Part of Old Fourth Ward will be closed off to traffic

A portion of the Old Fourth Ward in Atlanta will soon be closed off to traffic on weekends. 

Edgewood Avenue between Boulevard and Jackson Street will be closed off to cars starting the second week of June. 

Johnny Martinez and Brandon Ley are owners of the Georgia Beer Garden and Joystick. The two businesses are on Edgewood Avenue.

The two have been pushing the city of Atlanta for changes to the area for the last seven years. 

"We have the streetcar, we have MARTA, we have Uber, we have great bike lanes, we're getting protected bike lanes soon. That last missing element is pedestrian access," Ley said. 

"Our sidewalks are not particularly large, so people are already walking in the street. And having cars and people, that's just not a good combo," Martinez said. 

As thousands flock to the area to enjoy the nightlife of this neighborhood, it has also become an area for crime and activities like street racing 

"A part of that means we get people who aren't necessarily participating in the bars, a lot of car stunts and tricks. That's fun to watch, but it's not pedestrian-friendly. We don't want people to come down here and get hit by a car," Martinez said. 

The two said they hope this is just the beginning of changes to improve the neighborhood they love. 

"It's a good area to be in. It's diverse, it's exciting, it's interesting," Ley said. "We like being here. We just want something a little more respectful to where we are." 

Martinez and Ley said they've been told the barricades will go up on Fridays and will be removed on Mondays. 

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