Atlanta Seeks to Throw off Its Reputation as Dangerous for Pedestrians

Atlanta has a reputation as being dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists. The city has numerous fast flowing highways and is built around the needs of the motorist.

In a recent article, Creative Loafing noted plans to make the Midtown area more friendly to cyclists and pedestrians.

The article noted proposals for cyclists and walkers in the Midtown Core Transportation Plan, the first of its kind.

When Atlanta originally codified its zoning laws more than 30 years ago, the policies were modeled on the automobile, according to Atlanta Planning Commissioner Tim Keane.

A 2012, report by the Alliance for Biking and Walking found Georgia ranked 45th in the country in terms of pedestrian and cycling safety.

Atlanta is less dangerous for pedestrians

However, for the past three decades, the Midtown Alliance has helped transform Midtown Atlanta into a mixed-use, urban, walkable community.

Over the past 10 years, the Midtown Alliance and the Midtown Improvement District (MID) contributed more than $20 million to bring in almost $400 million in public and private investment in streetscapes.

That money has financed 14 miles of new and wider sidewalks, plazas, lighting, more than 800 street trees, better crosswalks, and signals to help walkers.

The proposals helped boost the numbers of cyclists in the community as Millennials flood into Atlanta.

There is demand for even better infrastructure. In a recent survey in Midtown, 75 percent of people wanted “better bike infrastructure and improved public transportation options.”

Recently, the area saw an expansion of multi-use trails and bicycle share facilities.

Another change may make the whole city more friendly to pedestrians.

At present, developers are required to allot one and a half parking spaces to every residential unit in a multi-unit building. But many Atlanta residents have chosen to use alternate transportation.

The city is considering using this space for sidewalks and walkways, although there is a way to go before the city throws off its reputation as being dangerous for pedestrians.

They hope that the creation of more space for pedestrians will foster increased pedestrian safety and make the city more walkable. It’s a major step but it could take up to seven years to implement.

Although these changes are a move in the right direction, Atlanta and Georgia still sees far too many serious crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists.

In 2015, a driver in Atlanta was sentenced to 15 years in prison for a hit-and-run crash in Atlanta that left a cyclist with serious neck injuries and brain damage.

Many drivers fail to keep an adequate look out or to give enough space to pedestrians and cyclists.

If you have been hurt on the roads of Georgia as a cyclist or a pedestrian or lost a family member, you should consider calling our Georgia personal injury attorney at (404) 913-1529.