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Old 09-13-2015, 04:28 PM
 
10,541 posts, read 7,515,727 times
Reputation: 3322

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MARTA to help drive success of new Falcons stadium - Saporta Report / ABC

Quote:
Atlanta Falcons executives view MARTA as one of the top selling points of the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

As evidence, they are working with the City of Atlanta on a pedestrian bridge that will cross over Northside Drive to connect the Vine City MARTA station with the new stadium.

The City of Atlanta has issued a request-for-proposals for a “design-build” 15-foot-wide and 110-foot-long pedestrian bridge over Northside Drive to “provide pedestrians safe and unimpeded access” to the Mecedes-Benz Stadium. Proposals are due Sept. 30.

...

In a 2014 survey of their fans, they found that 57 percent of MARTA riders expressed satisfaction with their combined arrival and departure experience. That compared to an average of 38 percent for fans driving to the Georgia Dome — or a 50 percent higher satisfaction rate.

Also, of all the fans surveyed, about 35 percent took public transportation.

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank plus several members of his team recently held a meeting with Keith Parker, MARTA’s general manager and CEO. The meeting lasted more than two hours and explored a variety of ways that MARTA and Mercedes-Benz Stadium could work more closely together through marketing, co-branding and partnerships.

“It’s a great credit to Keith and MARTA that fans are saying that the best way to get to the games is MARTA,” Blank said in a recent interview. “We are open to doing anything we can do to create a higher level experience for our fans. MARTA has been a good partner for us. And obviously public transportation was one of the reasons we picked our site downtown.

The growing partnership is both a physical one and marketing one.

“We have spent the past year talking with them and working with them on how to design the Vine City Station to best serve the fans for the games as well as serve those who live in the neighborhood all the time,” Parker said. “If you are trying to move 15,000 people in a very short period of time, an overpass can work well.”

There is concern, however, that an overpass would detract from a pedestrian experience at street level.
There are many different people currently involved in designing plans for how to create a friendly connection between the Westside communities and the overwhelming buildings on the other side of Northside Drive — the Georgia World Congress Center, the Georgia Dome (which will eventually be torn down) and the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which will open in 2017.

When asked about the pedestrian bridge over Northside Drive, Blank responded, “It’s in the plans. It’s going to get built. It will happen. But there are a lot of other enhancements to Northside Drive that need to happen to make it more pedestrian-friendly. All of that is not going to happen by 2017.”

Because it is a state highway, the future design of Northside Drive will need the buy-in of the Georgia Department of Transportation. Several people involved in the community are hoping that GDOT will make it a “complete street” with wide sidewalks, bicycle paths and perhaps a landscaped median as well as well-defined crosswalks.

A.J. Robinson, president of Central Atlanta Progress and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, has hired engineering firm Kimley-Horn and Associates “to raise our collective consciousness to what the community could do to improve the pedestrian experience along Northside Drive” from the new stadium to Ivan Allen Boulevard.

“These ideas are aspirational and include sidewalk improvements, new pedestrian crossings and other enhancements that would create a better feel between the neighborhood and property owners on the west side of Northside Drive and the new stadium and GWCC campus on the east side,” Robinson added.
Mayor Reed agreed. “I’m on board with having a boulevard feel to Northside Drive,” he said.

But Robinson brought in a reality check saying it will take money to make those pedestrian improvements.
“We need to figure out how we can prioritize and implement these ideas,” Robinson said. “Of course, access to the Vine City MARTA Station and plans for the redesign of the station will be critically important to the experience of pedestrians.”

When it comes to the pedestrian bridge, Mayor Reed said he is prepared to increase the budget so that it will have a top quality design. Several parties will be able to weigh in on the bridge and the surrounding pedestrian improvements.

“There are a lot of discussions going on about that with lots of interested parties — the city, the community, Georgia World Congress Center, MARTA, Central Atlanta Progress and us,” McKay said. “We have had meetings, and we will have more meetings, and I can assure you that connectivity is a major part of it. We are certainly a proponent of the bridge, but we also understand that the ultimate design of it is important.”

