Reviewing the City of Atlanta Tactical Urbanism Guide

In August, we blogged about the City’s anticipated tactical urbanism permit program with examples of tactical urbanism (also known as popup or demonstration projects) and opportunities for community groups to design and implement low-cost improvements to roadways and other public spaces. We’ve pushed for an expedited approval process to allow neighborhoods to safely, efficiently, and legally implement these projects for years, most recently through our 2020 Legislative Policy Agenda.  In October, the Atlanta Departments of City Planning and Transportation released the Atlanta Tactical Urbanism Guide, which includes a list of eligible projects, design standards, and materials palette. The guide also describes the process for approval, with a list of required documents. We’re excited to see the City support local efforts to make small but incremental changes in Atlanta neighborhoods, and we believe these temporary projects can harness our community’s creative talent to make a lasting impact on the safety and vibrancy of our streets! What follows here is a brief review of the Tactical Urbanism guide and the submission process: what we like, what we would like to see added, and key changes to make the process smooth and accessible for all residents. These suggestions will be sent to the City, and we will keep you updated. We are also planning to participate in a small tactical project with a neighborhood to provide additional feedback. Read more

Engineering over enforcement to address street racing and other forms of speeding

Across the United States, some 40,000 people are killed each year in crashes with cars. Here in the City of Atlanta, 73 people were killed in traffic in 2019. That's 73 families who will never be the same after the loss of their loved one. People driving too fast is the primary cause of deadly crashes in our city. Street racing has gained popularity throughout the U.S. during the pandemic as people look for outdoor entertainment, but it can be dangerous for drivers, observers, and people who simply happen to be nearby. Atlanta residents’ concerns about the high speeds led the Atlanta City Council to set a minimum fine of $1,000 and up to 6 months jail time in August. Now, legislation being considered by Atlanta City Council would require anyone arrested for street racing to go before a judge before they could be released from jail.  2020’s protests for racial justice have elevated the recognition that the use of armed police force is not a good solution to societal problems-- including traffic safety. We opposed the use of armed police as a tool to achieve zero traffic deaths because it endangers the very lives this policy seeks to preserve--disproportionately putting Black and Brown people at risk--while wasting public resources on ineffective approaches.  Street racing and other forms of speeding are a major barrier to safe streets. That's why we recommend the following more effective ways to address it:  Read more

GOVERNOR’S OFFICE OF HIGHWAY SAFETY AWARDS GRANT TO ATLANTA BICYCLE COALITION

(ATLANTA) The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition is pleased to announce it has received a $68,576.59 grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS). The grant, which will continue through September of 2021, will support efforts to reduce bicycle crashes and injuries. “Thanks to GOHS, we are able to provide quality bike safety and skills training to hundreds of Atlantans. Our goal is to support more people biking while reducing bike crashes to zero in Fulton and DeKalb counties” said Atlanta Bicycle Coalition Education & Outreach Program Manager Stephen Spring.           Read more

First quarterly stakeholder meeting recap: progressing toward strategic goals, new opportunities for community involvement, and more!

On August 20, 2020 we hosted our first-ever quarterly stakeholder meeting. Many thanks to everyone who spent the evening with us--what a great turn out!  No worries if you weren’t able to make it--we’ve shared a few highlights below, plus you can watch the full briefing and/or review the slides at your convenience:   Read more

A new name for a new direction? Please weigh in!

When we embarked on expanding our mission and defining our strategic plan in 2019, we connected with a lot of people. We thought at the time that a name change might follow our expanded mission. Now, over a year later, we have several names for you to consider. Here’s how we got here. Read more

Tactical Urbanism permits--coming soon to Atlanta--will allow residents, community groups, and businesses to contribute to safe streets for people

The ongoing pandemic exposed just how critical safe, convenient, and affordable transportation options are for people, especially those whose jobs can’t be done remotely or who need to access essential services.  As infection rates fluctuate, more people are biking, walking, and scooting to get where they need to go. That means demand for safe streets with decent options for all kinds of movement is on the rise. Through our 2020 policy agenda and recent essential transportation campaign, we called on the City of Atlanta to empower communities to creatively improve safety on their streets through small, interim projects by establishing a city approval process--or tactical urbanism permit.  This post is meant to explain the concept of tactical urbanism, provide an update on advocacy for a tactical urbanism permit for Atlanta, and ask for your continued support for equitable transportation options. Read more

Operations and staff updates: Summer 2020

A lot has changed since we last gave a staff update in Spring 2019 and published our first series of actions in response to COVID-19 in March 2020. The public health pandemic continues to affect our operations, programs, staffing, and advocacy. Read more for more adjustments we've made this summer.   Thank you for continuing to support our mission and work. You are what powers this movement!  Please reach out if you have ideas or questions.   Read more

