[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
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
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.