Atlanta’s Martin Luther King Jr. Drive may be taking on a new moniker as the city’s “Street of Dignity,” if language catches on that appears in the city’s announcement of progress on the plan to retool the roadway into a complete street.
Atlanta is moving forward with plans to create a pleasant place to walk and cycle along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, all the way from the future Falcons stadium to Fulton Industrial Boulevard. A new linear park is to be built.
A committee of the Atlanta City Council tapped the brakes Tuesday on what had been a fast-moving proposal to allow Martin Luther King Jr. Drive to be rerouted in a way that’s said to provide for VIP parking at the new Falcons stadium.
Instead of fast-tracking the proposal, Utilities Committee Chairperson Natalyn Mosby Archibong won support for her suggestion that the committee convene a work session on topics involving the MLK Drive corridor. The impact of such a delay on the stadium project is unclear, but some reports suggest the stadium design is not so far along that it couldn’t be changed if MLK Drive is to be left intact.
Hans Utz, Mayor Kasim Reed’s deputy COO, told the committee that concerns about the proposal are premature until after Atlanta has agreed to abandon land to facilitate the stadium. Meanwhile, the city’s control over six parcels of land is said to be the last bit of leverage Atlanta has over the stadium project.
A planned VIP parking lot at the future Falcons stadium will require a virtual dead end of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive at the stadium, and will affect the road’s ability to become the grand boulevard envisioned by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.
[Scroll down the story to see a gallery of photos of the Martin Luther King Jr. Drive corridor.]
The first public discussion of this proposal is scheduled Tuesday morning during the Atlanta City Council’s Utilities Committee.
The Falcons contend fans will benefit from VIP parking and related traffic management plan that will enhance their game-day experience. Others disagree.