Project Summary

Toole Design led one of Downtown Atlanta’s signature projects, the redesign of Peachtree Street into a world-class shared space to bring people together and transform the way people move through Downtown. This project brought the City’s vision of a shared street to life by achieving buy-in from the public and stakeholders, integrating elements from previous plans, analyzing traffic patterns, and conducting environmental and historical due diligence. It also addressed unique considerations for Peachtree Street, including the integration of existing streetcar tracks, the impact of one-way streets, commuter bus staging, intersection design, and stormwater management.

The project’s community engagement included an advisory committee, a pair of week-long design workshops, a demonstration project, educational videos, an interactive project website, a WikiMap, and social media. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we shifted many of the engagement activities to virtual platforms.

A mockup layout of the Peachtree Shared Space Concept Report highlighting a selected group of pages from the document and project website.

To test the streetscape design concept, we developed a temporary demonstration project. Three blocks between Baker Street and Ellis Street changed temporarily in June 2021 to make more space for people and test the impact on vehicles. The demonstration included one travel lane in each direction, additional space for pedestrian areas, and a new mid-block crossing at Peachtree Center.

The temporary installation allowed the City to gather data on how the changes would function, and found that there was no significant delay in vehicle operations, emergency response time was improved, and general public sentiment was supportive of the additional seating areas.

Three images showing the demonstration project site, the finished demonstration project, and people enjoying the new changes.
Before and after the demonstration project

The project resulted in three final deliverables: a conceptual design study, an activation and programming strategy, and a draft Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) concept report. These deliverables included conceptual design, illustrations, cost estimates, traffic recommendations, phasing, public space activation strategies, and real estate activation strategies that gave the City design direction and set them up to pursue Federal and other funding opportunities.

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