Courtesy MARTA

The Atlanta City Council approved a new transportation plan at its Dec. 3 meeting designed to connect communities and offer more options, but some residents are concerned the blueprint doesn’t go far enough.

The Atlanta Transportation Plan (ATP), prepared by the City Planning Department, outlines a vision for a walkable city by increasing the number of sidewalks, public spaces and safe intersections, and growing the city’s bike lane network. The plan also calls for expanded public transportation options to connect more communities and offer driving alternatives on increasingly congested roads. It also calls for improved crash and congestion data collection and provides a forward-thinking blueprint that utilizes new technologies and active mobility options like bike share.

However, students from Grady High School and residents who live along DeKalb Avenue  questioned the council about its dedication to the “Complete Streets” program, which was created to address safety, congestion and walkability on major Intown thoroughfares. Grady students were particularly upset since little has been done to the busy 10th Street, Monroe Drive and Atlanta BeltLine intersection where student Alexia Hyneman, 14, was killed crossing the intersection on her bicycle in 2016.

The Atlanta Regional Commission forecasts that the Metro Atlanta region will grow to 8 million people by the year 2040—adding more than 2.5 million people and 1 million jobs. Recent approvals for transportation funding through Renew Atlanta, TSPLOST, and More MARTA, and the formation of the Atlanta-Region Transit Link Authority (ATL), all underscore the importance of transportation planning and the availing of resources needed to reset Atlanta’s streets.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced the appointment of Jacob Tzegaegbe as the newly created Senior Transportation Policy Advisor to help usher ATP projects to completion.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.