The city of Atlanta has approved permits for 12,000 scooters, and thousands of people ride scooters each day. This highly visible and growing demand for transportation options beyond cars requires changes to the street to create safe spaces for scooters. Fortunately, bikes and scooters have a great deal in common, including benefiting from the same kinds of infrastructure - lanes separated from motor vehicles.
To provide safe travel for people on bikes and scooters, we need to connect and protect a network of "LIT" lanes. We use LIT to stand for Light Individual Transportation, what some people call scooters and bikes, or micromobility.
Park Place protected lane 2015 (R. Serna) & 2019 (D. Givens)
The city of Atlanta has some 118 miles of bike lanes today but is missing a core network in the busiest parts of town.
What's more, many of our lanes fail to protect riders. Lanes are littered with debris and trash, faded to the point of disappearing or are blocked by delivery trucks. We all recognize that a stripe of paint that often ends suddenly, right where you need it the most, is not enough.
That’s why we applaud the City of Atlanta’s commitment to connecting and protecting lanes for people on bikes and scooters announced by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms Friday, August 16.
"In the next 30 days, we plan to implement changes to our streets to better protect everyone. We will use temporary barriers, painted demarcations and any tool we can find to complement our growing network of 118 miles of dedicated space for bikes and scooters."
That's exactly the kind of rapid response we called for following the death of the fourth person riding a scooter in the Atlanta area this year.
Cascade Avenue 2019
Yet we can’t fail to notice that while people riding scooters are attracting a great deal of attention right now, people walking, biking, and waiting for the bus have been overexposed to unsafe streets for decades.
Building safer streets should start with the communities facing the greatest exposure to harm today. In a city like Atlanta, where economic inequity is among the highest in the country, the City’s ONE Atlanta vision of an affordable, resilient, and equitable Atlanta must be reflected in the allocation of space on city streets.
Women and people of color are riding scooters in high numbers, according to one scooter company. People earning $25,000 to $50,000 a year are most enthusiastic about scooters and other LIT devices, while those making more than $200,000 are the least, according to transportation researchers. And women are more likely to support micromobility than men.
The City of Atlanta is among a growing number of cities who have adopted transportation plans emphasizing safety, equity, and mobility.
Taking fast measures to change how space on city streets is allocated is essential to our growth and maturation as a city.
As more Atlantans looks for ways to opt-out of traffic, get active, and strengthen community connections, the lack of safe streets for people walking, biking, scooting, or waiting for the bus is unavoidable -- and unacceptable.
From 2014 to 2016, 75 people died and 872 were severely injured in car collisions on Atlanta’s streets. These were crashes involving people driving, biking, and walking. Most of the severe injuries and fatal crashes occurred on just a handful of city streets -- what's known as the “High-Injury Network”. In fact, just 8% of streets in the City of Atlanta account for 88% of traffic fatalities. Read more on why we can't ignore Atlanta's High Injury Network.
We believe no one should die during their commute or using the Atlanta roads.
We can do something about traffic deaths. Cities across the world have adopted Vision Zero policies aimed at eliminating all traffic fatalities and severe injuries while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. Vision Zero has proved successful in other parts of the world — and now it’s gaining momentum in major American cities.1,278 pledges
Join us as we call on the City of Atlanta to:
Fund and build all the promised Renew/TSPLOST Complete Streets
Officially adopt a Vision Zero program that puts safety and equity first
Prioritize the High-Injury Network streets for safety interventions
Sign the pledge to say YES to funding, building, and creating safe streets for all.
Goal: 1,000 signatures
Once we reach our goal, we'll send this petition to Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. (Note that we request your address because we need to show that there is broad, citywide support for safe and Complete Streets. We do not share your information with anyone.)
Bennett Foster published Statement: Prioritize the Renew Atlanta/TSPLOST Complete Street Projects Prioritize Complete Streets 2018-11-21 20:37:30 -0500November 21, 2018
November 15, 2018
This week, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms launched an effort to prioritize the Renew Atlanta/TSPLOST project list, after she identified major funding shortfalls that would jeopardize long overdue projects that were overwhelmingly approved by voters. As stated in the presentation to the Atlanta City Council Transportation Committee, Renew Atlanta/TSPLOST will prioritize projects based on the safety, mobility, and affordability goals established in the Atlanta Transportation Plan (ATP).
