Monday, March 2, 2015

Bring shared space back to Atlanta

Photo posted by u/the-mp
I recently stumbled across this old photo on r/Atlanta, from around 1928. It shows Five Points looking northeast; Edgewood and Decatur Street. Today this area is in the heart of Atlanta's central business district and the hub for its MARTA train system.

Notice how pedestrians and motorists are just mingling and filtering through each other. This is clearly a productive and vibrant intersection with a robust mixing of humanity. Today the balance of power in Atlanta's public spaces has swung dramatically too far in favor of cars. Its neighborhoods contain lots of exciting little commercial and social clusters, but often the potential of these spaces is hindered by cars moving through at high speeds. Little Five Points and Candler park could be dramatically improved if we ditched the cars altogether or scrapped the traffic lights and converted key intersections into true shared space.

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