ATLDOT begins bike lane installation, lane reduction downtown

ATLDOT to begin bike lane installation
Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 2:20 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) -Getting around Atlanta in a car can be a bit of a drag. That is why Rebecca Serna chooses to bike sometimes.

Rebecca Serna an executive director at Propel ATL said, “Unfortunately, we have a lot of disconnect in infrastructure,” Propel ATL is a group dedicated to making the streets safer for all commuters.

She was excited to hear that ATLDOT is executing a pilot program, reducing two lanes through the Central Avenue corridor, stretching down to Martin Luther King Jr Drive.

The far left lane will turn into a dedicated cycling lane. The lane next to it will turn into on-street parking and the far right lanes will remain open to traffic.

“We have to get past our suburban mindset where people drive everywhere and start thinking of ourselves as a city where people get out of their cars, that is the whole point of being in a city,” said Serna.

Serna said it’s a step in the right direction, and it’s much-needed investment dollars for the downtown area.

“A lot of the neighborhoods that were redlined, and cut off from city investment through racist institutional practices still don’t have sidewalks today,” she said.

“I do think it’s really important that you see these kinds of cross-city investments in areas that were left behind,” said Serna.

The program is all part of the city’s vision zero initiative, prioritizing the city’s most vulnerable commuters.

“Our goal here at ATLDOT is vision zero, zero fatalities, zero serious injuries caused by crashes on our streets,” said Betty Smoot Madison, mobility director at ATLDOT in an announcement about their Vision Zero initiative.

After six months, if all goes well, the city may just keep things the way they are.

“We feel like every time you touch a street in the city of Atlanta, you need to take that opportunity to make it safer for everyone,” said Serna.