Apparently, Curbed Atlanta won’t let me comment on any of their posts without technical issues, so I thought that I’d deliberate on their latest post. There was a conversation just today about “capping” the Downtown Connector. Aesthetically, when Atlanta is viewed, what you see is a huge gray scab running through a sea of green and tall skyscrapers. Or someone would give you a peach. But what if all that gray was covered?
I absolutely LOVE this idea. Imagine the possibilities that could be done if the Downtown Connector was out of sight and out of mind. Of course, we have to pay homage to the geniuses at Georgia Tech who were already over this idea with the Fifth Street Pedestrian Bridge. If there were residential abodes in that area, THAT would be the prime example of smart growth in Atlanta.
But back to the cap. Whenever I bring family into Atlanta for the first time, driving down the Downtown Connector is one of my bucket list items for them. They MUST see the view. This would put a damper on that, but in retrospect, it would put our city in a healthier light. Of course, we can’t bulldoze the two major interstates to make Atlanta look better. However, we can turn a negative into a positive by dressing up the top and adding flare for others to enjoy. The Buckhead financial district is basically built on a Georgia 400 Overpass. Why can’t we build more of Midtown over the Connector?
Midtown and Downtown have been cut off to this behemoth highway and created the biggest eyesore for the city (Well, unless you count those fast-pace pictures where you see the car taillights in a skinny, red line). I would encourage others, and the city of Atlanta to embark on this endeavor. Boston has done it, Montreal has done it, and Atlanta can definitely do it.