Atlanta Mayoral Candidate Questionnaire Responses

Sign Atlanta Bicycle Coalition's 2021 Policy Agenda

Responses were received from the following candidates: Andre Dickens, Antonio Brown, Kasim Reed, and Roosevelt Searles. All candidates who qualified to have their name on the City of Atlanta Mayoral 2021 Ballot, shown below, were asked to complete our questionnaire. 

Andre DickensAntonio BrownFelicia MooreGlenn S. Wrightson | Kasim ReedKenny Hill | Kirsten Dunn Mark Hammad | Nolan English | Rebecca L. King | Richard N. WrightRoosevelt Searles IIISharon Gay | Walter Reeves

Question 1: What is the main way you get around Atlanta on a daily basis?

Candidate responses are listed alphabetically by first name.



Andre Dickens I grew up in Atlanta, and took pride in walking, biking, carpooling and riding MARTA. Over the past several years, I have continued to rely on a diverse set of methods to move around the city, including all of the above! No one of these answers represents my transportation modalities, but I am proud to have used almost every one of the options ABC has listed (I have not used a wheelchair).
Antonio Brown Drive alone
Kasim Reed Drive alone
Roosevelt Searles Drive alone


Question 2: Please share your vision for transportation and mobility in the city of Atlanta. How would you support transportation options for the 16% of Atlantans who don’t have access to a car, have a disability, and/or prefer to get around by sustainable, healthy modes of transportation such as transit, walking, biking, etc?



Andre Dickens I have been working my entire term to promote a vision of transportation that prioritizes safety, connectivity and equity. I championed Vision Zero framework which resulted in numerous positive impacts, most significant is reduction of speed limits to 25MPH across city surface streets. I wrote and passed legislation to authorize study for ATL DOT, including input and participation from representatives from ABC, PEDs, and others. I formed Atlanta Accessibility and Inclusion Task Force to ensure City managed streets/sidewalks/facilities around city hall are safe and accessible for all transportation modes, including non-car modalities. I led City Council's efforts to regulate micro mobility vehicles and ensure safe travels for all transit modes but creating designated parking areas, rules of the road, etc. with input from a broad coalition including ABC, Planning Department, Chief Bicycle Officer, scooter and ride-sharing and companies, and others.

I also believe that our roads, sidewalks, transit, vehicle fleet and other infrastructure are sorely in need of investment. Efforts have been made for some improvements using temporary solutions but now it's time for us to commit to a massive infrastructure campaign. As a Councilman, I supported every Complete Streets vote, and have consistently called for the administration to deliver on promised timelines.

As mayor, I will work with Atlanta City Council to designate more ‘complete streets’, implement more bike lanes, sidewalks and crosswalks, fulfill promises of More MARTA and BeltLine Rail to ultimately bring infrastructure up to our expectations of a world-class city. I’ll ensure that infrastructure projects include the expansion and preservation of arts and culture within the city. And finally, I will ensure that federal dollars from the American Rescue Plan and forthcoming Infrastructure Plan are used efficiently and without waste or graft.
Antonio Brown I believe that Atlanta is long overdue for an infrastructural upgrade in both transit and mobility. One of the first priorities in my platform involves providing safe and equitable access to multiple forms of transit to enhance walkability and promote alternative transportation. This includes creating walkable neighborhoods, promoting biking, car-sharing and carpooling, partnering with MARTA and ARC to expand existing bus rapid transit routes, and expanding and improving mobility and connectivity for seniors and disabled veterans.
Kasim Reed My vision is founded on a commitment to social mobility and economic opportunity for all Atlantans. My vision for transportation and mobility in Atlanta is a safer network of roads, sidewalks, bike lanes and trails supported by expanded public transportation options that include more light rail, and better bus service. As Mayor, I will prioritize support for MARTA expansion and improvement, make space for innovative modes of first/last mile transportation and connecting all modes of transportation in the sharing
Roosevelt Searles First, we must identify areas that do not have as many resources and offer businesses incentives to move there. At the same time, we will be working with NPU’s, MARTA, DOT and small business owners to select the best areas for new affordable housing while simultaneously providing more transportation options such as a carpool shuttle and extending MARTA’s reach. I would like to know some of the transportation options available for people who do not own a car. The only ones I know are MARTA, a scooter, ride-share or carpooling. You guys speak of a multitude of options however the average person is not aware of them. Everything I say and do comes from experience, therefore, as a person who has had to constantly walk and ride the bus to get to work, I know first-hand how slim our “affordable” transportation options are. Key word “affordable.” If you are riding lyft/uber every day, then you are automatically reducing your daily income significantly since each ride cost no less than $10. We must provide higher wages or more transportation options. With over 500,000 residents and traffic at an all time high, we must figure out new ways to attack this complex issue of offering efficient, reliable transportation. Residents deserve to know that their city cares about every aspect of their lives. No matter how much we can do for ourselves, when we pay taxes, we deserve city services that work for the people!


