Improve street design to achieve safety for all on DeKalb Ave
[This post has been updated with outcomes from our campaign to improve the design of the DeKalb Avenue resurfacing by adding some elements of the defunded Complete Street project. For status updates on the DeKalb Ave project, visit the Renew Atlanta / TSPLOST webpage. Construction was initially scheduled to start in December 2020 but as of January 2021, it has been postponed to summer 2021.]
On Thursday, February 27th, 2020, the Atlanta Department of Transportation showed the most recent concept for DeKalb Ave. The project is described as “DeKalb Ave Safety Improvements,” and while it’s true that removing the reversible lane is an important safety improvement, the overall design would not fulfill the City’s commitment to improving safety for everyone on this key corridor.
Our vision for DeKalb Ave is of a greenway similar to the BeltLine alongside a safe street for all. In our vision, DeKalb Ave facilitates easy access to transit, prioritizes the safety of the most vulnerable people first, and provides transportation options that go beyond cars for the growing number of businesses and residents along the corridor.Read more
New City Transportation Department Gains Momentum with New Strategic Plan and Leadership
Yesterday, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced Josh Rowan, General Manager of Renew Atlanta/TSPLOST, will become the City's first Transportation Commissioner charged with bringing three existing City agencies together under one leader. We applaud the mayor on her selection and the comprehensive and progressive strategic plan announced alongside the Commissioner.
Building on the 10th Street pop-up lane
Last month, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced a plan to build a safer and more equitable transportation network for people who walk, bike, and use other human-powered or light individual transportation (LIT) devices. To kick off this project, the City’s Office of Mobility Planning and Midtown Alliance used temporary materials and volunteers to build a “pop-up” protected bike lane on 10th Street in Midtown. The temporary lane connected the existing cycle track from Piedmont Park at Myrtle Street two additional blocks up to Juniper Street.
Why are some roads more dangerous than others?
It’s frustrating when there are years of statistical data proving that specific streets are more dangerous than others.
It’s even more disturbing that people living in communities surrounded by dangerous streets have memories of severe and fatal traffic collisions etched in their minds. This “High-Injury Network” was researched by Georgia Tech graduate student John Saxton.Read more
Statement in Response to Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ Action Plan for Safer Streets Across Atlanta
Today, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced the details of the “plan to change our streets by creating safer, dedicated spaces for cyclists and scooter riders.” The promise of an “accelerated” plan came packaged with the announcement of a temporary night-time ban (9 p.m. to 4 a.m.) on permitted e-bikes & e-scooters following the deaths of three scooter riders struck by cars and killed while riding e-scooters in the city of Atlanta and our advocacy calling for a rapid response from the City.Read more
Music Midtown makes way for biking
Last year's Music Midtown brought heartburn to Atlantans who use bikes and scooters for transportation. The bike lanes on 10th Street were inaccessible for two-weeks during the previous year's festival even though they are the most heavily-used bike lanes in the city. This year, to create a safer environment for mobility, the City of Atlanta and Atlanta Bicycle Coalition worked with Music Midtown to address concerns and forge a better path forward.Read more
Rapid Response Required by City for Safe Streets
We are experiencing a breaking point in Atlanta’s mobility landscape. With the rise of shared mobility devices including e-bikes and scooters, almost weekly we are reminded that streets built to prioritize cars aren’t sufficient for present-day Atlanta. People are dying. The narrative of putting the onus on the victims or people that choose to use these devices for last-mile connectivity—or even for fun—unfairly removes the responsibility from the people with the power to enact immediate solutions.Read more
Cascade Can't Wait for Safety Improvements
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.Read more
[This page has been updated with information about changes to the project that resulted from advocacy campaigns. For status updates on the Cascade project, visit the Renew Atlanta / TSPLOST webpage. Construction was initially scheduled to start in December 2020 but as of January 2021, it has been postponed to summer 2021.]
Cascade Road, Cascade Avenue, and Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard are three sections of one critical corridor that serves dozens of Southwest Atlanta neighborhoods.
Two of the three sections, Cascade Road and Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard, are part of the High-Injury Network and ranked among the most dangerous roads in the city of Atlanta. The third section -- connecting these two High Injury streets -- is Cascade Avenue.
On January 19, 2019, David Gordon, a 52-year-old beloved longtime resident of Cascade Ave, was struck and killed by a driver while crossing Cascade Ave. He was in a crosswalk. The collision happened less than a quarter-mile mile from where the street name changes to Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard.
A “Complete Street” project was proposed in 2016 to address the hazardous conditions on Cascade Avenue, where David lost his life, but the construction funding was cut due to budget shortfalls. At the same time, thanks to the persistent work of community leaders and local advocates, in March 2019 Cascade Road in District 11 received funding to become a Complete Street. (Complete Streets are roads with safe spaces for people in all modes of transportation, whether they are walking, biking or scooting, and driving.) A section of Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard in Westview was funded as well and completed in 2018.
Following a community-led #RespectCascade action to highlight the urgent need for safety improvements on Cascade Avenue, the City of Atlanta revised the Cascade Complete Street project to include some safety improvements that could be added during the street resurfacing. Elements include bus stop enhancements, bicycle lanes, and pedestrian safety improvements.
We will continue to support communities along Cascade Ave in calling on the City of Atlanta to keep the vision of a safer, more accessible Cascade corridor alive.
On the crash heat map below, the intersection of Cascade Avenue and Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard is marked by glowing red and yellow embers, meaning many people walking have been hit by cars at this crossing.
Calling All Advocates - Final Push for Safe & Complete Streets
We closed 2018 calling on the City to prioritize the Renew Atlanta/TSPLOST Complete Street projects that have stalled out after three years of public meetings and delays.
As taxpayers and voters, you and I authorized these projects, and we voted for Complete Streets - twice! Now it's time to mark your calendars for our last run at getting safe & complete streets built. Bring friends, family, and anyone who owes you money to these meetings and tell the City to prioritize safe & complete streets.
There's a lot to like in the Complete Streets Scenario presented at the Transportation Committee Work Session earlier this month. (You can review the presentation here.) Namely, full funding for Howell Mill Road, Cascade Road/Avenue (Phase 1), Monroe Drive AND Boulevard, and the removal of the reversible lane on DeKalb Avenue. But there are three important projects missing.Read more