Making Atlanta’s transportation system more equitable and sustainable depends on thoughtful transportation options that are safe and affordable for everyone in Atlanta. In realizing this, we need transportation facilities and urban policies that mutually reinforce each other. (We’ve outlined these solutions in our policy briefs on the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition Platform page; please click on the links below to learn more about each brief.)
Responding to the increased demand for non-motorized transportation, the city must prioritize transit, bicycle, and pedestrian improvements before automobiles. A well-connected bikeway network that links neighborhoods, jobs, schools, amenities, and transit throughout Atlanta is a good first step. To do so, we need to double the miles of bike lanes and connect the existing ones by building 100 new miles of high-quality bike lanes and trails. This needs to happen immediately to plan for next 100 miles and beyond.
By adding $2.5 million line item to the City General Fund annually, the city can expedite bike projects across the city and provide the flexibility to maintain our existing bike network.
With solid planning and funds, the creation of a City of Atlanta Department of Transportation (ATL DOT or ADOT) becomes crucial to leveraging resources and streamlining project delivery. Having a dedicated transportation department that governs the full lifecycle of all transportation-related projects would lead to more cohesive transportation planning and policy implementation across the city.
Connected bikeways, however, are not enough. We often find bike facilities that are poorly designed, confusing, and unsafe for cyclists. The city needs to hire “in-house” transportation engineers with training and experience on bicycle and pedestrian projects to oversee the quality and safety of bikeways and sidewalks.
Atlanta streets should be safe for all regardless of their choice of travel.
We must positively impact the way we design and use our streets. Reducing traffic fatalities and severe injuries requires the application of safe street designs formally regulated through the adoption of a Street Design Policy and standardizing the speed limit on neighborhood streets to 25 mph.
Your zip code should not determine whether you can walk or bike safely through the city nor should it be based on your income. The city must make housing more affordable by eliminating minimum parking requirement for housing developments. We must prioritize installation of bike share station in low income and disinvested neighborhoods.
If we truly aspire to make Atlanta a safer and more equitable place to walk, bike, and take transit, we need the next Mayor and City Council to champion these core policies and goals.