“38 Reasons Why,” a new story map from Propel ATL, provides key geographic, demographic, and storytelling context for a disturbing increase in Atlanta pedestrian traffic deaths, highlighting the human lives behind the statistics and providing recommendations for making our roads safer spaces for everyone.
In 2022, 38 people lost their lives while walking inside Atlanta city limits. That’s 23% more than in 2021, and a full 52% more than in 2020. The rise marks a continued upward trend that started in 2018 in a city whose overall traffic fatality rates are already high compared with similarly sized cities.
More than two-thirds of all Atlanta’s pedestrian fatalities occurred in predominantly Black neighborhoods, places with fewer features like sidewalks, crosswalks, and bike lanes that provide basic safety for pedestrians and people outside of cars.
- In 2022, more than 35,000 crashes occurred on Atlanta streets.*
- 548 of these crashes involved people walking, biking, and rolling.*
- 38 of these crashes resulted in pedestrian deaths.*
- Compared with 31 pedestrian fatalities in 2021, this represents a 23% increase in one year, continuing a disturbing trend in a city whose traffic fatality rates are already high compared with similarly sized cities.*
- Between 2011 and 2021, Atlanta averaged 12.81 traffic deaths (pedestrians and non-pedestrians) per 100,000 people. By comparison, the more heavily populated Chicago and Seattle experienced just 5.4 and 3.72 respectively.†
- Just 10% of Atlanta’s streets account for 50% of its pedestrian crash fatalities and 60% of its pedestrian and bicycle crashes.††
- More than two-thirds of all Atlanta’s pedestrian fatalities (25 out of 38) occurred in predominantly Black neighborhoods, places with fewer features like sidewalks, crosswalks, and bike lanes that provide pedestrians basic safety.††
- Forty of the City of Atlanta’s established Moving Atlanta Forward projects aim to improve roadway safety at locations where pedestrian or bicycle crashes occurred in 2022.
(Sources: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates*, Eno Center for Transportation†, Georgia Electronic Accident Report System††)
The story map links to the stories of three people in metro Atlanta who lost their lives in pedestrian crashes, including a food truck owner who had just graduated from flight attendant training, a receptionist at Emory’s Winship Cancer Institute who was saving up to buy a home of her own, and a beloved parishioner of a Baptist church in East Atlanta who struggled with mental illness. Each marks a unique life story halted midstream by traffic violence.
“By highlighting both the staggering data and real human stories of people who lost their lives to traffic violence, this story map demonstrates that not one of these deaths is an inevitable ‘accident,’” said Rebecca Serna, Propel ATL Executive Director. “They are caused by dangerous street design that makes it easy for cars to speed and hard for people to get to the places they need to go safely. We could virtually eradicate our city’s crash epidemic with changes like signalized, clearly marked crosswalks and narrower lanes to just ten percent of our streets.”
View the story map for “38 Reasons Why."
Propel ATL, formerly known as the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition and Pedestrians Educating Drivers on Safety, envisions an Atlanta where everyone can move safely, easily, and sustainably throughout the city. Propel ATL’s mission is to transform Atlanta’s streets into safe, inclusive, and thriving spaces for people to ride, walk, and roll.
Contact Name: Rebecca Serna
Contact Phone: 404-881-1112
Contact Email: [email protected]