Samma Blackburn walks her own dog and some of her clients’ dogs along Boulevard at Grant Park on Aug. 13, 2014. The dogs might have slower cars to bark at on this stretch of Boulevard.
Photo: John Spink/AJC
Photo: John Spink/AJC

Atlanta council approves lowering speed limit on Boulevard 

If you ever wished folks would slow down on Boulevard to either soak in the beauty of Grant Park or look out for pedestrians, then you might be in luck.

The Atlanta City Council voted unanimously Monday to lower the speed limit of the Grant Park passage from 35 to 25 mph between Mead Street and I-20, said the legislation’s sponsor Councilwoman Carla Smith.

The representative for District 1, which includes Grant Park, said the move came about actually because of trees.

Group protests developer’s plan for 20 cottages in ‘Ormewood Forest’

The public back-and-forth regarding scores of trees on Grant Park’s Boulevard side set for removal, which the city recently paused, brought lots of attention to the east side of the park.

“That made everyone take a look at Boulevard,” Smith said.

The tress are coming down in order to build a $48 million, 1,000-space parking garage for the park and Zoo Atlanta.

Plans for the semi-underground Grant Park Gateway announced by Mayor Kasim Reed in April include a restaurant, outdoor greenspace and a way to harvest rainfall.

Also due to parking garage construction: Expect 500 fewer parking spots at Grant Park for next 18 months

Smith said that residents reached out to her to draft legislation to make Boulevard more safe. And though no traffic study has been done on the area, Smith agreed it was a good idea to slow folks down.

“It catches all of Grant Park,” she said.

From here, the measure moves to Reed’s desk. Smith explained that he has eight days to approve or veto the legislation before it automatically becomes law.

Smith said she doesn’t expect any opposition from the mayor.

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The city is investing $48 million into a new parking garage, but some residents say it could cause problems, including crime.

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