We're celebrating a success for this campaign! Safe Routes to School is funded in the City of Atlanta's FY '22 budget.
It was once the norm for kids to bike around their neighborhoods and to school. Biking provided independence for growing kids while giving them physical activity and access to social networks. In 1969, 50% of kids walked or biked to school. But by 2009, just 13% did.
That’s why one of our City of Atlanta Policy Agenda recommendations is for the Atlanta Department of Transportation to create a Safe Routes to School program, prioritizing safety for schools near the High-Injury Network. Atlanta’s students deserve reliable City funding that supports their success by establishing safe transportation options that make communities more livable and prevent displacement.
All children benefit from increased physical activity — having safe ways to walk, bike, scoot, or skate to school makes it easier to incorporate exercise into their daily routines. According to the September 2017 Active Transportation Policy Brief for Atlanta Public Schools:
Regular physical activity and higher levels of physical fitness are linked to improved cognitive development, academic performance, and brain function — including attention and memory, plus fewer health related absences.
In the City of Atlanta between 2012-2015, 44 percent of bicycle crashes and 53 percent of pedestrian crashes occurred within a half-mile of an Atlanta school. Programs supporting safe active transportation to and from school improve safety through measures like traffic calming, student education, and infrastructure improvements.
When students start biking or walking to school, it positively affects the whole community. For example, we've discovered that parents also become interested in how they can improve the safety of streets in their communities. It also affords more exercise opportunities for the whole family, and children begin healthy, sustainable habits that can inform their transportation choices later in life.
Leading up to the City of Atlanta’s budget hearings, we’ve spoken with City officials about solidifying funding for a Safe Routes to School program. We’re pleased to report the Atlanta Department of Transportation and the Mayor’s Office have been very receptive — we’re told funding to hire a Safe Routes to School program staffer is slated for Atlanta Department of Transportation’s FY 2022 budget.30 signatures
Help make sure this key program makes it through budget hearings and potential cuts — sign this petition and let your city councilmember and the mayor know Safe Routes to School is critical to happy, healthy, successful students and their families.
Betsy Collins donated 2020-09-02 19:37:26 -0400
2. Street Committees - Advocacy in Action
Community advocates from High-Injury Network corridors are actively working to develop community-based, design-driven safety changes. In 2021 we formed two street committees - Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway and Moreland Avenue. Committee members are residents and community members of each corridor working to advance the mobility, safety, equity, and affordability principles of the ONE Atlanta Strategic Transportation Plan. Ten street committee members completed our safe streets training in the fall of 2020. Each committee is working in their respective communities to introduce their work and build a coalition of support for safety recommendations.
Meet the Committee Members
Want to support the street committees, ask questions, or provide feedback?
- Email the Hollowell Parkway Safe Street Committee at [email protected]
- Email the Moreland Avenue Safe Street Committee at [email protected]
This work is made possible with support from the Energy Foundation.
3. Atlanta Families for Safe Streets - Families in the Fight
Atlanta Families for Safe Streets (AFSS) is a local chapter of the national Families for Safe Streets organization. Families for Safe Streets connects individuals who have lost loved ones or have been injured in a crash with support and training to use their experiences to advocate for change. The Atlanta chapter was put on hold during covid-19 and has not been reactivated yet - we are fundraising to be able to fully staff and support this program.Sign up
Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard, affectionately known as RDA, serves as a major corridor for schools, historic neighborhoods, and businesses in Southwest Atlanta. RDA is a large street with fast traffic and a lonely stretch of bike lane between Murphy Ave and I-85. The road, whether by bike or by car, is often perilous due to potholes, debris, and jagged train tracks.
RDA turns into Georgia Avenue and runs through seven amazing Atlanta neighborhoods: Westview, West End, Adair Park, Pittsburgh, Mechanicsville, Summerhill, and Grant Park.
The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition connects these neighborhoods at Atlanta Streets Alive. You can help make this a more livable, walkable, and bikeable corridor all year-round by supporting our campaign for bike lanes and regular maintenance on RDA and Georgia Avenue.
In addition to bike lanes on RDA and Georgia Avenue, we are advocating for:
- Resurfacing and repairing dangerous potholes on RDA
- Regularly maintaining this critical corridor by sweeping trash and debris
- Paving over the hazardous out-of-use train tracks