Atlanta residents urged to weigh in on transit plans

The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition is urging residents to speak up on transit plans.

The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition is urging residents to speak up on transit plans.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the critical importance for people working essential jobs and getting to essential services to have safe, convenient, and affordable transportation options. Yet cuts to transit service mean options are even more limited than before the pandemic.

More and more Atlantans are turning to biking and walking to get where they need to go, according to a press release from the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition.

The organization is urging residents to call on the City of Atlanta to fully fund and rapidly build already-planned projects with community support and to prioritize first- and last-mile connections for those who continue to rely on transit, especially frontline and essential workers. Organizers added that Atlanta’s recent adoption of Vision Zero shows the City is committed to getting to the goal of zero traffic deaths—these investments would be a strong immediate step in that direction.

There are communities in the city of Atlanta with almost no sidewalks at all. Often, these are the same neighborhoods that have been most harmed by transportation projects such as highways splitting their neighborhoods in half. This is partly due to redlining policies that imposed structural racism on neighborhood development. Communities with lower sidewalk coverage also have higher rates of walking and riding transit, are disproportionately located within the High Injury Network, and have a larger share of Black residents. These neighborhoods are also home to many people with essential jobs who rely on transit.

Partners in this endeavor include the American Heart Association of Metro Atlanta; PEDS, dedicated to making streets and communities in Georgia, safe, inviting, and accessible to all pedestrians; Georgia STAND-UP, a Think and ACT Tank for Working Communities, organizes and educates communities about issues related to labor unions, transit equity, affordable housing, and economic development; TransFormation Alliance, a broad partnership of organizations from the private, public and nonprofit sectors dedicated to creating thriving, mixed-income communities anchored by transit; and ThreadATL, a non-profit that aims to influence Atlanta’s planning and design decisions toward a greater focus on good urbanism.

Learn more about the city's priorities by attending the Live Public Hearing & Virtual Town Hall Meeting 6:15 p.m.on June 2. Access more information here.