Memorial Drive is a 5.5 mile east-west thoroughfare that cuts through eight neighborhoods. Despite being home to five schools and numerous homes and apartments, Memorial Drive functions more like a highway than a street that connects neighborhoods. Speeds regularly reach 60 miles per hour, even at school crossings, yet it’s a short driving distance from I-20, an actual highway serving the same area. Georgia Department of Transportation noted there have been 1,000 crashes in the past five years on Memorial Drive. That’s nearly one crash per day.
In 2014, Councilmember Natalyn Archibong commissioned a study of the corridor. You can learn more about the Imagine Memorial project on the Central Atlanta Progress website. Several important projects are tied to Imagine Memorial’s success, like the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Livable Centers Initiative, the City of Atlanta’s neighborhood greenways and Trolley Line Trail projects, and the Atlanta BeltLine.
On March 21, 2017, a woman was killed trying to cross Memorial Drive.
Just two months earlier, on January 27, 2017, a mother was killed and her seven year old daughter put in urgent care by a high speed crash.
Neighbors throughout the corridor are now coming together to make Memorial Drive safe for communities.
The City of Atlanta and Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) have funding from the Atlanta Regional Commission to fix Memorial Drive. The question is how to fix it.
Converting the two inside lanes into a center turn lane would make the street safer for everyone. This is known as a “road diet."
It would also leave room to add safer crossings known as “refuge islands,” and a buffer between people on the sidewalk and cars.