BOOST ATLANTA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION FUNDING TO MATCH URBAN PEERS

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No matter which Atlanta neighborhood we call home, we all want safe, thriving streets and the freedom to get to and from our jobs, schools, and all the places we need to go. Reliable public transit and bus lanes, bike lanes, sidewalks, and crosswalks give us a healthy, sustainable, and affordable way to get around.

But last year, under Mayor Andre Dickens, the administration cut the Atlanta Department of Transportation (ATLDOT) operating budget by more than 12%, reducing operating funds to $50.3 million. That’s three times less than other cities of similar size, whose median transportation budget was $164 million. This means that ATLDOT doesn’t have enough people to manage its long list of urgently needed projects. Nor does the City have enough staff, equipment, or supplies to adequately maintain today’s streets to be safe for everyone.

What could Atlanta could look like with proper funding for transportation? Having enough staff to finally finish redesigning streets like DeKalb Avenue, Lee Street, Cascade Avenue, South Boulevard, and Monroe Drive would transform Atlanta! The half million people who live in our city would gain safe, efficient, and accessible travel options. Local businesses would no longer suffer the harms of vehicle crashes into their buildings, and everyone would experience reduced carbon emissions, better air quality, and safe spaces to get exercise or just enjoy our communities. 

Atlanta is at a crossroads. Our bustling streets mirror the energy of our growing city. Yet, every day, we find ourselves stuck in the very arteries meant to keep our city alive. In fact, you may have heard the meme “#WeFull”— a popular mantra of frustration for those caught in the snarl of traffic. But we see not a full city, but one that's ready to unlock its full potential. Read more: Unsnarl Atlanta’s Potential

We know what makes communities thrive. By raising our voices together, we can demand the funds and people needed to make safe, inclusive, thriving streets and transportation a reality in Atlanta, so that everyone can move safely, easily, and sustainably throughout the city for generations to come.

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Timeline

The Mayor creates the proposed annual budget and sends it to City Council. Council shares their priorities with the Mayor, holds a public meeting where residents can share their views, makes changes, then votes on the final budget in June. From "Creating the City Budget: A Quick Overview"

The need

 

In the fiscal year 2025 budget (July 2024-June 2025), we’re calling for:

 

$10 million for needed safety improvements including

* Traffic calming: triple current funding from $1 million to $3 million

* Safe Routes to School plans and projects

* 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

Image: NACTO Global Street Design

Significantly more people to

* Manage the 2022 Moving Atlanta Forward and long-overdue street infrastructure projects. (Moving Atlanta Forward was the 2022 infrastructure investment program approved by Atlanta residents.) To make tangible progress, the department needs more project managers and planners

* Maintain sidewalks, crosswalks, bike/LIT lanes, and streets. To keep our infrastructure in safe condition, we need enough crews to not only fill potholes, but restripe crosswalks and bike lanes and fix sidewalks and ADA hazards.

 

A mini sweeper

* to regularly clean separated bike/LIT lanes

Photo: Seattle DOT


You can help.

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City Council shares our budget priorities

Atlanta City Council's FY 2025 budget priorities for infrastructure, quality of life, and sustainability, calling for the budget to:

  • fund large backlog of street resurfacing, prioritizing streets with a Pavement Condition Index/Score of less than 60% rating across the city
  • fund and complete a Pavement Conditions Index/Score study update by Q2 FY2025 [Propel ATL: all repaving projects MUST make streets measurably safer.]
  • triple Atlanta Department of Transportation’s traffic calming budget (currently ~$1M) to deliver projects currently on the wait-list much more quickly. The backlog is pushing into FY27 and continuing to grow (~$3M)
  • provide funding provisions for conducting traffic studies in high-density corridors of the city to help develop more effective traffic management strategies
  • allocate funding and prioritize bike lane connectivity to enhance transportation infrastructure and promote mobility
  • allocate funds for communication and public relations roles within the Atlanta Department of Transportation to enhance communication, address public inquiries, and develop greater community engagement
  • create and fund programs that help build community resilience in the face of climate change, including renewable energy projects, green infrastructure, and ways to increase disaster preparedness

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