Sometimes it seems like the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) should just be called the "Department of Roads and Cars." After all, GDOT's primary (read: only) focus for decades seems to have been maintaining and expanding roads — and occasionally spreading salt after major winter weather events, making us the laughing stock of the country. But according to the AJC, the state agency is turning its attention to pedestrians and bicyclists under a new initiative.
Over the next three years, Pedestrians Educating Drivers on Safety (PEDS) and Georgia Bikes will help GDOT implement strategies to make roads safer for users not in cars. Armed with $613,710 — 90 percent of it federally supplied — the group will work to provide training to transportation professionals and law enforcement, develop new action plans, inventory existing crosswalks for safety, and examine crossings near bus stops with the highest incidences of collisions.
While the program may seem small potatoes compared to auto-oriented transportation funding in a city that can't seem to get enough pavement, the investment marks a first step toward recognizing pedestrian and bicyclist needs on Georgia roads. It's a little like Santa in that M&M commercial: "They do exist!"