Mobility needs don't end at 9 PM
The City of Atlanta announced a temporary nighttime ban on permitted e-bikes & e-scooters as of Friday, August 9th. A citywide No Ride Zone will be in effect from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. daily, in response to the recent fatal scooter/motor vehicle crashes. The announcement noted that all four crashes occurred "after sunset."
But the sun doesn't set on people's mobility needs, and last-mile connectivity isn't limited to daytime hours.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
POSTPONED: Take Action for Complete Streets
***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
This campaign is celebrating a win with the April 2020 adoption of Vision Zero legislation. Read more.
Set a city goal of zero traffic deaths, and create a data-driven approach in which multiple city departments collaborate to reduce roadway crashes and fatalities to zero -- because no one should die trying to get somewhere.
Atlanta should aspire to make streets safer for everyone regardless of their choice of travel modes. The unfortunate reality is that the number of roadway crashes increased from 2011-2014 across Metro Atlanta. The numbers are highest in Fulton County. In 2017 alone, 115 people died on streets in Fulton County, 36 of whom were walking, and two of whom were on bikes. None of them should have died while trying to get to where they were going.
In making Atlanta streets safer for everyone, it is imperative to set a city goal of zero traffic deaths by adopting a “Vision Zero” strategy for the City of Atlanta. Vision Zero starts with a simple premise: traffic fatalities and severe injuries are preventable. The Vision Zero approach requires rigorous collaboration across city departments and stakeholders to devise data-driven and measurable strategies to achieve the shared goal of zero fatalities. Originally started in Sweden, Vision Zero has been adopted by 27 American cities, including San Francisco, Portland, New York, and Seattle.
Vision Zero emphasizes engineering streets for safety and educating the public. By acknowledging that people will make mistakes, we must thoughtfully design streets that provide clear visibility for streets users, discourage speeding, provide separation between modes, and protected pedestrian crossings that would dramatically reduce the conditions that lead to fatalities and injuries.
Another fundamental key to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries is public awareness. Vision Zero Action Plan should incorporate efforts to educate travelers of all modes to allow them to travel safely and respectfully together.
While some U.S. cities include enforcement of traffic laws using traffic stops in their Vision Zero strategies, we do not support that strategy for Atlanta. Traffic stops have not been proven to have a lasting impact on the risk of collisions and create the potential for dangerous interactions between the public and the police. Traffic stops would not get us to a safe transportation system that we aspire. Over-reliance on police enforcement could hinder street design and policies that truly prioritize safety for people using all modes of transportation. From an equity perspective, there has been growing interest in limiting law enforcement actions in Vision Zero in order to reduce the possibility of disparate impacts on minority and low-income travelers. Traffic stops also significantly hinder the flow of traffic creating obstacles and unsafe conditions for all modes.
The City of Portland (city population of 639,863, metro population of 2,389,228) has explicitly limited enforcement and pledged to no racial profiling in its Vision Zero that was adopted in 2015. Portland also implemented policies to give safety education to people who have broken traffic laws instead of giving them punishment through fines or jail time. In California, San Francisco (city population of 870,887) has also added an equity platform to its Vision Zero and specifically narrowed enforcement role to focus on the top five offenses that lead to the greatest traffic violence. Meanwhile, in Los Angeles (city population of 3,976, 322), there has been a growing movement to revise Vision Zero to address racial profiling and disproportionate enforcement issues.
In lieu of increased enforcement, we recommend that the city ask the state legislature to authorize the use of automated speed cameras to reduce high-speed traffic crashes. Earlier this year, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended that states that prohibit or restrict automated speed cameras “remove barriers to the use of automated speed enforcement—are based on the findings that it is an effective but underused countermeasure.”
A 2010 study found that automated enforcement using speed cameras significantly reduced speeding and serious injury crashes. The report states that the “consistency of reported positive reductions in speed and crash results across all studies show that speed cameras are a worthwhile intervention for reducing the number of road traffic injuries and deaths.”
The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition recommends that elected officials:
Immediately create a Vision Zero Task Force to create and oversee the implementation of an Action Plan. This task force should draw stakeholders from city departments, transportation-related fields, and community organizations. Ideally, the Task Force would be chaired by the Director of the Department of Transportation.
Support and standardize the collection and creation of comprehensive data that reveals significant factors contributing to fatalities and severe injuries as well as where most crashes occur (to designate the High Crash Network). The Action Plan should be built upon this data and should lay out specific actions that are measurable against performance indicators.
Collaborate with GDOT to revise data collection practices to ensure bike and pedestrian crashes are properly accounted for. Standardize a count program to understand how exposure affects the crash rate.
Ensure that the Action Plan addresses inequity concerns that would disproportionately affect people of color and low-income communities.
Ensure coordination between the ATL Vision Zero Action Plan and the Street Design Policy.
The police enforcement should be limited to focus on the High Crash Network area and on the most influential behaviors contributing to fatal crashes.
Secure adequate and sustainable funding for the implementation of the ATL Vision Zero Action Plan.
Support the provision of speed cameras across the city, with priority along the High Injury Network, including any state legislation needed.
Set aside money in an annual budget specifically for the purpose of Vision Zero and link lives saved to these dollars.
For more on our 2017 policy platform, visit atlantabike.org/platform2017.
For more from our partners at Georgia Bike Law on what to do if you are in a crash, why we don't say "accident," how to avoid a crash, and more, visit bikelaw.com/learn.
Together, we've made a lot of progress towards better transportation options over the years.
Map of bike network produced in collaboration with Alta Planning + Design