No, it wasn't OKing a proposal to add "variable speed limit" signs on the eternally congested choke collar circling the city of Atlanta. The seven-member board yesterday morning unanimously approved a resolution supporting the state agency's new "Complete Streets" design policy.
The policy says transportation planners and engineers should not just design roads to accommodate cars but also pedestrians, bicyclists, or people hopping on a bus or streetcar. According to the agency's policy, planners should consider adding bike lanes, pedestrian facilities, and ways for people to better access transit when new roads are constructed or widened.
The move earned kudos from local cycling and pedestrian advocates, including a top official with the nonprofit that's trumpeting the Complete Streets message.
Stefanie Seskin, deputy director of the National Complete Streets Coalition, said in a statement that she applauds “[GDOT] for adopting a Complete Streets policy that will ensure improved safety and access for all, whether traveling by car, foot, bicycle, or public transportation. By committing to Complete Streets, the department is showing its dedication to reducing ... preventable deaths and to offering residents and visitors safe and convenient choices in transportation."
Added Brent Buice, executive director of Athens-based Georgia Bikes, which, along with the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition and other organizations, helped GDOT establish the policy: “With this forward-thinking, sensible policy, GDOT is affirming its unequivocal support for a balanced transportation system that safely facilitates travel by car, via transit, on foot, and by bicycle."
Sally Flocks of PEDS, a local pedestrian advocacy group, told CL she was "pleased" with today's board vote. But she also wished the policy would push the department to retrofit dangerous roads in the suburbs originally designed to speed along automobiles.
"It's a recognition that the roads need to serve all road users," Flocks says. "I'd like them to go further and say, 'We need to rethink how our roads are designed and, in areas where pedstrians are using it, we need to design it where it's not just accommodating to them, but also appealing for them to use.'"
Keep in mind that GDOT's policy applies to state roads, a good number of which are outside the city and in the suburbs. (A notable exception: Parts of Ponce de Leon Avenue.)
City Hall officials are in the final stages of drafting Atlanta's own Complete Streets manual. Titled MOVE Atlanta, the document is apparently largely based on the Los Angeles County Model Design Manual and, according to minutes from an Atlanta Regional Commission meeting in August, discusses "community engagement and project development, street networks and classifications, roadway design, intersection design, sidewalk design, pedestrian crossings, bikeway design, transit accommodations, traffic calming, and green streets."
Look for city officials to ask the Atlanta City Council to adopt the draft manual in October or November.
Also Burroughston Broch can't tell when when people are being sarcastic
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