Question 3: The Atlanta Department of Transportation estimates the City has a sidewalk funding gap of close to $1 billion dollars. How would you fund sidewalks and other urgent transportation needs in the city?



Andre Dickens My citywide contingent of constituents and leadership of Atlanta City Council's Transportation Committee acquainted me with Atlanta's myriad of unmet and unfunded needs, but the experience also illuminated a path forward.

All too often, worthwhile projects have come before that committee, seeking funding, but misaligned against priorities from federal, state and other local authorities and budgets. City Hall makes it much harder than it should to overlay those projects, impacted areas, and funding sources, and fixing that inefficiency will be one of my first priorities as mayor to begin to address the infrastructure backlog. I created the Atlanta Department of Transportation for this very reason.

I will leverage my experience as an engineer to repair systemic issues with procurement and permitting that both cause frustrating delays and increase costs in contracting. Other strategies include attracting private investment, enhancing our technology/digital infrastructure in each neighborhood and each city department, incentivizing the construction of infrastructure and making the most of what will likely be a once-in-a-generation infrastructure package that has been proposed by President Biden.

Additionally, I will lead the charge to pass the next TSPLOST/Renew Atlanta Plan that I will push to require at least 50% financial prioritization for sidewalks and complete streets.
Antonio Brown As mayor, I would fund the city's transit needs through leveraging federal funds through the Department of Transportation and other federal agencies and fostering public-private partnerships from the corporations who call Atlanta home yet do not do enough to help maintain their surrounding communities.
Kasim Reed Atlanta's mobility future needs significantly more funding than we have right now. I will leverage every possible federal dollar for infrastructure improvements and my success record in bringing federal dollars to Atlanta is unmatched. We will renew the TSPLOST and we will bake infrastructure improvements into our partnerships with private sector developments.
Roosevelt Searles We have to look at our current funding and find ways to redirect funds to ensure that they are being spent correctly. To aide in this process, my administration will be conducting a financial review and audit of each city department to put eyes on exactly where tax payer dollars have been going over the last few years. This step is vital simply because the city receives millions in taxes, grants, loans, bonds and rewards, but where does it really all go? We will engage with residents to target the most populated areas with a goal of prioritizing the sidewalk project to ensure we are utilizing tax dollars efficiently. This project will be coupled with our race to begin repairing all public roads by end the of 2024.


Question 4: The number of people killed while walking in Georgia increased 22% from 2015 to 2019. Half of those killed were Black, a fatality rate more than twice that of white Georgians. In the city of Atlanta, out of the 16 pedestrians killed so far this year, 15 were Black and 13 were men. This mirrors the national trend of pedestrian fatalities increasing fastest among Black men. What will you do to make streets measurably safer for people biking, walking, and using scooters or wheelchairs? What will you do to address the disparities in whose lives are endangered the most by unsafe streets? 



