Atlanta councilman proposes 'car-free' Peachtree Street for limited time

Imagine Peachtree Street in Downtown and Midtown Atlanta without cars.

Atlanta City Council member Amir Farokhi said blocking off Peachtree Street from Mitchell to 14th streets for a few hours a month will be fun for the average person—and benefit business.

He has proposed the street go "car-less" from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. one Sunday a month, from 14th to Mitchell. That includes a stretch of road near Underground Atlanta.

"It gives people the opportunity to enjoy the area on foot," he said.

If the idea sounds familiar, that's because the Atlanta Streets Alive initiative has done something similar for the past decade, blocking off heavy traffic streets for only cyclists and people walking by.

Council also tried to get a similar idea off the ground last year, but they pushed for four "car-free" hours every Sunday. 

At the time, city leaders and business owners agreed that'd be a bit much. 

This year's proposal would only happen 12 times a year starting in 2023. Council will discuss the plan at Wednesday's transportation meeting.

"Blocking off a street like this is a global phenomenon," Farokhi said. 

"I come from France," Eliza Gicquel said. "I think it's a great idea. We do this in Paris on Sundays, and it cuts back on pollution."

Gary Mc said Peachtree is a major thoroughfare that shouldn't be blocked, but Omer Gungoren whose family owns nearby Anatolia restaurant, says he's open to the idea.

"I mean look around, people are always walking down here," he said.

Whether residents think this will cause a traffic nightmare, or absolutely love the idea, City Council wants to hear about. 

Comments can be sent by email before the transportation meeting Wednesday and before it goes up for consideration next week.