Recommendations for Memorial Drive improvements move forward

Posted by March 5, 2015
Attendees study proposals for improving the Memorial Drive corridor. Photo by By Kim Hutcherson

Attendees at a presentation in October 2014 study proposals for improving the Memorial Drive corridor. File Photo by By Kim Hutcherson

By Kim Hutcherson, contributor

The recommendations of the Imagine Memorial Design Studio could be a step closer to becoming reality.

Atlanta City Councilmember Natalyn Archibong has introduced a measure that would create the Imagine Memorial Task Force. The proposed 27-member task force would supervise approval, adoption and implementation of plans.

“Now that the design plan is complete, it is time to implement those ideas,” Councilmember Archibong said. “This task force will work alongside the community to review the plans and have them officially adopted by the City and the Atlanta Regional Commission to ensure that future development, infrastructure decisions, and new projects are done correctly.”

Archibong is hoping to get some of the recommendations approved under the ARC’s Living Centers Initiative. LCI awards planning grants. That means Imagine Memorial ideas could be grandfathered into current ARC grants. That could help pay for some of the proposed transportation improvements recommended by students at Georgia Tech’s prestigious School of City and Regional Planning.

Archibong pushed for Georgia Tech to choose Memorial Drive as the subject of the year’s Design Studio class.

Every year, the studio selects an urban feature in Atlanta for analysis. Students have examined Atlantic Station, the Beltline, Northside Drive and Fort McPherson.

The students in this year’s class presented their final report last December. Their top recommendations for Memorial Drive included:

– Extending reversible lanes

– Improving signage

– Reworking some key intersections, like Whitefoord Avenue and Cottage Grove Avenue.

Students also recommended focusing on other forms of travel that don’t require a car, like walking, biking or mass transit.

Archibong’s proposal was referred to the Atlanta City Council’s Community Development & Human Resources Committee.

Committee members will discuss the matter at their next meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, March 10 at 12:30 pm, in the Council Chamber at Atlanta City Hall.


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  • Rick Derris

    Is the recommendation to extend the reversible lanes accurate? In reading the original article the task force was told that the residents told them the suicide lanes were a concern.
    So, they’re wanting to extend them?
    I hope that’s not true.

    • We haven’t heard anything different. A task force is a long way from implementation. I’m sure there will be additional opportunities for input before anything gets started. We will let you know when those opportunities are available

    • Sophist

      The plan reduces three-lane to four-lane transitions and also four-lane to three-lane transitions by 33%. The transitions are the dangerous part of the road — not the lanes themselves. Extending the reversible lane will help eliminate two of the most dangerous transitions where head-on collisions are of major concern. Reducing the number of lanes in parts of Memorial Dr also assists in calming traffic speeds.
      I happen to live on Memorial Dr and have attended every single task force meeting hosted by the city. I spoke at great length with the architects and government planners about lane solutions for Memorial Dr, and I fully support this final draft being put forward by the task force.

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