My Metro Atlanta city and its neighboring city (which together host the largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the southeastern USA, as well as the area’s major hospitals) are located right at the most deadly highway in the USA. That highway, know as the Perimeter Highway or 285, is being dramatically expanded. Its current construction closure of numerous lanes until at least next June will directly impact both of these cities’ already-overwhelming and dangerous motor vehicle traffic. Am I all by myself in caring about this, and thinking we can actually take simple actions to make a difference?
More than 50% of all motor vehicle trips are less than 3 miles. I currently cannot recommend the 1-mile bike ride (less than 2 songs on Spotify) to my local supermarket or school (and I’m not alone — the bike racks have been empty almost every day) or the 2.5 mile bike ride (3-4 songs) to the park, city hall, and village area (where many local businesses are suffering*), due to the ongoing, known, dangerous-by-design conditions.
Egregious and pervasive greenwashing continues to prevail by people at my local city hall who do not use bikes for transportation (I typically see no other people on bikes, and definitely no one who looks like me, in my 5- 10-mile routes when running errands or doing research for stories on TravelingAtTheSpeedOfBike.com).
Anytime I ask for proven best practices and immediate pop-up tactical urbanism to provide at least the same temporary safe access that construction workers are provided (and who are equally recognized under the law as Vulnerable Road Users), I’m told no.
Perhaps you will have more success.
Note: You may enjoy my aspirational media release titled Metro Atlanta Announces Bike/Ped Path Around Entire Perimeter Highway. If you can dream it, you can live it. Here is another aspirational media release that is completely doable right now, today. In fact, I could have done it in less than thirty minutes all by myself.
You may also enjoy Cone of Silence.
- * It is imperative you read this post about the just-released economic impact report.