Parker said that MARTA will have an opportunity to give input.

“It would be their design that we would give comments on to make sure it makes sense for MARTA,” said Parker, adding that the street design was at least as important. “We favor creating bikeable, walkable pathways. MARTA wants to play into the concept of creating a great place for people to come to instead of people just staying in their cars.”

The different players also need to decide what will happen to the three-block stump known as the old Martin Luther King Jr. Drive between Northside and Tatnall Street. What is now Mitchell Street will become the new Martin Luther King Jr. Drive from Northside to Tatnall Street.

One idea: turn it into a pedestrian mall with street-level retail on both sides
.

...
(emphasis mine)

All sounds great. Hopefully Blank is funding the walkway though.

Last edited by jsvh; 09-13-2015 at 05:21 PM..
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Old 09-13-2015, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Valdosta (Atlanta Native)
3,530 posts, read 3,073,827 times
Reputation: 2330
Too bad it's too late for the Braves to learn this.
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Old 09-13-2015, 05:45 PM
 
Location: atlanta
4,183 posts, read 4,869,339 times
Reputation: 3540
i'm really glad they're keeping their promise to the neighbourhood, although i hope we see blank funding projects that have direct benefits to the community. the bridge is just a walkway to get fans to the stadium faster; the fact that people will use it at other times is just a bonus to get the community to go along with it.
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Old 09-13-2015, 06:09 PM
 
188 posts, read 128,234 times
Reputation: 139
The Braves are moving to be more geographically centered for their fanbase. Moving decreases travel times for their fans as a whole. Plus it eliminates the need to ride urine soaked MARTA.
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Old 09-13-2015, 06:31 PM
 
Location: Prescott, AZ
5,554 posts, read 3,043,942 times
Reputation: 2254
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirkMcGirt View Post
The Braves are moving to be more geographically centered for their fanbase. Moving decreases travel times for their fans as a whole. Plus it eliminates the need to ride urine soaked MARTA.
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Old 09-13-2015, 06:45 PM
 
Location: Decatur, GA
5,292 posts, read 4,031,576 times
Reputation: 2817
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirkMcGirt View Post
The Braves are moving to be more geographically centered for their fanbase. Moving decreases travel times for their fans as a whole. Plus it eliminates the need to ride urine soaked MARTA.
What is a urine soaked MARTA? Can't say I know where there's one around Atlanta.
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Old 09-13-2015, 07:25 PM
 
559 posts, read 661,562 times
Reputation: 512
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattCW View Post
What is a urine soaked MARTA? Can't say I know where there's one around Atlanta.
I think Mr. McGirt was insinuating that some of MARTA's riders might have an alcohol-weakened bladder sphincter.

Had a few college friends with that problem. Can mess up a good couch in one night.
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Old 09-13-2015, 07:28 PM
 
188 posts, read 128,234 times
Reputation: 139
McGirt is saying that MARTA is dirty and smells like urine.
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Old 09-13-2015, 07:34 PM
 
Location: Jonesboro
3,266 posts, read 3,248,048 times
Reputation: 3697
He's used that line here before & will again. It's his signature trade mark given that he's a newbie w/ a (single) point to make.
Funny thing is, I use MARTA for my daily commute & I don't know what he's taking about.
I've dropped GRTA mostly due to the Midtown street congestion delays during the pm commute & wish that I'd switched over to the train years ago!

Last edited by atler8; 09-13-2015 at 07:35 PM.. Reason: left out a line
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Old 09-13-2015, 07:38 PM
 
Location: Decatur, GA
5,292 posts, read 4,031,576 times
Reputation: 2817
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirkMcGirt View Post
McGirt is saying that MARTA is dirty and smells like urine.
What MARTA? I only know of the bus/rail system named that here in Atlanta and it doesn't smell like urine except a few elevators and that one stairwell at Five Points.
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