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, transportation projects in the “Moving Atlanta Forward” program haven’t moved much at all. That needs to change.
Photo: Propel ATL pop up replica of Peachtree Shared Space pilot.
The vision was exciting: $460 Million worth of projects to make Atlanta’s streets safer, more accessible places for all residents–some of them long overdue. But a year and a half after Atlanta voters supported the “Moving Atlanta Forward” plan, the first batch of transportation-specific projects slated for activation by the close of 2023 hasn't advanced much.
These projects are aimed at transforming streets into spaces that are safe for people getting around by foot, wheelchair, bicycle, or car, by adding or improving sidewalks, ADA curbs, dedicated bus lanes, protected bike lanes, and trails. These are the kinds of fixes that save lives. 40 of these projects are slated for streets where people walking or biking were hit by cars in 2022.
Notable projects include:
- Peachtree Safe Street (21 bike/pedestrian crashes)
- Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway Sidewalks (18 bike/pedestrian crashes)
- Midtown Safe Street Corridor (11 bike/pedestrian crashes)
- Ralph McGill / Ivan Allen Safe Street & Project Bike Lanes (10 bike/pedestrian crashes)
- Courtland Dedicated Bus Lanes & Courtland / Piedmont Protected Bike Lanes (9 bike/pedestrian crashes)
Why this matters
Atlanta is in the midst of a pedestrian death crisis, with 38 pedestrians struck and killed by cars in 2022 alone. Moving forward on the infrastructure projects that Atlantans support is a chance to fulfill the promise of our city’s Vision Zero pledge – and save real lives. (Other projects, like the South Boulevard and Howell Mill Complete Streets projects, are moving forward, albeit slowly.)
Time is of the essence. These transformational projects will take years to complete – and yet they are critical for safety and accessibility, so they must be prioritized – now.
A bold plan requires bold resources
When the original implementation plan was announced in October 2022, we voiced concern that the Atlanta Department of Transportation (ATLDOT) was too under-resourced to possibly accomplish it all. How could just a handful of managers be expected to guide over a hundred projects through the process? ATLDOT’s current annual budget, we noted, is $50.3 million. According to estimates from the National Association of City Transportation Officials, or NACTO, that’s more than three times less than other similarly-sized NACTO cities. The transportation department budgets of those cities averaged about $164 million.
Shepherding these ambitious and critical projects requires more than excitement; it requires financial resources.
Call on your City officials to get moving on Moving Atlanta Forward!
Contact the City of Atlanta Mayor’s office and let them know you support advancing the “Moving Atlanta Forward” projects. Here’s an easy form to get it done!