The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the critical importance for people working essential jobs and getting to essential services to have safe, convenient, and affordable transportation options. Yet cuts to transit service mean options are even more limited than before the pandemic.
More and more Atlantans are turning to biking and walking to get where they need to go. Unfortunately, our city lacks a safe and connected network of spaces for these essential forms of transportation.
In May and June of 2020, you joined us in calling on the City of Atlanta to fully fund and rapidly build already-planned projects with community support and to prioritize first- and last-mile connections for those who continue to rely on transit, especially frontline and essential workers, who are disproportionately people of color and women. Atlanta’s April 2020 adoption of Vision Zero shows the City is committed to getting to the goal of zero traffic deaths--these investments would be a strong immediate step in that direction.
Read more for initial results from this campaign.12 signatures
1. We called on the City to quickly install 80-100 miles of infrastructure for light individual transportation (LIT: includes scooters and bikes) from pre-existing plans already vetted through community engagement, such as the Quick-Build projects of 2017, the Action Plan for Safer Streets, Cycle Atlanta 1.0 & 2.0, Renew Atlanta, TSPLOST, etc. We said this would mean ensuring that the new Atlanta Department of Transportation (ATL DOT) has sufficient funding through the FY2021 budget to do this work in-house using City of Atlanta staff, not expensive contractors, using methods and materials that are fast and cost-effective.
- Accelerate timeline of Mayor’s Action Plan for Safer Streets: the official announcement from 2019 stated projects would be complete by the end of 2021, yet the ATL DOT budget narrative says three years from now--2023.
- Fund 80-100 miles of LIT lanes and sidewalk repairs to meet the needs of essential workers and trips and provide a timeline.
Address where the 3.5% of the General Fund set aside for infrastructure maintenance per ordinance 14-O-1513 appears. Designate those funds for safe space for walking & wheelchair use.
- Designate Tuskegee Airmen Academy (TAG) as the City’s pilot Safe Routes to School program and allocate $450,000 for safety improvements to facilitate safe walking and biking to school
- Spend the remaining Council District Renew Atlanta funds on tactical sidewalks.
Results so far: Several projects from the Action Plan for Safer Streets are in final design stages. The new Atlanta Department of Transportation draft budget is listed as $44 million (650-page City of Atlanta draft budget is here). We believe the initial budget outlay was increased to $48 Million but are still waiting on the final budget book. For comparison, the Office of Transportation formerly housed in the Public Works Dept. had an FY2018 budget of $46 million according to the ATL DOT Feasibility Study. That office is just one of three units being combined into the ATL DOT, the others being the Office of Mobility Planning and Renew Atlanta/TSPLOST.
2. We called on the City to provide urgently-needed safe spaces for people walking or using wheelchairs, starting with any gaps in the sidewalk network along remaining MARTA bus routes and on streets accessing those bus routes, and Safe Routes to School so children can walk and bike safely when schools do reopen. Since it can take years to get sidewalks built, consider "tactical sidewalks" using less expensive materials to provide some protection now.
Results so far: Mayor Bottoms directed the Chief Operating Officer to work with the Atlanta Department of Transportation to "develop a plan for Atlanta’s streets. This plan recognizes the role of the City in the economic recovery of local businesses and the ability to use public space to support quality of life during the reopening." The plan was to include creating “tactical sidewalks” to improve mobility in communities to essential services. In addition, sidewalk improvements seem to be gaining prominence within the new ATL DOT, which often posts about sidewalk projects on #SidewalkWednesdays.
3. We called on the City to empower communities to creatively improve safety on their streets through their own interim projects by establishing a city approval process, or tactical urbanism permit. Additionally, create a small grants fund so under-resourced neighborhoods have equitable access to the process.
Results so far: The City has a tactical urbanism permit in draft stage; expected by October 2020
There are communities in the city of Atlanta with almost no sidewalks at all. Often, these are the same neighborhoods that have been most harmed by transportation projects such as highways splitting their neighborhoods in half. This is partly due to redlining policies that imposed structural racism on neighborhood development. Communities with lower sidewalk coverage also have higher rates of walking and riding transit, are disproportionately located within the High Injury Network, and have a larger share of Black residents. These neighborhoods are also home to many people with essential jobs who rely on transit.
Picture it: you rely on transit, the bus route that is three blocks from your house is cut, you are now walking further to catch the bus, maybe carrying groceries or with your young child or both.. As you are walking, the sidewalk suddenly ends. You are now in the street, sharing the road with vehicles that were not anticipating you being there. Your essential trip to the grocery store or work has become more dangerous than fellow Atlantans who can count on sidewalks to reach their destinations.