Andre Dickens I appreciate Atlanta Bicycle Coalition's commitment to apprising elected and appointed officials of the facts. As a Black man, I know firsthand that this is a problem deserving of real attention. Unfortunately, Black and Brown Atlantans are at the receiving end of too many negative statistics and disparities, and I pledge to be a Mayor who focuses on closing racial gaps across the spectrum, including the built environment and environmental racism. My experience as a Georgia-Tech trained engineer and the current Chairman of City Council's Transportation Committee have made me aware of other disparities that deserve our attention, and as Atlanta's next mayor, I will direct attention and resources to address these issues and make Atlanta a safer more accessible city for walking, biking and other modes of transportation.

We will continue to focus on the High Injury Network of streets and corridors that plague our city which are overwhelmingly where black and brown people live. This is why I worked directly on the campaign and programming of Vision Zero to slow down drivers to 25 mph and to begin the process of redesigning our roads to reduce speeds and crashes. I've also worked with district councilmembers and Commissioner Rowan to push GDOT to provide pedestrian safety measures on Donald Lee Hollowell (which are now under way) where pedestrian deaths have occurred in the past, Memorial Drive, and Cleveland Avenue. Lastly, I asked the ATL DOT to conduct a street light study because I felt many of these areas weren't well lit. The study found that the city was short 8500 street lights and the majority of the missing lights were in areas of high crashes and high crimes. Under my administration, we will install 10,000 more street lights and make sure existing lights are functional which will provide for safety for pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, and wheelchairs.
Antonio Brown One of the biggest priorities of my campaign is to make sure that as a city, we take responsibility for providing for what I call "the rest of Atlanta", meaning those who have been left behind and face difficult disparities such as a lack of accessibility to safe sidewalks, bike lanes and little to no safety provisions for those scooter or wheelchair-bound.

Some of our initiatives include a partnership with MARTA and the Atlanta Regional Commission to expand existing Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) routes to improve coordination and connectivity across the city’s key transit corridors with a focus on equitable access, broadening ADA Accessibility Lanes to improve transit mobility for seniors and disabled residents who use wheelchairs, expanding and improving mobility/connectivity
for seniors and disabled residents to essential locations like grocery stores, hospitals, pharmacies, recreational centers and parks through current city shuttle service and potential rideshare partnerships; we would collaborate with the PATH Foundation to expand our off-street trails network by utilizing Georgia Power corridors for connectivity to the beltline, improving walkability and safety for children, increase sidewalk installations in communities near schools to prevent accidents and prioritize safety, and continue renegotiating Georgia Power contract to reduce overspending and increase streetlights in high-risk areas.
Kasim Reed  I support Atlanta's adoption of the Vision Zero pledge. My approach will be defined by lower speed limits across the city, increased enforcement and safer street designs. We will prioritize safety projects on the most dangerous stretches of road. Safe Routes to Schools and Safe Routes to Transit will both be elevated as priorities across all relevant departments.
Roosevelt Searles The first step is educating our youth and the general public more often on the safety practices and precautions when biking, walking, and using scooters or wheelchairs. The next part of this would be to assess the locations of impact. Where are the accidents taking place? Is there a trend in the climate or circumstances surrounding the accident? Too many times do we find ourselves jumping to conclusions or overlooking the small things that may lead up to an event taking place. My administration will create The People's Media aimed at providing an inside out look of city hall and how we will be working for the people of Atlanta. This will also be a hub for every day information pertaining to the safety, peace and overall well-being of our residents. No matter the color, we must to continue to look at all the ways we can attribute to the change we are looking to see. That is why I am running for Mayor of this city, because I am tired of talking and asking for change! It's time to BE that change!


Question 5: In 2019, the City of Atlanta announced plans to "more than triple its on-street protected bike network" saying, "by the end of 2021, Atlantans will see more than 20 miles of safer streets.” Many of those projects are not on track to be complete by the end of the year, and while the pandemic challenged project implementation everywhere, building bike lanes and Complete Streets in Atlanta has always been slow. If elected, would you seek to speed up the completion of transportation projects intended to provide safe travel options for people who walk, bike, or have a disability?



