A tragedy that left a 14-year-old Grady High School bicyclist dead has raised questions about safety at one of Atlanta's most popular pedestrian intersections — where the Beltline meets Piedmont Park. Alexia Hyneman, a freshman, was riding home from a school theater performance about 9:15 p.m. Thursday when police say she "proceeded through the intersection" at 10th Street and Monroe Drive and was struck by a vehicle. A witness told police that traffic had started to move on Monroe before the girl was hit, and the driver told police he didn't see her, the AJC reports. Atlanta police are still investigating, but a sergeant told the newspaper it doesn't appear that the driver was at fault.
Beltline patrons and pedestrian advocates have long pondered safety upgrades to the intersection, where hundreds of people transfer daily between the Beltline and the park. An anonymous emailer vented to Curbed that the tragedy should spur a total reevaluation of the intersection — and the possible inclusion of a tunnel under Monroe: "When this (tunnel) idea has been raised to Beltline officials, they claim the topography would make this somehow impossible, but I've seen many similar pedestrian tunnels in other cities (Minneapolis, Knoxville, Toronto, etc.), so I am not buying that explanation."
Near the intersection, where a memorial grows, family and friends held a touching tribute to the teen Saturday.