1. Boost Atlanta Department of Transportation funding to match urban peers.


Though Atlanta’s transportation issues are myriad, last year the administration cut the Atlanta Department of Transportation operating budget by more than 12%

This reduced operating funds to $50.3 Million. That’s three times less than other similarly-sized NACTO cities, whose median transportation budget was $164 Million. 

While the City characterized this cut as minor since there is significant capital money present to build transportation infrastructure, the reality is that the Atlanta Department of Transportation doesn’t have enough people to manage these projects.

Nor does the City have enough staff, equipment, or supplies to adequately maintain city streets to be safe for everyone.

In the next fiscal year budget we’re calling for: 

  1. $10 million for needed safety improvements including traffic calming, Safe Routes to School plans and projects, and quick-build safety features such as crosswalks, pedestrian hybrid beacons (signals to make crossing the street safer), tactical pedestrian curb extensions, and added separation to better protect bike lanes.
  2. $1 million to double the number of in-house project managers and ensure ATLDOT builds all the 2022 Moving Atlanta Forward* and long-overdue Renew Atlanta and TSPLOST 1.0 street infrastructure projects. *Moving Atlanta Forward was the 2022 infrastructure investment program approved by Atlanta residents. Renew Atlanta was a bond fund created in 2015 and TSPLOST 1.0 was Atlanta’s initial sales tax for transportation approved in 2016. 
  3. $10 million to double the budget for street maintenance so ATLDOT can hire more crews to maintain streets, crosswalks, and bike/LIT lanes, and purchase a mini LIT lane sweeper to regularly clean separated bike lanes.

 


2. Ramp up "Moving Atlanta Forward" and other long-overdue projects.

More than a year after the City of Atlanta announced a plan to advance $460 million in transformational infrastructure, including much-needed sidewalks, accessible curb ramps, bike lanes, and more, the transportation projects promised by “Moving Atlanta Forward” haven't moved much at all. That needs to change.

On top of that, the Atlanta Department of Transportation has yet to finish projects funded by 2015’s Renew Atlanta Bond or 2016’s sales tax for transportation (TSPLOST). 

In 2024, we will advocate for ATLDOT to prioritize the projects that would make streets on the High-Injury Network — just 10% of our streets that account for nearly three-quarters of all deaths and severe injuries – safer.

We’ll start by kick-starting the long-overdue transformation of Lee Street, where a cyclist was killed recently, and push for the design to be completed within a year.

 


3. Connect & protect the bike/LIT lane network*

We will advocate for a connected network of protected, colorful, and comfortable spaces for people biking, scooting, and using other light individual transportation (LIT).

Our advocacy will radiate out from the Downtown network we successfully advocated for in 2023, including projects on these streets:

  1. Forsyth Street: ATLDOT project with bike lane that needs more support
  2. MLK Drive: ATLDOT/Central Atlanta Progress opportunity to connect to the award-winning protected bike lane recently installed on MLK Drive and fill gap
  3. Memorial Drive: GDOT opportunity to extend an existing bike lane that ends at Trinity Avenue
  4. Peters Street: GDOT opportunity to protect existing bike lane
  5. Central Avenue & Pryor Street: ATLDOT federally-funded project that needs planning milestones

*This is a multi-year effort.

 


4. Push the City of Atlanta to officially adopt and implement its Vision Zero Action Plan.*

In 2020, Atlanta City Council adopted a Vision Zero policy. The next step was to create an action plan; however, this work was delayed by the pandemic. The Atlanta Department of Transportation created an interim plan and started work on the full plan in 2023. The resulting Vision Zero Action Plan was completed in October 2023, but has yet to be officially adopted.

The draft plan includes a long list of action items, which, when carried out, will go a long way toward making Atlanta a safer place to ride, walk, and roll.

We will advocate for the following recommendations and track implementation progress alongside annual fatalities and serious injuries: 

  1. Create safer crossings with signal timing that gives pedestrians a head start (LPIs). Make this the standard, prioritizing locations in the High-Injury Network 
  2. Prohibit turns on red via legislation
  3. Ensure repaving projects make streets safer by tracking and assessing these projects.

*This is a multi-year effort.

 


5. Advocate for frequent and reliable bus service in MARTA redesign*

In 2021, MARTA announced an update to its bus network to reflect the changing reality of where residents live and want to go. However, the pandemic and its aftermath delayed these efforts. Today, riders still report that buses don't arrive or are delayed by traffic, causing them to miss work and appointments.

We will advocate for more frequent, reliable bus service — ideally, every 15 minutes – few canceled trips, and reliable information on bus locations and arrival times.

We will gather feedback on riders’ needs and amplify their voices in the redesign process. We will also hold MARTA accountable to its most recently updated schedule with community engagement in summer 2024.

*This is a multi-year effort.

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