Remove Police Enforcement from Vision Zero

Editor’s note: Recently we echoed what many Black and Brown leaders in the mobility sector have been saying for years: there is no mobility justice without racial justice. The post below was written by multiple staff members and partners and is part of an ongoing series of statements, media, policy changes, and actions our organization is taking with the goals of rooting out white supremacy and systemic racism from our organization and from transportation and to advocate anti-racist policies.  Traffic stops make our streets less safe for Black, Brown, Immigrant, and Indigenous communities. Today we sent a letter to Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms calling on the City of Atlanta’s Department of Transportation Vision Zero program to remove police enforcement as a Vision Zero tool. This is a collaborative effort of PEDS, Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, Georgia STAND-Up, and TransFormation Alliance. Act now to call on the City of Atlanta to remove police enforcement from Vision Zero   Read more

ATL DOT FY2021 budget

Last week we launched our "Essential Transportation" campaign calling for the City of Atlanta's fiscal year 2021 budget to prioritize urgent transportation needs. The young Atlanta Department of Transportation (ATL DOT) presented its first full budget request at a briefing to Atlanta City Council, which we live-tweeted. We need your help! Take action to support Essential Transportation then join us for a virtual budget watch party June 2nd at 6:15 pm (Facebook event coming soon). Read more for what the ATL DOT highlighted from their budget request.  Read more

Atlanta Streets Alive 10th Anniversary + What's Next?!

When we launched Atlanta Streets Alive in 2010, we set out to shift Atlanta’s culture. We wanted to inspire Atlantans to re-envision and reclaim our city streets as public spaces for people. Now, 10 years, 29 open streets demonstrations, 83 miles, and 1.7 MILLION participants later, a modest mile on Edgewood Avenue has evolved into an award-winning initiative. It’s clear that Atlanta Streets Alive has been embraced by Atlantans as part of our city's cultural signature. So where will the next decade take us? Read more

Celebrating Vision Zero & Safe Speed limit campaign win with a video tribute: submit yours here!

We’re so excited to celebrate Atlanta’s recent decision to adopt Vision Zero and safer speeds legislation! Atlanta is joining the ranks of Vision Zero cities across the world, and we couldn’t be more proud of this citywide effort by all of the organizations, neighborhood associations, and community advocates we partnered with to propel Vision Zero and safer speed limits into reality (City's press release touting the bill). This is just the first step into all the Vision Zero work ahead; but first, we have to celebrate this achievement. Since we can’t gather in person, we're asking you to submit a short video to tell us why Vision Zero and Safe Speeds matter to you!  Read more

Atlanta City Council adopts Vision Zero, sets 25 mph as default speed limit

On Monday, April 20, 2020, the Atlanta City Council adopted legislation establishing Vision Zero as the city's goal for safe transportation options and a default speed limit of 25 mph on local streets and those collectors and Downtown/Midtown arterials not on the state's list for radar enforcement. Now, we work to expand the default speed limit to cover more streets. The legislation represented a win for the "Safe Speed Limits" campaign, a coalition effort. Read more

Bike Shops are Essential Business

Our lives are being challenged in many ways -- businesses are being closed and workers are left without income;  transportation decisions and options become dilemmas; spaces to practice safe, healthful activities are being reshaped. At the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, we’re doing what we can to lessen the impact of these challenges.  This week, we worked with local bike shop owners, city council members, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, and ATL DOT Commissioner Josh Rowan to establish bike shops as essential businesses under the Mayor’s shelter-in-place executive order.  In our outreach to bike shop owners on Tuesday, we learned that some bike shops were closed and many were seeking clarification on the city’s stance. Today, we are pleased to relay this message from Peter Kadushin, the Director of Communications for the mayor.   Read more

Media release: Legislation for Vision Zero, 25 mph speed limit on some streets

The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition along with the American Heart Association, PEDS, MARTA Army, NPU-I, TransFormation Alliance, ThreadATL, Historic South Atlanta, Atlanta Families for Safe Streets, and more are lobbying the city of Atlanta government to set safe speed limits and adopt Vision Zero, an effort to eliminate all traffic fatalities and serious injuries. Legislation to allow the City to establish a 25 mile-per-hour speed limit on all neighborhood streets was introduced March 11th to the City Council Transportation Committee, which approved the ordinance unanimously March 25th. [Next, the legislation will likely be up for a vote by the full City Council April 20th. We'll update this post with details on how to submit your comment as we learn more.] Read more

Improve street design to achieve safety for all on DeKalb Ave

[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

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