The City of Atlanta is taking action to protect pedestrians and bicyclists on its roads by the implementation of Complete Streets Policies. The decision is much awaited; according to 2014 Dangerous by Design report, Atlanta was the eighth most deadly city for pedestrians across the nation. The following takes a look at what Complete Streets is, and what specifically Atlanta is doing to improve safety for road users.
What is Complete Streets?
The Complete Streets Coalition launched a nationwide movement in 2004. The movement and the Complete Streets objective seeks to “integrate people and place in the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of our transportation networks.” Furthermore, the coalition aims to ensure safety for all street users.
There are ten elements of an ideal Complete Streets policy. These are listed below.
- Sets a vision for why a community wants to implement Complete Streets
- Is designed for all users
- Applies to both new and retrofit projects
- Names specific exceptions and requires high-level approval for exceptions
- Encourages street connectivity
- Is adoptable by all agencies to cover all roads
- Uses latest and most comprehensive design criteria
- Complements context of community
- Establishes performance standards
- Includes next steps for implementation
Adoption of Complete Streets Policies
Complete Streets can help to protect motorists, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and cyclists. And happily, the adoption of Complete Streets policies is growing. Today, more than 700 agencies at the state, regional, and local levels have implemented complete streets policies. In 2012, the state of Georgia’s State Transportation Board adopted a Complete Streets Policy.
The recent approval of infrastructure bonds in the city of Atlanta will provide funding for 15 Complete Streets projects. You can do your part as a rider by following these bicycle safety tips.
How You Can Improve Your Safety
Making changes to infrastructure and traffic culture takes time. In the meanwhile, you can improve your safety by always looking both ways before crossing the street, following traffic laws, walking/driving/biking while sober and distraction-free, and wearing proper safety gear for your mode of transportation.
If You’re in an Accident
Pedestrians and bicyclists have every right to the roads and sidewalks yet still experience rude or distracted drivers that ultimately cause them harm. An unsafe motorist is terrifying enough, but a truck accident caused by a negligent driver can change the course of your life. Jason R. Schultz's truck accident blog outlines important steps to take after a truck accident as well as what to expect from various injury types.