David points to this op-ed on the Saporta Report by Atlanta-based landscape architect and urban designer Mike Morgan urging Atlanta to use Decatur as its model to “reorient growth to people”. Here are a couple of interesting blurbs…
Fortunately, we do not have go very far to find a great example the results that can be achieved through a change of direction.
Decatur is the place, and it is right next door. Decatur made a radical choice to reorient itself to the realm of the pedestrian. They went on a road diet. They narrowed Ponce De Leon Ave. to two lanes. They replaced auto capacity with shady sidewalks, on-street parking, and bike lanes. They focused a vibrant living environment right on top of their fine downtown train station.
…Atlanta, to date, lacks a focused commitment to an urbane lifestyle. Look at the areas surrounding most of the intown train stations. While originally envisioned as community centers, policies were never put in place to make transit development desirable.
Stations are separated from users by blasted looking parking lots, high fences, atrocious urban design, dangerous roadways and sprawling commercial districts. The stations are not friendly to pedestrians or bicyclists. Is there any wonder that few people use them?
Related to these observations, does anyone with a deep MARTA history know why the North/South line runs close to, but not directly under Peachtree Street?