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North Avenue residents are latest Atlantans to lobby city for complete streets

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Petition: Current infrastructure in booming corridor can’t support growth, adequate pedestrian safety

As pictured here, the corridor in question has seen rapid development in recent years.
The corridor in question has seen rapid development in recent years.
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The chorus around Atlanta calling for “complete streets” just grew a bit louder.

Almost all residents of a Poncey-Highland loft building on North Avenue signed a petition submitted Monday to Renew Atlanta officials, city councilmembers, and other leaders that calls for the thoroughfare to be fully revamped in ways that would boost safety for people not traveling in vehicles.

Petitioners live up the hill from Ponce City Market at the 20-unit City View Lofts, a condo building finished in 2000. Vehicle crashes and other pedestrian safety issues are becoming more frequent as development in the area booms, residents say.

Poncey-Highland’s City View Lofts.

“It’s a cause that we’re feeling passionate at the City View Lofts about,” resident Dylan St. John told Curbed Atlanta via email.

Their petition follows a rally last month staged by the student-led Grady Pedestrian Safety Coalition that lobbied for more complete streets around Atlanta.

That event, organized by high schoolers, also commemorated the third anniversary of classmate Alexia Hyneman’s death. The freshman was fatally struck by a car while crossing Midtown’s Monroe Drive and 10th Street on her bike.

Meanwhile, the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition has pressured city leaders to create complete streets of problematic corridors such as Howell Mill and Cascade roads, as surveys and community meetings have shown that citizens strongly favor maximum Renew Atlanta/TSPLOST expenditures on complete streets projects as “re-baselining” funding efforts continue.

The petition drafted by City View Lofts residents asks for North Avenue’s changes to receive full funding. It reads, in part:

“We’re seeing frequent vehicle collisions and pedestrian safety issues along North [Avenue] and believe that these issues will grow in magnitude if nothing is done urgently. The drastic rise in living, working, and recreational spaces in the area (e.g., apartment and condo buildings, 725 Ponce, and Beltline Kroger, among other development efforts already planned or underway) will increase the density on roadways and sidewalks, while the rising adoption of multimodal transit including bicycles and motorized scooters will create added complexity that our current road designed primarily for car use cannot support.”

According to Renew Atlanta and TSPLOST officials, North Avenue complete street improvements would entail granite curbs, new lighting, ADA-compliant crosswalks, sidewalk repair, tree plantings, road resurfacing, and “median and medianettes as space permits.”

Those changes would be limited to a section of North Avenue between the Beltline’s Eastside Trail and Moreland Avenue.

The $2.1 million project is expected to launch in fall 2020, per the bond program.