The city’s preeminent celebration of alternative modes of transportation is right around the corner, and the last route of 2019 will take cyclists, scooters, skateboarders, and the rest down a Southwest Atlanta corridor that advocates say badly needs infrastructure improvements.
This Sunday marks the final Atlanta Streets Alive event of 2019, which will cordon off a 3.4- mile route, barring all automobiles and spotlighting what a shared road in the area could look like.
From 2:30 until 6:30 p.m., people on human-powered (or electric) vehicles and on foot will have free rein of a stretch of roadway cutting though seven neighborhoods from Cascade and Donnelly avenues down Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard to Georgia Avenue.
As with the Streets Alive events of months and years past, the goal of this massive extravaganza is to shed a light on city streets that are starved for makeovers that would make them more accommodating to non-motorists.
“The route was selected to draw attention to the dangers of Cascade Avenue, which is flanked by two High-Injury Network (HIN) streets—Cascade Road and Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard,” according to a statement from the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, which organizes the event.
Officials also noted that Cascade Avenue is not on the High-Injury Network, an index of streets that see a disproportionately high number injuries and fatalities from traffic collisions. But its proximity to “deadly streets” Cascade Road and Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard make it a prime candidate for a pedestrian- and bike-friendly overhaul, per ABC.
When the Renew Atlanta infrastructure bond program was discovered to be severely underfunded last year, officials rewrote the list of projects that would be financed.
A Cascade Avenue “complete streets” project—one that sacrifices car lanes in exchange for wider sidewalks and bike paths—didn’t make the cut.
Earlier this year, 52-year-old Cascade resident David Gordon was fatally struck by a vehicle while crossing Cascade Avenue via crosswalk.
“Increased awareness is needed to urge the city to address the safety conditions on Cascade Avenue, due to its proximity to two HIN streets,” says an ABC press release.