***Renew Atlanta/TSPLOST will not be presenting to the Transportation Committee this Wednesday, October 24th. We will post an update as soon as we hear about the next meeting.***
88% of Atlanta voters approved the $250-million Renew Atlanta bond back in 2015. After three years of public meetings and bold promises, only one out of 16 Complete Street projects have been built -- and that project didn't have a single public meeting nor was it on the project list shared with voters. Failure to build these projects would defy the will of the voters who overwhelmingly said yes to both the Renew Atlanta bond and TSPLOST.Read more
With the Mayor's announcement early in 2019 of the new department, and appointment of the first Commissioner in November, this came was a success! Thank you to everyone who played a role.
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.
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
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.Read more
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.
Click here for more background on our campaign for a safe and complete DeKalb Ave.
If the public comments from the city of Atlanta’s proposed infrastructure bond were a twitter feed, “bike projects” would be trending.
Even we were surprised to see the word "bike" show up 376 times and "complete streets" 126 times in the public comments!
An astounding one-third of all comments were requests for bike projects and Complete Streets. And a whopping 79 comments out of 767 total asked for DeKalb Avenue to be remade as a Complete Street!
That's a lot of support for the $23.4 million worth of projects that would include bikeways when resurfacing streets, which comes out to 9% of the $250 million worth of transportation proposals in the total proposed package. Here’s a small sample of the many wonderful comments:Read more
2020 Advocacy Priorities
In 2019 we updated our Strategic Plan based on community input. The new strategic plan informs our advocacy work in 2020, and will focus on achieving #SafeStreetsforAll through:
Safe & Complete Streets
Behavior & Culture Shift
Allied Political Leaders
After nearly 30 years, we've made some progress!
Map produced in collaboration with Alta Planning + Design.