Statement of Atlanta Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Rebecca Serna:
The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition agrees that these goals are fundamental for the construction of Complete Streets. Equity and access are inextricably tied to safety on Atlanta’s streets, and many of the Complete Street projects directly address the dangerous conditions on the High-Injury Network, in which less than 8% of Atlanta’s streets account for 88% of fatalities and 52% of severe injuries. The High-Injury Network is not equally distributed throughout the city -- the majority of streets are located west of Northside Drive or south of I-20.
This is an opportunity for the Mayor to deliver on Renew Atlanta/TSPLOST and restore public trust in the City’s capacity to build meaningful transportation projects. For years, Atlantans have invested their time to attend and give feedback at public meetings about Complete Streets, but instead of greater mobility, in return, they’ve gotten long delays. We’re ready for a new start and we’re hopeful that by following the guiding principles of safety, mobility, and affordability set forth in the Atlanta Transportation Plan, we will see Complete Street projects break ground next year.
It will take bold leadership and vision to get us there - and we’re ready and willing to put in the work alongside the Mayor to make our streets safer for everyone.
If you voted for safe and Complete Streets that provide more mobility and transportation options for everyone, please take the Renew Atlanta/TSPLOST survey and make sure these projects get built.
Stay tuned - our new online store with your favorite ABC and I Bike ATL tees coming soon.
Bennett Foster published Atlanta's most popular bike lane needs you in Blog 2018-09-28 20:18:52 -0400
Are you one of the 2,700 daily riders on the 10th Street protected bike lane who have been affected by the latest festival-related lane closure or the missing flex posts? The recent bike lane and sidewalk closures on 10th Street raise serious questions about how we prioritize and define transportation -- especially when it comes to Atlanta's most popular bike lane.Read more
How do you design Peachtree Street for a new era? The answer's in the street - its past, present, and future. You can be part of the next chapter of our most iconic street when you visit Atlanta City Design's Shared Street Pilot at the Atlanta Streets Alive - Central on Sunday, September 30th. Through this pilot, we want you to experience a street that's a destination worth traveling to, not just driving through.Read more
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The City of Atlanta faces major challenges in the realm of transportation, mobility, affordable housing, equity, climate change, and traffic safety.
In 2018 alone, the City will adopt an ambitious Comprehensive Transportation Plan, manage the rise of micro-mobility (scooters and dockless electric bikes), create affordable housing strategies around access to reliable transportation, deal with a backlog of Complete Streets projects under the Renew Atlanta program, meet the goals of Bloomberg's American Cities Climate Challenge, and, finally, confront the reality that the high concentration of crashes on Atlanta's High-Injury Network are preventable.
Is our current transportation structure up to the task?
In 2017, Councilmember At-Large Andre Dickens commissioned a study to find out. The feasibility study was an exhaustive independent review of our current transportation structure. Relying on dozens of stakeholder interviews with transportation professionals both in and outside Atlanta along with a comparative analysis of 11 peer cities across the U.S., the report found alarming deficiencies in our current structure. It proposed that the City "set a goal of consolidating all transportation functions in the City into a stand-alone transportation-focused department, led by a new Commissioner [and] name the agency the 'Atlanta Department of Mobility and Streets (ADMS).'"
Creating an Atlanta Department of Transportation would restructure our current transportation, public works, and planning tools in order to better leverage resources and streamline project delivery. It would be more efficient and better able to implement a strong vision for our city's equitable future.
The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition supports a stand-alone department dedicated to streets and mobility. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Councilmember At-Large Andre Dickens, and Councilmembers and City Leaders across Atlanta agree that the time is now.
What do we want?
After reviewing the feasibility study, our preferred option is for the Mayor to appoint an “Interim Director of Transportation” to establish the department with minimal political pressure.
After 9 months, the mayor would then appoint a permanent Director of Transportation to implement the strategic plan, facilitate communication within existing departments, and engage employees and stakeholders in the process of governance restructuring.
The Director of Transportation will report to the Mayor and Chief of Staff and will lead both the reorganization process and the newly created department.
Bennett Foster published Monroe Drive and Boulevard Draw Attention to Urgent Need for Complete Streets in Blog 2018-07-25 19:06:35 -0400
Three years after voters overwhelmingly approved the Renew Atlanta bond, in March 2015, just one out of the fifteen Complete Street projects has been completed and only two projects have progressed beyond a quarter of a percent complete.
Now, we're seeing one project after another get kicked down the road to 2020, according to the Renew Atlanta Complete Street Project pages. Construction on phase 1 of DeKalb Avenue was scheduled to start this year but now it won't start until 2020; Cascade Road was also going to start this year but now it's been delayed until 2020. The same goes for Howell Mill Road.
