Bottlenecks, road rage, and fatalities are all words closely associated with traffic conditions in Atlanta. The daily commute to and from work each day is a reminder that the traffic nightmare continues to increase.
The Atlanta Department of Transportation and the City of Atlanta, in partnership with the Atlanta Regional Commission, are working together and have established the intent of eliminating all traffic fatalities and severe injuries in the city, according to Atlanta Vision Zero.
The Creation of a Plan
In September 2019, the City of Atlanta implemented a Safer Streets Action Plan utilizing a Pop-Up Bike lane on 10th St to test and collect data on safety, use, and traffic operations. According to the findings by The Department of City Planning, reported ease of use soared to 93% by bicyclists and vastly improved for pedestrians, with a reported 60% finding ease in use. Overall, 73% of the people surveyed using the pop-up bike lane on 10th St. reported feeling safer, including pedestrians, bicyclists, e-bike users, and motorists.
From there, the action plan grew with the introduction of the One Atlanta Strategic Transportation Plan in November of the same year. The plan aimed to prioritize safety, proving that Atlanta is a safe and accessible city with communities and businesses that thrive while attracting world-class business opportunities in an environment of responsibility to the people.
In October 2022, the initiation phase of the plan began, incorporating feedback from the community using pop-up events, workshops, and online data input. The Action Plan will end in October 2023.
Get the strong arm
One of the first plan implementations motorists notice while traveling in Atlanta is a reduced speed limit of 25 mph. Reducing the speed limit gives drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists more response time. Reducing the rate of speed also reduces the rate of fatalities and severe injury, therefore, taking steps toward the goal of zero fatalities and zero serious injuries.
Another dynamic that changes with the reduction in speed limit is engineering practices. Decreasing speeds allows for a change in infrastructure and safety elements keeping motorized traffic moving while safely integrating bike lanes and pedestrian crossing spaces. This practice is also a step toward equality and sustainable modes of travel in cities as motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians are given access to the same roadways, according to The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NATCO).
When we make our city safer by reducing fatalities and serious injuries, we improve the quality of life not only for the citizens of Atlanta but for visitors to the city, positively impacting business. Implementing simple changes over time can have a significant impact on our lives.
The 2018 Atlanta Transportation Plan found that households budgeted 19% of their income for transportation. During that period, gas prices in Georgia averaged $2.29 per gallon but have risen over the years and now stand at an average of $3.46 per gallon. With commuters spending more time than ever in their vehicles, it is essential to help implement the changes you would like to see while there is still time.
There are several ways to stay involved and make your input by October 2023. These steps begin on the Atlanta Vision Zero homepage.
- Sign up. By signing up, you will receive email updates on new, current, and ongoing projects.
- Become engaged. Take part in virtual events and community workshops to contribute to discussions of safer streets in Atlanta. Dates are listed as events are scheduled.
- Provide input. An interactive map on the Atlanta Vision Zero site allows you to enter safety data by tagging unsafe points according to use. You can share your personal experience here.
Tips for Traveling Safely
No one ever leaves their home, work, or social event planning to be the victim of an accident. But with fatal accidents and serious injuries increasing in Atlanta, the likelihood of you or a loved one in this position rises. There are simple rules that will keep you safe as you travel.
- If driving, follow the speed limit. Reporting by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) attributes speeding as a factor in approximately one-third of motor vehicle fatalities over the past 20 years.
- If walking, always stay on the sidewalks and use crosswalks at intersections. Follow pedestrian traffic signals as these signals work in conjunction with other traffic signals on the street.
- If cycling, stay on bike paths and trails. The use of a helmet is always encouraged if you are over 16 years of age but required otherwise.
- If motorcycling, wear bright-colored gear that provides protection and alerts other drivers of your whereabouts. In Georgia, the law states that all riders must wear a helmet approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT) unless the vehicle is a moped as defined by the state or an exemption as listed by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS).
Our Pledge for Safety
As our city administration strives to make Atlanta a safer place, John Foy & Associates are ready to help you take steps to recover financial losses if you are ever the victim of an accident. Let us answer your questions and help you safely navigate the legal system if you or someone you know is involved in any traffic altercation. We have a committed, proven plan of action to ensure you feel safe with trusted guidelines to provide you with the best possible legal strategy and outcome so you never have to second guess.