City to Study Parking, Traffic Around Piedmont Park
Study is response to neighborhood's growing concerns about large events at the park.
The Atlanta City Council on Monday commissioned a parking and traffic study for the neighborhoods and streets around Piedmont Park.
“This is an opportunity for us to bring city policy into Midtown’s 21st century," Dist. 2 Councilman Kwanza Hall said Monday in an announcement.
"One of my hopes for the study is that it will provide a blueprint for other intown neighborhoods whose local parks and streets are becoming increasingly popular with festival and event organizers," Hall said.
Neighborhood leaders in Midtown this year have been very vocal about their frustrations with festivals at Piedmont Park. Many residents say large events are causing parking and traffic issues, as well as safety concerns.
“This legislation is a result of concerns that have been expressed to me by communities directly impacted by the festivals and events occurring in Piedmont Park,” Post 1 At-Large Councilman Michael Julian Bond said. Bond drafted the legislation to commission the study.
In May, Neighborhood Planning Unit E voted not to recommend the approval of the Atlanta Jazz Festival’s special event permit. The NPU-E board didn't agree with closing 10th Street for the event. But their showing of opposition did nothing to prevent the street from closing or the festival from happening.
After that, local leaders began pressing for greater oversight in the event planning process. The Midtown Neighbors’ Association conducted a survey this summer about festivals and collected more than 200 responses.
"The city looks forward to working with the various neighborhood associations and park advocacy groups to come up with a solution that will not only preserve the quality of life of nearby neighbors, but will also allow visitors continued access to our city’s premier, centrally located park," Dist. 6 Councilman Alex Wan said Monday in an announcement.
Under the new legislation, a study committee will be formed of city officials, as well as representatives from the Atlanta Police Department, Piedmont Park Conservancy, Atlanta Botanical Garden, Midtown Neighbors' Association, Ansley Park Civic Association, Neighborhood Planning Unit E and other nearby neighborhood groups.
The panel will work to identify the available parking options for Piedmont Park, the area's traffic patterns and possible solutions for the future.
“I look forward to facilitating an open dialogue between the pertinent city departments and our constituents," Bond said.
City officials hope to start the study this year and finish by March, CBS Atlanta reports. The study shouldn't cost any money, Wan told the television station.
What do you think of this effort? Is a study necessary? Tell us in the comments.