May Advocacy Updates

Dear Friends,

May has been full of safe streets advocacy opportunities! We kicked the month off by tuning in to the national discussion to #DecriminalizeJaywalking, one of our 2021 Policy Agenda safety recommendations. We also organized advocates to take action for safety improvements on two High-Injury Network corridors — Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway and Moreland Avenue, and are celebrating an important win for our 2021 policy agenda advocacy with the Atlanta Department of Transportation’s recent announcement to fund Safe Routes to School in the FY 2022 budget.

As we look toward June, we can’t wait to celebrate everything Atlanta’s community of advocates for safe, equitable streets has accomplished over the past year at the 2021 Blinkies in a few weeks. 

Celebrate Atlanta’s stellar advocates and organizations at the ✨2021 Blinkie Awards✨ 

This week we announced our first round of awardees that we will honor on June 17 at the Blinkies! Join us in congratulating:

🏆AARP Georgia for the Advocacy Partner of the Year Award

AARP Georgia logo

🏆Henry Slack, Co-Founder of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, for the Tenacity in Advocacy Founder’s Award

Henry Slack, Co-Founder of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition

🏆Tuskegee Airmen Global Academy students and faculty for the Safe Routes to School Advocates AwardTuksegee Airmen Global Academy

Stay tuned for more awardees to be announced soon! In the meantime, go ahead and RSVP for the Blinkies. The virtual event is free to attend, but we hope you will make a donation to help us celebrate✨.

 

🚏🚍Calling all transit advocates! Join our June 10 Community Advocates Network call to prepare for MARTA’s upcoming bus network redesign 

MARTA’s bus network redesign process has begun! Your insights are critical to ensure the new bus network prioritizes efficient, affordable, and equitable transit options for Atlantans. At our June 10 Community Advocates Network (CAN) call, Heather Alhadeff (Assistant General Manager, MARTA) and Jon McKenley (Project Manager Stakeholder & Public Engagement, MARTA) are joining us to talk transit as we plan for our community advocacy role in the bus network redesign. In the meantime, make sure you also check out our policy agenda’s transit and affordability recommendations.

PS: It’s not too late to join MARTA Army’s Transit-Oriented Summer Book Club 📚!

💲📍🎒Atlanta’s Safe Routes to School program is funded for FY 2022

We’re celebrating a major milestone for one of our 2021 policy agenda funding recommendations — Atlanta Department of Transportation’s FY 2022 budget includes funding to hire City staff to start a Safe Routes to School program🎉. 

Atlanta’s Safe Routes to School program must prioritize safety in school communities near the High-Injury Network. Between 2012-2015, 44 percent of Atlanta’s bicycle crashes and 53 percent of Atlanta’s pedestrian crashes occurred within a half-mile of a school. Programs supporting safe active transportation to and from school improve safety through measures like traffic calming, student education, and infrastructure improvements.

Help ensure this program makes it through budget hearings and potential cuts — sign the petition and let your city councilmember and the mayor know Safe Routes to School is critical to happy, healthy, successful students and their families!

🚲💚Bike Family at Finch Elementary was a success! Join us to congratulate Finch’s new bike commuters and their families

It was an honor to work with Finch Elementary students, families, and teachers who participated in our 2021 Bike Family cohort. We caught up with some of the families and teachers who shared about their experience:

“The Bike Family Program provided a thorough training and alleviated any concerns we had regarding how to bike safely as a family.” -Tai Scott-Ponder

Alton West picks up his grandchildren's bikes from Bearings Bike WorksAlton West (pictured) and Tai Scott-Ponder picked up Mr. West's grandchildren's bikes from Bearings Bike Works 

“It was an excellent opportunity to allow my children to learn how to ride a bike… We feel more equipped to ride bikes but just have a hard time finding a safe place to ride.” -Melinda Malone

Bike Family family and participants pick up bikes from Bearings BikesMelinda Malone and her children picking up their bikes from Bearings Bike Works

“The Bike Family Program provided our families with a means to get back outdoors post-pandemic. At a time when we were made to sit still at home, our parents and students were given an opportunity to get outside and get healthy together. It gave hope.” -Coach Johnson, Physical Education Coach at Finch Elementary

Dr. Hill and Coach Johnson picking up bikes from Bearings Bike WorksDr. Hill (left) and Coach Johnson (right) picking up bikes from Bearings Bike Works

We’re grateful for our partners and funders for making this cohort of Bike Family possible — redefinED Atlanta and REI for funding this cohort, Bearings Bike Works for providing bikes and safety gear, and of course, Finch families for spending their time with us! You can help us fund future Bike Family cohorts by donating to the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition.

PS: Make sure to sign our Safe Routes to School petition to tell Atlanta’s leaders that our students need safe streets!

🚀Take Action🚀 Support proposed changes for a safer Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway

Following years of community advocacy, an important safety improvement is slated for Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway — the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) plans to convert part of the corridor to three lanes with a center turn lane. The project is intended to meet community demands to reduce the dangerous speeds, add a buffer between the roadway and the sidewalk, and make crossing the street on foot, bike/scooter, or wheelchair safer and easier. Learn more about GDOT’s proposal for Donald Lee Hollowell and sign the petition to support safety improvements.

 

As the 2021 Atlanta Public Schools academic year comes to a close, we commend all students, families, faculty, and staff for all their hard work and earned accomplishments while navigating the pandemic during the 2020 - 2021 school year. We hope you, your family, and friends have a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend!


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