After the most recent open house for Monroe Drive/Boulevard Complete Street, which failed to include a road diet north of 10th Street, it's become clear that the city needs to commit to these Complete Street projects.Read more
Bennett Foster published There's Still Time to Make Monroe Drive a Safe, Complete Street in Blog 2018-06-29 17:42:52 -0400
"I can make a coffee table book of all the crashes I've seen from my front porch," said Kim Wilson, a resident who lives on Monroe Drive. Her child is starting at Grady High School in the fall and she's terrified of letting them walk to school on a street where car speeds exceed 50 mph. "What's it going to take to address safety? Is it going to take another student dying?"
People who walk or bike on Monroe Drive between Piedmont Avenue and 10th Street must compete with speeding cars and dangerous intersections on a daily basis. These conditions are unacceptable. Voters overwhelmingly approved the Renew Atlanta Bond in 2015 because Complete Street projects like the one on Monroe Drive/Boulevard promised to make our streets safer for everyone. The latest Renew Atlanta plans for Monroe Drive north of 10th Street preserve the same old design that virtually ensures that Monroe Drive remains a highway that endangers everyone from people like Wilson's child to rush hour car commuters. Check out the video below for reactions from residents on Monroe Drive north of Ponce de Leon, then join us as we demand the road diet be added to the Monroe Drive/Boulevard Complete Street Project.
Bennett Foster published Response to the Fiscal Year 2019 Proposed Budget in Blog 2018-06-24 17:23:51 -0400
Thank you to all of our members who asked City Council for $2.5 million in funding for bike infrastructure and maintenance in the Fiscal Year 2019 Budget, and to all the City leaders who greeted the request with enthusiasm. Unfortunately, the funding was not allocated this year. While we’re disappointed, we’ve already begun planning our campaign for next year’s budget cycle!Read more
Bennett Foster published 134,000 People Power Westside Atlanta Streets Alive in Blog 2018-06-17 18:24:28 -0400
Last Sunday, 134,000 people powered the Westside Atlanta Streets Alive on Howell Mill Road and Marietta Street. At the Westside Atlanta Streets Alive kickoff, we celebrated the Marietta Street Resurfacing Project with Councilmember Dustin Hillis (District 9 - Northwest Atlanta) and Renew Atlanta, the department responsible for the resurfacing project that will add 1.6 miles of bikes lanes to Marietta Street. Councilmember Hillis declared "Westside Bestside!" and the Phoenixes took flight. And what followed was one of our largest open streets activations in Atlanta history.Read more
Bennett Foster published #Budget4Bikes - $2.5 Million in the FY2019 City Budget in Blog 2018-06-14 20:39:31 -0400
We’re advocating for $2.5 million in funding for bike infrastructure and maintenance in the city’s FY2019 Budget. The funding will help the city set realistic goals for bike network expansion that can be delivered in a single political term. At approximately $100,000 per mile, the city could build 20 miles of bike lanes annually. Along with projects with other funding sources, this would help reach our goal of 200 miles of bikeways by 2021, while also setting aside $500,000 annually for maintenance."
Let's make sure the city budget reflects our future priorities. Tell your councilmember to #Budget4Bikes before the Monday, June 18th, Council Meeting!
SCROLL TO BOTTOM OF PAGE FOR EMAIL TIPSRead more
We are thrilled that the City of Atlanta has released its first Annual Bicycle Report, and we will work with the Mayor to continue building on the achievements outlined in the City's report. Our Executive Director Rebecca Serna told CBS46 in an interview about the report that "a street safe enough for someone to ride a bike on is also safer for everyone else".Read more
Thank you to the partners, attendees, and Mayoral candidates who participated in the Atlanta on the Move Mayoral Forum. More than 300 people attended the event and 2.2 thousand people have viewed the Facebook Live feed. While there was unanimous support among the candidates for 100 new miles of bike lanes by the end of their mayoral term and the creation of an Atlanta Department of Transportation, candidates took different approaches to questions about MARTA expansion, affordable housing and building community support for bike lanes. Many attendees said that they now have a better understanding of where these candidates stand on issues they care about. But our work isn't finished!Read more
Update: the Howell Mill complete street project made it onto the City Council approved list for Renew/TSPLOST funding! We'll celebrate at the kickoff to Atlanta Streets Alive Cross-City on Sunday, June 9th.
