Atlanta voters recently passed several ballot measures that will fund Complete Streets projects in the city. What can residents expect to get out of these new projects?
A new video from the Fulton County Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) in collaboration with the Atlanta Regional Commission and the City of Atlanta details what a Complete Streets approach is all about, and the ways it can make streets safer, healthier, and more convenient for people of all ages and abilities, no matter how they travel in Atlanta.
Atlanta voters have shown overwhelming support for the Complete Streets movement. This past November, city residents voted to fund a number of transportation projects by increasing Atlanta’s sales tax. These include fifteen new Complete Streets initiatives as well as improvements to the city’s bike share program, greenways, and trails. Voters also approved the Renew Atlanta infrastructure bond program back in March, which includes thirty miles of Complete Streets projects currently undergoing public design review. Between Renew Atlanta and November’s ballot measure, the city is devoting more than $109 million to Complete Streets improvements over the next five years.
We spoke with Faye DiMassimo, General Manager for Renew Atlanta, to learn more about the upcoming Complete Streets projects. “I think we’re facing the same challenges that you see in any community, especially communities with mature transportation systems that have predominantly been auto-centric,” DiMassimo explained. “What we see is that inherent tension between the different user groups, whether it’s pedestrians, cyclists, transit patrons, or auto drivers about how to share the road effectively and safely.”
“As we look at the transportation systems of tomorrow, not just in Atlanta and Georgia but around the country, how we think about and incorporate all users—their access to, their mobility on, and their safety on the system—is just paramount.”
One of the most important things a Complete Streets approach can do is make streets safer for people walking or biking. Atlanta has room for improvement in that regard: of the 104 largest metro areas in the nation, Atlanta is the 26th most dangerous city for people walking. In response, Renew Atlanta is introducing new safety measures in high pedestrian areas of the city, and they are engaging all users of the road, including pedestrians, in the decision-making process for Complete Streets projects. DiMassimo stated, “As we look at the transportation systems of tomorrow, not just in Atlanta and Georgia but around the country, how we think about and incorporate all users—their access to, their mobility on, and their safety on the system—is just paramount.”
Many of Atlanta’s Complete Streets projects are still in the planning phase, but the city is already making progress to make streets safer for people walking: Atlanta ranked as the third most-improved city for pedestrian safety in our recent ranking. We look forward to seeing Atlanta and Fulton County become even safer as they implement Complete Streets. Be sure to watch the full video above to learn more.