Andre Dickens Transportation and infrastructure are just some of the challenges facing the city on our path to economic recovery after a devastating pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic derailed many of the City of Atlanta's biking and pedestrian projects, and expanding that network is certainly a priority that deserves to be revisited post-pandemic.

As a Councilman, I supported every Complete Streets vote, and have consistently called for the administration to deliver on promised timelines. As Chairman of the City Council’s Transportation Committee, I created the Atlanta Department of Transportation to take a stock of the city's full array of transportation needs and put a single agency at the center of figuring out how to deliver solutions. In 2015, I was proud to be named the Blinkie Award recipient for “Elected Official of the Year”.

As Mayor, I will leverage my experience as an engineer to repair systemic issues with procurement and permitting that cause frustrating delays and increased costs in contracting. I will work with Atlanta City Council to designate more ‘complete streets’, implement more bike lanes, sidewalks and crosswalks. I believe that the highest expression of our city is one that includes walkability, and I'll pursue our pre-pandemic goals with well-earned experience and know-how.
Antonio Brown We would absolutely speed up the completion of those long overdue transportation projects. While COVID did provide a real challenge to our city's ability to complete certain projects, others were still completed with a higher sense of urgency and swiftness. Much of the backlog could also be contributed to a city government whose administrative infrastructure still sits decades behind its peers. My administration would modernize that infrastructure so that projects can be done quickly and with a high-degree of transparency.
Kasim Reed  The progress we made on bike infrastructure during my two terms as Mayor has stalled. That is unacceptable. Great cities must have safe, multi-modal options. In my first term, I pledged to double Atlanta’s bike lanes in four years, which we did. I supported the Streets Alive program with annual funding from the City's General Fund, launched the city's bike share program and hired the city's first Chief Bicycle Officer. Our efforts resulted in Atlanta being ranked in Bicycle Magazine’s 50 “Best Bike Cities” for the first time in the city's history. We have to recommit to this course and continue to make Atlanta a city that works for cyclists and pedestrians and those with accessibility challenges.
Roosevelt Searles Yes I would seek to speed up this completion. I dove in great detail above, however to be brief, understand this. The city of Atlanta has the networking capabilities to hire the right people both here in state and nationally if need be. Unfortunately we have found ourselves dealing with a handful of city leaders who are deaf to the complaints, needs, and wants of the tax paying residents that sign their paychecks.
My administration will work tirelessly to secure funding and manpower in order to begin the process of completing all backlogged projects. We allow developers and big businesses to come in and do construction when and where ever. Now it is time for the city to responsibly take back control of this industry by keeping contractors at bay while the DOT performs the necessary work needed in order to keep residents safe.


Question 6: Communities across the country have found stark racial disparities in enforcement of “jaywalking” and similar laws. In many parts of Atlanta, the nearest crosswalk is over a half-mile away. How would you address the over-policing of walking, biking, and riding transit, including crossing a street outside of a crosswalk?



Andre Dickens Since 2010, Atlanta has had the highest income inequality in the nation. An Atlantan born into poverty only has a 4% chance of making it to the middle class. My first post at Georgia Institute of Technology was recruiting diverse student populations with the talent and drive to apply a top-notch education to becoming a productive member of society. I have taken up the cause of fighting racial and income inequality in my capacity as an elected leader. I authored and passed legislation to increase the city's minimum wage from $10.10 per hour to $15 per hour. I also chaired the Council's Public Safety Committee in my first term. I will apply the same equity lens and commitment to bring the APD along to deprioritize policing of walking, biking, and riding transit, including crossing a street outside of a crosswalk.
Antonio Brown As with many other aspects of our society, our city government has to realize that every problem cannot be solved by throwing the APD at it. The overpolicing of minor violations like jaywalking attacks people of color in our city because in many areas, the transit infrastructure is decades old, with obvious gaps in places of high congestion in the poorest parts of Atlanta. This forces folks to commit these violations out of necessity, not negligence.

