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Project Profile: 5th Street Complete Street Project

5th Street Complete Street Project - Atlanta, Georgia

A rendering of possible typical conditions on 5th Street after project completion. Source: (Credit: Midtown Alliance)

CIFS Tool Categories: Value Capture (Transportation Utility Fees)

Project Name 5th Street Complete Street Project
Location Atlanta, GA
Project Sponsor / Borrower Midtown Alliance
Program Areas Value Capture
Value Capture Techniques Community Improvement Districts
Mode Local Road / Multimodal
Pedestrian / Bicycle / Light Rail Transit

In Atlanta, 5th Street is a key east-west corridor that connects Georgia Tech, the Midtown Improvement District, and the Midtown Garden District, and is one of the most popular multimodal streets in the city. Presently, 5th Street sees up to 15,000 pedestrians, 1,000 cyclists, and 8,000 vehicles daily. Current and anticipated future development along the corridor is expected to increase activity, requiring vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycle improvements to keep up.

The 5th Street corridor plan (0.6 mi from Myrtle Street west to the downtown connector at Williams Street) includes pedestrian amenities and improvements such as replacing damaged sidewalks and curbing, additional and upgraded Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ramps and crosswalks at all intersections, complete pedestrian lighting for safety, and infill street trees and furniture.

Two of the primary design goals of the project is to avoid moving curb lines and impacting private right-of-way in order to keep costs down and avoid extending the project delivery timeline. The width of the public right-of-way within Tech Square allows for the inclusion of bollards and on-street parking to provide a barrier from the vehicular travel lanes. The width of the public right-of-way east of Tech Square, however, does not allow for the inclusion of bollards or similar barriers. The project design includes a two-way cycle track designed to meet accepted design standards and allow safe passage of cyclists/scooter riders. The cycle track will be separated from the vehicular travel lanes by bollards and on-street parked cars.

In addition, there is a dedicated bike crossing phase, followed by a leading pedestrian interval and a traditional vehicular phase to facilitate safe crossings for pedestrians, cyclists, and scooter riders. The design also includes upgraded existing bike lanes and signage, milling and repaving damaged portions of the roadway to improve the experience for both drivers and cyclists, and restriping the bike lane in those sections of the roadway.

The changes will not eliminate Tech Trolley operations in Tech Square. The proposed design offers a raised mixing zone, which considers all modes and includes signage, tactile warning strips, and surface material change to alert users to the mixing zone area.

The Midtown Alliance’s design team Tunnell-Spangler-Walsh & Associates (TSW), and in partnership with the City of Atlanta’s Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (TSPLOST) TSPLOST Program, began the design and engineering phase in 2018. Work proceeded through 2019 and 2020 to complete an existing conditions survey and analysis, coordinate with the city and stakeholders, and create a conceptual and schematic design. They also developed construction documents and secured city approvals and permitting.

Cost $2.25 million
Funding Sources
  • $0.75 million from million Midtown Improvement District funds
  • $1.50 million from City of Atlanta’s TSPLOST funds
Project Delivery / Contract Method Design-Bid-Build
Private Partner Businesses
Project Advisors / Consultants
  • TSW
  • City of Atlanta’s TSPLOST Program
  • Alta Planning + Design
  • Croy Engineering
Lenders N/A
Duration / Status The project began in 2018 by soliciting public input on the existing conditions of 5th Street. After receiving feedback from the public and key project stakeholders, the design team revised the concept design to preserve parking spaces and add elevation to mid-block crossings. Design, engineering, and permitting will continue through 2020 with construction projected to begin in mid-2021.
Financial Status/Financial Performance The project has secured $750,000 in Midtown Improvement District funds and $1.5 million in the City of Atlanta’s TSPLOST Program funds for construction. The project is currently under construction.
  • Complete Street to improve safety, better health, stronger economies for the district, reduce costs, provide mobility choices, and smarter growth
  • Design improve safety by reducing crashes through safety improvements
  • Address and improve multimodal transportation and make the road safer for cars, buses, cyclists, ride-shares and pedestrians.
  • The two-way cycle track allows the project to achieve better safety for cyclists/scooter riders-especially those who may not be as confident as experienced riders-while still maintaining on-street parking.
  • Retain the existing trolley stops while having the stops facilitate safe travel of cyclists/scooter riders, safe pedestrian crossings, and space for trolley riders to board.
  • Utilized Value Capture Strategies to accelerate project, Community Improvement District & Local Sales Tax District
  • Effective Stakeholder communication and outreaches to mix users
Related Links / Articles
Contact Name Dan Hourigan
Title Director, Transportation & Sustainability, Midtown Alliance
Phone # N/A
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