Who we are, what we do and why

PEDS is a small advocacy group that makes big things happen.

PEDS is dedicated to making streets and communities in Georgia, safe, inviting and accessible to all pedestrians. Great place to walk

Walking connects people and is the cornerstone of a thriving, livable city.

It’s also essential to our health and a catalyst for economic development.

Our history

PEDS was founded by Sally Flocks  1996, a time when pedestrians were not on Atlanta’s radar screen. Speeding drivers put kids at risk. And few drivers stopped for pedestrians in crosswalks.

Due to epilepsy, Sally had been unable to drive most of her adult life. She grew up in California, where drivers stop for pedestrians for crosswalks and police officers ticket those who don’t. Not so here.

Sally assumed that teaching drivers about crosswalk laws and enforcing them were central. Hence the organization’s name: Pedestrians Educating drivers on Safety.

She and others at PEDS quickly learned that educating drivers was just the tip of the iceberg. Bad engineering breeds bad driving. For example, wide roads encourage speeding. They also make crossing the street dangerous.

Given that, training engineers and elected officials about pedestrian needs and walk-friendly solutions quickly became PEDS’ top priority.

Evolving from a lone, sometimes caustic voice for change, PEDS has become a strong voice for walkers throughout the Atlanta region and elsewhere in Georgia. We’ve also matured into a well-respected resource for elected officials, neighborhood organizations, local, regional and state transportation professionals and others.

We’re thrilled that more and more people now recognize that, and we’re proud of the role PEDS has played moving walking from the margins into the mainstream. 

Our most important accomplishments include:MidtownMidblock-3-cropped

  • Increasing the number of drivers who stop for people in crosswalks
  • Making innovative and effective crosswalk treatments mainstream
  • Helping people with disabilities document barriers they face and gain legal representation
  • Providing workshops that have helped hundreds of transportation professionals learn how to design for pedestrian safety
  • Making safe access to bus stops a local, regional and state priority

We partner with others to make change happen.

On your own, PEDS could never provide the resources it will take to make the Atlanta region a GDOT engineers and PEDS leaders look at plans for safety improvements on Ponce de Leongreat place to walk.

Instead we help the City of Atlanta, Atlanta Regional Commission, Georgia Department of Transportation and others recognize how they can leverage their own resources to better serve pedestrians.

We also work with the media and civic organizations to increase awareness and support for walk-friendly road design.

Advocacy is a marathon, not a sprint.

We realize change takes time and are delighted with the forward momentum. Yet without doubt, conditions for people who walk still need improvement.

Many streets lack sidewalks. And far too many that do exist need to be repaired or replaced.man rolling wheelchair on broken sidewalk

PEDS has inspired Atlanta’s elected officials to express strong support for sidewalk maintenance. Yet they’ve done little to back their words with the funding needed to address the enormous backlog of broken sidewalks.

And due to wide, high-speed roads that lack safe crossings, the Atlanta region remains one of the nation’s deadliest places to walk.

Together, our Safer People, Safer Streets initiative and Campaign for Safe Sidewalks combat these problems.

Everybody walks.

And everybody wants their community to be a safe, inviting place to walk. We’re here to help, and you can count on us to never, ever give up.

Donors and sponsors make it all possible.  We look forward to partnering with you to strengthen the advocacy efforts that have done so much to make Atlanta a safer, more inviting place to walk.