First, we must stop APD from overenforcement of these minor violations until city government has done our part to address the transit disparities in these areas by installing crosswalks, bus transit stations, bike lanes, and e-bike stations and providing residents with better options to safely move about the city.
Kasim Reed  Atlanta's police will focus on reducing violent crime. Criminalizing and enforcing jaywalking ordinances is the wrong approach and wrongly focuses on pedestrians as culpable parties in accidents. I will ask the city's police and DOT to review the data on jaywalking arrests. If legislative changes are necessary, we will do that. We will also prioritize mid-block HAWK crossing signals on the roads where the data says we need them.

Roosevelt Searles
As a 911 operator for Clayton County I was afforded the opportunity to visit each department of the county that we would be working with. While attending a police department roll call I witnessed officers saying "look for jeans, dreads, and sneakers'' those are 54's. (Suspicious people) With that in mind, anyone slightly matching this description would be stopped and questioned.
My point is this. I know first hand how it feels as a Black man to be racially profiled every day just because of how I look in the face. I plan to attend every role call and conduct a ride along with each precinct in the first 100 days of office. Consisting of my executive team and I randomly pulling up on Officers at the scene to assess their readiness and training. This will give me a first hand look at how our officers are responding to crime while also giving residents the opportunity to meet and greet with The People's Mayor!
My administration will partner with our new Inclusion and Ethics Committee to ensure that each officer receives SOCIAL TRAINING. Officers will be taught the slang and language of the people the service. Officers will be required to visit the parks, small businesses, schools, and restaurants in their zone. This will give them the chance to engage with and get to know the residents they've sworn to "Protect and Serve"


Question 7: The More MARTA tax allocates $2.5 B to expand MARTA in the City of Atlanta over the next 40 years. What do you think the relationship between MARTA and the City of Atlanta should be in implementing this program? What considerations should MARTA be expected to provide for on-street facilities for people getting to and from transit?



Andre Dickens As Chairman of the City Council’s Transportation Committee, I have worked with my colleagues to hold MARTA and all of the city’s transportation stakeholders accountable via the legislative process. I’ve witnessed ‘More MARTA’ develop a robust presence at community events to engage residents across the city. As mayor, I will direct my administration to be more focused on organizing forums for citizens to engage with each other and More MARTA simultaneously, because directing the resources to improve transportation infrastructure is one of the most important tasks of city government.

I will also insist that candidates for city appointment to the MARTA Board of Directors have adequate experience to contribute to Atlanta’s mass transit ecosystem. They will need to bring strong qualifications, the willingness to work together, and keep Atlanta at the forefront of the still-expanding transit system in order to earn my support for the board. Another meaningful change would be requiring that appointees follow the same course as other city board appointments and receive a final vote from the city council.

Antonio Brown The City of Atlanta, our communities who rely on MARTA the most, and the MARTA Board and its union MUST work hand-in-hand to ensure that the More MARTA program is executed in an efficient and equitable manner.

As mayor, I would work with these interests to ensure that whatever considerations MARTA should make are what the community needs and desires while also making sure that we do not place undue burdens upon the proud MARTA workers who would be expected to service them on a daily basis.
Kasim Reed Under my leadership, MARTA will have an active partner to advance the More MARTA projects, with a focus on the Clifton Corridor light rail and Beltline projects. MARTA and the city will be closer partners in improving safety and access to rail stations and bus stops. Safer Routes to Transit will mean more bus shelters, more and wider sidewalks.
Roosevelt Searles The Bus stops are not safe nor are they friendly! Each bus stop should have a camera connected to MARTA police. Officers should also have access to this technology. I would suggest adding vending machines or some type of snack/cold drink option for those waiting to catch the bus/train. MARTA should also invest in more waste management and maintenance services to ensure the bus stops are maintained and lighting is working properly.