Safe Streets for All means all types of safety for all types of users in all of Atlanta. The built environment can reinforce a sense of belonging and provide a way to protect vulnerable road users. Yes, protect those who walk, bike, or use a wheelchair. But also protect Black and Brown people, women, and transgender residents that face varying safety concerns while walking and biking that are not a reality for others. Having neighborhood sidewalks as an Atlanta resident should not be among their concerns. Let’s build sidewalks that will create neighborhoods that can sustain growth, development, aging in place, and the inclusion of many different types of users.
As we have said before, the time is overdue to prioritize safety and ease of movement for our community members who have been denied safe and complete streets for decades.
AARP Georgia, Helping Georgians aged 50 and above live their best lives.
American Heart Association of Metro Atlanta, a relentless force for longer, healthier lives in our community.
PEDS, dedicated to making streets and communities in Georgia, safe, inviting, and accessible to all pedestrians.
Georgia STAND-UP, a Think and ACT Tank for Working Communities, organizes and educates communities about issues related to labor unions, transit equity, affordable housing, & economic development.
TransFormation Alliance, a broad partnership of organizations from the private, public and nonprofit sectors dedicated to creating thriving, mixed-income communities anchored by transit and linked to all the opportunities and amenities that make Atlanta great.
ThreadATL, a non-profit that aims to influence Atlanta’s planning and design decisions toward a greater focus on good urbanism
How to stay involved
Sign up for updates so we can call on you to support the campaign’s next steps--because this is just the beginning!
The City has an opportunity to show its commitment to #VisionZero by accelerating safety projects, so no one dies trying to get somewhere. Help us hold the City of Atlanta accountable for following through on its plans. #EssentialTransportation
Ben 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.
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
Ben 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
Ben 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.
Ben 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
Ben 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
Ben 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!
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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
Ben Foster posted about Moreland Ave on Facebook 2017-06-02 15:31:03 -0400I want protected bike lanes on Moreland Avenue21 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.
The City of Atlanta retained Arcadis as the design firm for the striping design for the first phase of resurfacing on this project. They are pursuing short-term safety improvements that can be accomplished within the resurfacing project, with an eye toward long-term improvements that can be built in a future second phase.
The design team intends to begin meeting again with various local stakeholders in January and February 2020 to be followed by a public meeting. It's not yet clear when the design will be finalized and when the resurfacing project will go to construction.
Atlanta Bicycle Coalition remains an advocate for both long and short term solution to the dangerous conditions on DeKalb Avenue. The improvements should address the glaring gap in bike facilities stretching from the Stone Mountain PATH trail to the Inman Park-Reynoldstown MARTA station.182 signatures
Click here for more background on our campaign for a safe and complete DeKalb Ave.
Atlanta is poised to take the next big leap forward. But it needs elected officials with the vision and commitment to deliver high-quality projects that encourage mobility and discourage snarling gridlock. It needs leaders with the courage to put the safety of people before high-speed traffic that places our families and vulnerable road users at risk on a daily basis.
We are committed to giving you all the information you need to make the best decision this election cycle. We may not be able to endorse candidates, but we can show you where they stand on issues important you.
Check out our election resources below and BIKE THE VOTE!17 bike and votes
These are the core policies and goals we believe the next Mayor and City Council must adopt if Atlanta wants to continue to compete for the best talent in the world while improving the quality of life for Atlantans who have been historically disadvantaged and marginalized by a lack of transportation options.
- Create a City of Atlanta Department of Transportation, for a cohesive transportation planning and project delivery process that better leverages resources
Adopt the Street Design Policy drafted by the Department of Planning
Make housing more affordable by eliminating the minimum number of car parking spaces required for housing developments
Build 100 NEW miles of high-quality bike lanes and trails (we currently have 104 miles) to connect the city, including 20 NEW miles of protected bike lanes (we currently have 4 miles)
Publish schedule for sweeping streets with bike lanes, and prioritize bike lanes for clean up after winter storms
Add a $2.5 million line item to the City’s General Fund annually, to connect gaps in the bikeway network and enhance safety of existing projects
Ensure quality bicycle transportation by hiring transportation engineers with training and experience designing bicycle projects
Set a city goal of zero traffic deaths, and create a data-driven approach in which multiple city departments collaborate to reduce roadway crashes and fatalities to zero, because no one should die trying to get where they are going.
Prevent fatal roadway crashes by standardizing the speed limit on residential streets to 25 mph
Provide access to last-mile healthy transportation options by prioritizing installation of bike share stations in low-income, disinvested, and disconnected neighborhoods
Questions about our platform or our engagement events? Please contact Bennett Foster at [email protected] or call 404-881-1112 x 2.
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
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