Improve Atlanta’s traffic flow, add safety, and create memorable public places in the same move?
Road engineers and urban planners have determined that well-designed modern roundabouts / traffic circles save human lives, and make traffic flow smoother than a typical intersection with traffic lights.
Here are 12 important Atlanta intersections that could possibly be studied by the experts, if Atlantans like any of the ideas. Also, roundabouts are excellent place-makers, giving great locations for public art, fountains, and parks. A landmark for every neighborhood!
Midtown: 1oth & Peachtree
This could include a dynamic modern piece of art– homage to Margaret Mitchell? Or, to the hippies & gays that resurrected Midtown in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s!
West Midtown: Northside Drive at 14th St
Maybe sculpture relating to Atlanta’s Industrial past? Or more related to a Design District?
Fox Theatre Historic District: Ponce @ W. Peachtree
This one would be perfect to commemorate explorer Ponce De Leon’s Fountain of Youth evocative of memories of Ponce Springs, the namesake for the road. It should relate to the old architecture of the Fox, The Ponce, and the Indigo Hotel. Lore holds that Ponce De Leon’s journey took him roughly through the area.
Old Fourth Ward: Boulevard at Ralph McGill
Modern sculpture that commemorates destroyed Buttermilk Bottom due to the Great Fire of Atlanta?
Piedmont Park: 10th at Virginia & Monroe
I like this location for a grand Beaux-arts design related to the 1895 Cotton States Exposition, perhaps with homage to Booker T Washington’s “Atlanta compromise” speech.
English Avenue & Vine City: Northside at Ivan Allen
Many notable Atlantans have lived near here including Gladys Knight & the Pips, MLK Jr, Maynard Jackson, Marvin Arrington, Herman Cain, etc., so the neighborhood could select whom they would like to honor. Or, perhaps a green landscape with flowers, or an oversized piece of modern art.
East Atlanta: Moreland @ Glenwood
The Battles for Atlanta were fought all around here, or perhaps something extra-funky, like East Atlanta.
Cheshire Bridge / LaVista: @Lindebergh
Perhaps something very mid-century, as all of this area was developed in the 1950’s and 1960’s.
Bellwood: Hollowell at Lowery
Ansley / Morningside: Piedmont at Monroe
I’m thinking monumental and colorful…
perfect for tasteful and subtle sculpture…
South Downtown: Broad at Trinity
Since this is the oldest area of the city, perhaps something Victorian would be fitting. Hotel Row Historic District is nearby.
There are many ways to make the roundabouts into a landmark. Here are some more examples from all over the world:
And, finally, some great public art which could be used in a roundabout or in Atlanta Parks: