85% of respondents to the live poll conducted at the Renew Atlanta Monroe Drive/Boulevard public meeting said that bicycle and pedestrian safety should be prioritized in this project. And for good reason, the Complete Streets designs presented at the meeting would result in a substantial reduction in bicycle and pedestrian crashes at dozens of intersections on this corridor, including Monroe and 10th Street, Boulevard and Woodward, and Monroe and Ponce de Leon.
More than 300 people attended the second public meeting for the Monroe Drive/Boulevard Complete Street Project led by Renew Atlanta, the department tasked with planning and implementing $250 million in infrastructure projects in the city of Atlanta. (Read the Renew Atlanta Meeting recap here.)
While we like the broad strokes of this project, including the bike lanes on Parkway (parallel to Boulevard) and the protected intersections, we are concerned that no bike lanes were shown for Monroe Drive north of Ponce de Leon. Bike lanes are a positive feature of any good road diet. Bike lanes on Monroe Drive honor the vision of the Virginia-Highland Neighborhood Master Plan which states that "the excess travel lane dimensions can be utilized for on-street bike lanes until such time as additional funding can be secured to widen the sidewalks along the roadway (Figures 12, 13 and 14)."
The meeting attracted students from the Grady High School Bike Club eager to learn how they can make the campus and surrounding neighborhoods more bike-friendly.
Thomas Hyneman, father of Alexia Hyneman, the young Grady High School student who was struck and killed at the intersection of Monroe and 10th Street while riding her bicycle, voiced his support for the Complete Streets overhaul and the road diet that would bring bike lanes to Monroe Drive.
“If these changes were made a year ago, Alex would still be alive,” said Hyneman. “We know what we have to do, we have the money, let’s make these changes so no more parents have to go through this.”
Voice your support for this project to ensure that we get the strongest and safest Complete Streets treatments for the Monroe Drive/Boulevard corridor.
Send your comments in support of Complete Streets and bikeways on Monroe Drive and Boulevard to Renew Atlanta at RenewAtlanta@atlantaga.gov. Please feel free to use the template below and take a moment to personalize your message with why dedicated bike lanes and protected intersections can improve Monroe Drive and Boulevard.
Subject: I Support the Monroe Drive/Boulevard Complete Streets Project
Comments will be accepted until March 15, 2017