Howell Mill Road and Marietta Street are the primary roadways for what was once a heavy industrial meat-packing district on the Westside. Now, development, density, and desirable destinations have exploded in the area and exposed the need for a safer and more accessible way to connect this critical north-south corridor to the rest of the city. Marietta Street bike lanes were added in December 2018. The Howell Mill Complete Street remained in the Renew Atlanta/TSPLOST prioritization process in early 2019.
Now the City needs to build the Howell Mill Complete Street.
Howell Mill Road is a key north-south corridor that connects the Upper Westside, Georgia Tech and Downtown Atlanta. Howell Mill Road, between Collier Road and W. Marietta Street, is set to become a Complete Street through the Renew Atlanta bond, which was overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2015.
After a well-received public meeting on October 26, 2016, which covered the main elements of the Complete Street project, the project has remained dormant. What we see on Howell Mill Road is a street that hasn't kept up with development, density, and vision of a corridor that prioritizes the needs of people who bike, walk, and drive.
Ultimately, the success of this north-south corridor depends on the successful implementation of the Howell Mill Road Complete Street project, which in turn connects to the DeKalb Avenue Complete Street project.
Failing to create a safe, direct bicycle connection between Marietta and Howell Mill Road violates the recommendations made in the Cycle Atlanta Plan Phase 1.0.
Bennett Foster posted about Moreland Ave on Facebook 2017-06-02 15:31:03 -0400I want protected bike lanes on Moreland Avenue19 supports
The goal of this state road project is to make Moreland Avenue safer for people on foot and on bike, between Mansfield and Austin Aves. (Several years ago, a person riding a bike was killed in this section as they pulled out onto Moreland.)
The state DOT's concept report states "studies show that an increase in pedestrian, cycling and vehicular volumes has taken place along the corridor. Crash data from 2008-2013 indicates that approximately 252 crashes occurred along SR 42/Moreland Ave from Dekalb Ave to McClendon Ave. Of these crashes, six were pedestrian injuries and one was a bike fatality."
Neighborhood bike advocates and the City of Atlanta Planning Office have been involved in the design, and did not settle for painted bike lanes. Instead, the current design includes a raised bike lane, as well as wider sidewalks and safe crossings. While barrier-separated, protected bike lanes on busy roads are always the safest option, they may not be possible on Moreland because NACTO guidelines recommend a minimum of 3' to add a raised barrier.
Here’s what was presented at the public meeting June 7, 2017:
Bike lanes raised 3” above the street level and 3” below the sidewalk level.
Bike lanes would be 7’ wide - including a 2’ painted buffer.
Timeline - During Summer 2017, they will stripe standard bike lanes for a quick safety improvement and reduce lane widths on general lanes to reduce speeds. In 2019, bicycle lanes upgraded to raised.
Here's what we told GDOT - feel free to include this in your comment supporting the project:
- We support high quality, raised bike lanes and pedestrian crossings for SR 42/Moreland Avenue from Dekalb Avenue to Mansfield Avenue.
To make the project even better, find a way to add a barrier between the raised bike lane and the general travel lane, so that people on bikes are separated from all those trucks. While the idea of separating people on foot from those on bikes is a good one, it's all relative. Trucks have the potential to do more damage to a person biking in a crash, so we think it's more important to separate those two modes from each other.
Add a crossing near the DeKalb Avenue interchange, and make the exit ramp from DeKalb form a "T" intersection, to encourage drivers entering Moreland to make a full stop first.
- We like the diagonal crossing at Euclid as a way to make that crossing safer and easier for people on bikes, and it helps make up for the lack of bike lanes north of Euclid.
Read GDOT's Response to Public Comment Here: GDOT's Response to 6/7/17 Open House Comments
DeKalb Avenue is fast, dangerous, and out of control. In 2015, Atlanta voters overwhelming approved the Renew Atlanta Infrastructure Bond to update and improve our streets, including a Complete Street for DeKalb Avenue.
Yet in 2019, after three years of public meetings, funding for the Complete Street on DeKalb Avenue was cut, leaving only resurfacing and replacing the reversible lane with a center turn lane and design for a future Complete Street in the budget. It's not clear where funding would come from to actually build it.
The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, along with community members and neighborhoods along DeKalb, is continuing the fight for a DeKalb that serves more than high-speed traffic speeding through our communities. DeKalb Ave connects 11 neighborhoods -- all but 1 wrote letters of support for a Complete Street.
We are calling for any project, including repaving, that affects this key, flat corridor to make the road safer -- for everyone. The resurfacing project should include a buffer between people walking on the sidewalk and cars, and a place for people to bike.163 signatures
Click here for more background on our campaign for a safe and complete DeKalb Ave.