Downtown Decides! Results revealed in public vote of how to spend $1 million in transportation dollars

More pedestrian only zones in Fairlie-Poplar district received the most votes.

District 2 City Councilmember Amir Farokhi has announced the final results of his “Downtown Decides!” participatory budgeting pilot program – an initiative through which the public proposes ideas and then votes on how to spend public dollars.

Farokhi launched Downtown Decides! in December 2019 in collaboration with the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District. Residents were invited to submit their thoughts on how to best spend $1 million in available unspent Transportation Special-Purpose Local-Option Sales Tax (or T-SPLOST) dollars earmarked for transportation projects Downtown.

More than 100 proposals were submitted and they were vetted for feasibility by city officials before being placed on a final ballot of 33 ideas. After a month of online voting, 3,479 people voted with 17 projects chosen as winners.

“Given all that’s going on in the world, it speaks volumes that nearly 3,500 people took the time to vote. This was a small initiative in the grand scheme of things. But the lessons are clear. People want the chance to be more civically engaged. They want the opportunity for their great ideas to come to life. They want a direct say in the future of our city. I believe it’s incumbent on us as elected officials to provide opportunities like this. It makes for a stronger, more representative democracy in our city.”

He went on to express his excitement at the diversity of ideas represented.

“We are thrilled with the list of winners,” Farokhi continued. “There’s something for everyone – for pedestrians and cyclists, business owners, persons with disabilities, drivers looking to get where they’re going safely, and those who simply wanted to beautify our streets and improve the quality of life downtown. Everyone is a winner.”

Farokhi’s office will now work with the Atlanta Department of Transportation to develop a timeline for execution of the 17 winning projects. To see vote tallies and more details, visit www.district2atlanta.com/downtown-decides.

The winning projects:

  1. More “pedestrian only” zones in Fairlie-Poplar ($15,000) Install removable bollards in the Fairlie-Poplar district to create “pedestrian only” zones on Broad St. between Poplar St. and Walton St.

  2. Handicap access ramp at Williams St. and Peachtree St. ($6,000)

  3. Handicap access ramp at Ted Turner and Williams St. ($9,000)

  4. Paint dangerous island ($3,400) Paint median islands and/or install reflective delineators along Harris St at Peachtree Ctr Ave.

  5. Add 20 32-gallon trash and recycling cans along Auburn Ave. ($20,000)

  6. Extend Jackson St. Bike Lane ($45,000) Remove two?way left?turn lane along Jackson St. and convert to a single lane in each direction. Install 5?ft bike lane in each direction between Auburn Avenue and Irwin Street. This will include removing existing striping and adding new striping for two? lane roadway, bike lane striping, and parking striping.

  7. “Don’t Block the Box” ($20,000) Install “Don’t Block The Box” striping at 20 intersections in the heaviest travelled areas of the downtown grid: Peachtree St from Dekalb Ave to North Ave; Ted Turner Dr from Andrew Young Int’l Blvd to Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd; Baker Str from Piedmont Ave to Williams St.

  8. Marietta St. Cycle Track ($130,000) Install bicycle lanes along Marietta St between Edgewood Ave and Centennial Olympic Park Dr.

  9. “Complete Streets Peachtree” ($225,000) Complete Street striping along Peachtree St. from McGill Blvd to Ellis St. Includes basic infrastructure supports for scooters, cyclists, etc.

  10. Peachtree Center Ave. Cycle Track ($50,000) Install delineators for cycle track (e.g. striping, signs, reflectors) along Peachtree Center Ave from Int’l Blvd to Peachtree St

  11. “The Smooth Roads Act of 2019”  ($140,000) Repave Ivan Allen Jr Blvd between Peachtree St and West Peachtree St to address pothole and sidewalk issues.

  12. Edgewood Sidewalk Widening Phase I ($130,000) Design phase for plan to remove two?way left?turn lane and install 10?ft sidewalk along Edgewood Ave (both sides) between Jackson St and Boulevard. Project includes removal of existing two?way left?turn lane, installation of new centerline striping, bike lanes, on?street parking, new granite header curb, concrete driveways, concrete sidewalk, stormwater culverts and inlet structures, and utility relocation.

  13. Edgewood Avenue Loading Zone Revamp ($10,000) The removal of six parking spaces to accommodate lane shifts and a curbside loading? only zone at the corner of Boulevard and Edgewood. Also, bike lane protection will be installed at either end of the block to protect against right?turning vehicles.

  14. Sweet Auburn Wayfinding ($15,000) Creative wayfinding signs along Auburn Ave. to connect multiple historic sites

  15. Beg Button Removal ($40,000) Remove 60 (approx.) signal crossing buttons at the following intersections: Peachtree/Wall; Peachtree/Walton; Peachtree/Forsyth/Carnegie; W. Peachtree/Allen; Allen/Turner; Allen/Williams; Turner/International; COP/International; COP/Luckie; COP/Walton; COP/Marietta; Turner/Marietta; Forsyth/Marietta; Forsyth/Luckie.

  16. Stoplight Removal ($125,000) Study approximately 20 traffic signals Downtown to assess whether they get so little traffic that they can be removed.

  17. Sidewalk Furniture ($22,000) Decorative furniture and benches at the corner of Auburn Ave. and Hilliard St. by the Remerge building

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