At the end of last year, planners placed protective barriers and redesigned on-street parking on Atlantic Avenue between East Claiborne Drive and East Armando Drive so businesses could use the sidewalk space as a room. outdoor dining. This reduced the street from two lanes in each direction to one.
But a social post from the Public Works Department on Friday said crews would restore Atlantic Avenue to its original form starting the week of May 24. The work will take up to two days.
The post did not explain why the city had decided to reverse the changes and officials were not immediately available to answer questions. However, the plan was never intended to be permanent. The city let the public know in virtual meetings last year that, based on public feedback, traffic engineers would change the design.
City Councilor Al Austin, who represents the area, said the city reassessed the Atlantic Avenue project after less restrictive coronavirus rules came into effect, allowing things like dining inside. Neighbors also blamed lane closures on Atlantic Avenue for causing more traffic to other nearby streets.
“This pilot project has given our businesses extensive outdoor dining options in response to capacity restrictions and indoor catering,” Austin said. “The Atlantic Open Streets project has always been a temporary project and, based on community feedback and feedback, we will complete the project the week of May 24th. We will continue to look for ways to calm traffic and support businesses during this time. ”