Many people in Atlanta and its suburbs have demanded lifestyles that allow for walking – or biking – as their main commute. With such demand, multi-family developments have popped up all over the metro Atlanta area, geared towards feeding that demand. With the rise of such communities, built alongside roads designed for one thing: speed, there has been an increase in the number of pedestrian and bicyclist deaths. Although the population is growing, that alone cannot answer for the increase in fatalities. Atlanta Magazine reports on the story.
The intersection of 10th and Monroe is, according to advocates, one of the most dangerous intersections in Atlanta. In February of 2016, Alexa Hyneman was hit by a car while biking home from a school performance. She died 12 hours later.
Her father, Thomas Hyneman, learned that in the two to three years before Alexa’s accident, there had been more than 145 collisions involving cars, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
According to the Atlanta Regional Commission, collisions involving pedestrians, bicyclists, and vehicles have risen from 1,700 in 2006 to 2,500 in 2015. This represents a 53% increase in just 9 years. If the deaths continue along the same upward trajectory, it is estimated that more than 1,100 additional pedestrians across the state could die by 2022.
According to Rebecca Serna, the executive director of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition is that Atlanta’s roadways are designed to move vehicles from point A to point B at as fast a speed as possible. They were not designed with pedestrians and bicyclists in mind. Often, the price that pedestrians and bicyclists pay for being on city streets is with their lives or by serious injury.
One solution is to devote taxpayer funding to establishing bike lanes and sidewalks to pave the way for pedestrians and bicyclists. However, they often take a back seat to measures which are invested in easing the metro Atlanta commute.
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