Make Monroe Drive a Complete Street

Designing streets for people

As President of PEDS and as someone for whom walking is my primary transportation mode, I’m thrilled by the opportunities that Renew Atlanta has identified to transform our streets into great places to walk.

If our streets are designed for cars and traffic, we get cars and traffic. If our streets are designed for people, we get places where people want to walk and can do so safely.

Sadly, pedestrian fatalities have skyrocketed in Georgia during the past two years, and more people were injured or killed while walking in Fulton County than in any other county in Georgia.

Make Monroe Drive a Complete Street!

Monroe Drive crash scene

The current road design makes car wrecks all too common on Monroe Drive.

Car wrecks and serious or fatal injuries are common on Monroe Drive. The current street design encourages speeding during non-peak hours, as well as dangerous weaving.

Monroe Drive cross section - proposed

Replacing two travel lanes with a two-way left turn lane and wider sidewalks will reduce crashes and injuries.

The proposed road diet will eliminate both problems and make Monroe Drive safer for everyone who uses it. With only one lane in each direction, it takes just one driver to control the speed of everyone who follows.

The road diet will also eliminate visual barriers and provide opportunities to install refuge islands and other safe crossing treatments.

People who oppose implement a road diet fear increased delay to drivers. But for me, saving time is far less important than saving lives.

When public opinion is divided, making a decision is never easy.

Changes to Monroe Drive will impact the quality of life for residents for decades, and determining whether or not to implement a road diet should not be a political decision.

Many people have trouble imagining major changes to the road, so I urge the City of Atlanta to implement a temporary project that enables residents to experience the impact of proposed changes to the road.

After installing a thin asphalt overlay, transportation professionals can use plastic barriers to separate the space that would be used for wider sidewalks from travel lanes. Together with that, they can apply striping that designates a two-way left turn lane and one through lane in each direction.

A 90-day test project, perhaps from September through November, will enable people to experience conditions when school is in and when people enjoy walking.

The time to embrace change is now.

For me, safety comes first, which is why I strongly support implementing a road diet on Monroe Drive.

As President Franklin Roosevelt advised, the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Please let your City Council representatives know you support implementing a road diet on Monroe.