic areas:
- Euclid Avenue – $190,000;
- Moreland Avenue area – $85,500.
The area now is congested with all manner of competing forms of transportation.
Pedestrians and bicyclists are in danger from vehicles whose drivers don’t always provide them right of way. Bicyclists and skateboarders cruise almost silently, sometimes startling pedestrians and vying for space with vehicles. E-scooters were an issue, until the pandemic reduced their numbers.
This is the entire scope of work that’s outlined in the legislation:
- “The Project would will [sic] develop options (up to 60% preliminary design) to improve safety and walkability along the Euclid Avenue Corridor and connecting streets within the Little Five Points area including the Inman Park/Reynoldstown MARTA Station.
- “The study and preliminary design will formulate wayfinding concepts, streetscape, design guidelines, and a new signage program to encourage efficient and safe movement of pedestrians, bicycles and vehicles throughout the Little 5 Points area. The project will recommend a diversity of types of public art to make the corridor attractive and interactive.
- “The project extends include Moreland Avenue from Dekalb Avenue to Mansfield Avenue and Euclid Avenue from Austin Avenue to Candler Street. Also includes parts of Seminole Avenue, Austin Avenue, Sinclair Avenue, Colquitt Avenue, Washita Avenue, Euclid Terrace, and Josephine Street.”