Bike lanes, turn lane coming to Ponce

by Brian Gross

On Feb. 7, John Wolfinger and I attended the City and BeltLine’s Open House about the planned improvements to Ponce de Leon Avenue.

Here were the improvements discussed: note, #3 is a very big change!

1. Resurfacing of Ponce between Juniper and Briarcliff/Moreland (GDOT)

2. Pedestrian safety improvements between Piedmont and Briarcliff/Moreland (GDOT)

3. Improvements from Boulevard/Monroe to Freedom Parkway. (BeltLine)
This would reduce the number of traffic lanes from three in each direction, to two wider lanes in each direction but add:
a) a center lane for turns and with some pedestrian islands and
b) as far east as Ponce de Leon Place, a bike lane in each direction. The bike lanes will be buffered from the car traffic by barriers approx. 1 to 2 feet wide. Unfortunately, the road is not wide enough so that the bike lanes can stretch as far east as Freedom Parkway.

The City rep told us there is not a fixed date, but he expected the work to be completed in the summer.

4. Ponce City Market Plaza Interface (BeltLine)
- A plaza that will let pedestrians walk between the BeltLine and the rail shed along the east side of Ponce City Market. (The rail shed will be turned into retail and food outlets). The BeltLine is hoping that funding will also allow for a ramp at North Avenue.

Well, that will connect Ponce City Market – but what about access from Ponce itself, without going through the Market? (I asked). The City planning rep told me that there are plans for a ramp to the BeltLine from the CVS on Ponce and also the Ponce City Market is considering an elevator from the top level of the rail shed down to street level.

On a related note, here are some links to some additional projects underway in Midtown:  project descriptions on the Midtown Alliance website and a recent progress report published on the Midtown Patch site.

Please also see the full handout from the event below, and the map presented:
(note: a “HAWK” signal is a signal at a mid-block pedestrian crossing)

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