A pair of meetings to discuss essential safety improvements to Memorial Drive are scheduled on Oct. 18 and Nov. 8.
The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) is planning to resurface Memorial Drive in Summer 2018. This project offers an opportunity to restripe the street to a lane configuration that is less confusing and safer for both pedestrians and motorists.
All qualified parties are encouraged to review the RFP and consider making a submission. The deadline is 5 p.m. Eastern on Friday, June 9, 2017. Stakeholders are also welcome to review the RFP and participate in community engagement later this summer.
UPDATE: Answers to questions submitted for the RFP are available here.
ATLANTA _ The Imagine Memorial Transportation Committee formed from the 2014 Imagine Memorial study has been working closely with Georgia Department of Transportation staff on advocating for long-term safety improvements to Memorial Drive. The death of pedestrian Barbara Crawford on March 20 and a rash of recent crashes give this work a new sense of urgency. Here is an update on projects that are being introduced in response:
1. Short-term: Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons (PHBs)
Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons are enhanced mid-block crosswalks activated by pedestrians that use flashing red lights to require all vehicles to stop. (See below for more details; a local example can be seen on North Avenue at Georgia Tech.) Georgia DOT’s District 7 and Traffic Safety and Operations teams are currently considering new PHBs at the following locations, in order of priority:
Kirkwood/Parkview: In the vicinity of Campbell/Eleanor/Howard Streets, near the site of the March 20 fatality. The exact location will be determined by engineering judgement based on topography, sightlines, and observations of current pedestrian and traffic patterns.
East Lake: Existing crosswalk at Daniel Avenue, at the northeast corner of East Lake Park.
Cabbagetown/Grant Park: In the vicinity between Boulevard and Pearl Street, likely near Berean Avenue.
Oakland Cemetery/Grant Park: In the vicinity of the Cemetery’s pedestrian gate and the Grant Park commercial district.
Funding: GDOT’s “Quick Response” program, which allows urgent safety projects to be designed and built on an accelerated schedule of 3-4 months. The upper limit is $200,000 each. The first two projects will likely be funded in Fiscal 2017, which ends June 30.
Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI) has released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for developers to submit proposals for Phase II of 890 Memorial Drive, known as the Lofts at Reynoldstown Crossing.
This former warehouse was in the process of being renovated by a private developer when the combination of the economic downturn and damage from the 2008 tornado stalled the project. It was acquired in 2011 by Atlanta BeltLine, Inc., and work was completed on 29 condominium units and one commercial space. Twenty-eight of the units were sold as workforce housing in 2012 to families earning under $69,000.
Following the successful development of Phase I, ABI is looking to begin the next phase of construction. There are several goals a developer must meet, including:
Housing with a minimum of 40% of the units meeting the affordability requirements outlined
A commitment and feasible approach towards long-term affordability exceeding 50 years with public or community control over the decision to convert affordable workforce units into unrestricted units
Pedestrian-friendly design of all street and Atlanta BeltLine corridor frontages in keeping with the BeltLine Overlay District
A project design and use of the site which activates the area through interactive Memorial Drive and/or Chester Avenue frontages
ATLANTA _ A recent report by a national organization that advocates for more walkable communities finds that 46,149 people in the US were killed by drivers while walking between 2005 and 2014. Imagine about 11 jumbo jets full of people crashing each year.
KIRKWOOD _ A pair of frightening crashes in the last month are fresh reminders of the life-or-death safety issues on Memorial Drive that have been raised by area residents for years.
In the first, a woman was killed while walking across Memorial Drive in the Kirkwood neighborhood on the evening of Monday, March 20, 2017. Barbara Crawford was crossing at the un-signalized intersection of Campbell Street when she was struck by a westbound driver and pronounced dead at the scene. Atlanta Police found that the victim was not in a marked crosswalk and the driver was not at fault. This is a common finding with pedestrian-vehicle crashes, regardless of road conditions and the location of the nearest legal crosswalk. In this case, the nearest crosswalk was about 350 feet to the east at Warren Street.