Atlanta Announces $5 Million Plan To Create Safer Streets
Atlanta announced a new, two-year plan Wednesday to make its streets safer for pedestrians.
The city will put $5 million toward expediting 20 streets to improve safety, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said in a press release.
But what those improvements will look like, is up to the people who use them.
Jacob Tzegaegbe, the city's senior transportation policy advisor, said they want to hear from the people first.
"We may go into a community that says, 'Hey, we don't believe bike lanes fit the fabric of our community,'" Tzegaegbe said. "And in those cases, it may not be bike lanes. It may be changing how those roads are striped or pieces like that."
He said the plan to develop safer streets needed to be sped up with the growth of e-scooters. Since February, there have been more than 3 million trips taken on the devices and four riders have died in e-scooter crashes.
"We have heard from residents of Atlanta loud and clear," Bottoms said. "People want safer streets and they want to see real changes before another tragedy occurs."
In late July, residents formed a human protected bike lane downtown, during rush hour, as part of a call for safer streets after a resident was hit and killed on an e-scooter at a nearby intersection.
Tzegaegbe said the plan isn’t just for cyclists and pedestrians, instead it’s for everybody.
"We’ve got to focus on a lot of things," he said. "One is congestion, another is safety and the last one is options for people."
He said the goal is to bring more order to the streets, to allow drivers to feel safe, too, by not having to drive so close to people who may be using other forms of transportation.
The plan, however, is just the start of the city’s goal of making streets safer.
"It's a really ambitious first step," he said. "Is it everything? Atlanta will always need more. But it is a powerful first step."
He said although it's just the beginning, he think it'll make a big difference for people trying to get around the city.