On Wednesday, May 8th, approximately 50 community members and supporters, including parents and students from Tuskegee Airmen Global Academy Elementary School (TAG), turned frustration into action, calling on the City to #RespectCascade . “Walk a Mile in Cascade’s Shoes” served as a day of action to generate attention about the prevalence of injuries on Cascade Road and to honor victims like 52-year-old David Gordon who lost his life crossing the street in a low-visibility crosswalk earlier this year.
When news surfaced this spring about the deprioritization of Renew Atlanta’s Cascade Phase 2 Complete Streets project, feelings of disappointment quickly shifted to planning and organizing for action.
On May 8th, the group marched from TAG Elementary School along Cascade Road/Avenue, temporarily halting traffic at the crosswalk between Rogers and Donnelly Avenue where Gordon was struck and killed crossing the street in the crosswalk. They formed a people-protected crosswalk and held signs and chanted “Respect Cascade,” while students crossed between them on the road they use to walk home from school every day. Demonstration organizers also called for full funding to make the entire Cascade corridor safe and complete.
Right now, half the corridor -- from Avon Avenue west to the city limits past the Cascade Springs Nature Preserve -- will get safe and Complete Streets. East of Avon Avenue, however, Cascade will just get repaved, which will result in higher speeds and a more dangerous road for residents of those neighborhoods. The City of Atlanta will design a Complete Street for this section but did not set aside funds to build it. Residents living and working along the street deserve more than a city design that may end up sitting on a shelf inside City Hall.
The good news is there are low-cost solutions to improve safety and mobility on Cascade that could happen as part of that resurfacing project. But the City needs to make it a priority.
Equipping people with information and resources to advocate for themselves and others is crucial in expanding equity throughout the City of Atlanta. For months the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition has worked alongside residents in Southwest Atlanta. Together, we call on the City to honor their promise and deliver critical infrastructure along the hazardous Cascade corridor.