A ‘Walking Action Plan’ for Atlanta, Georgia
Creating a safe commuter corridor for pedestrians
Following is an AARP summary of the walking action plan developed by Taryn Bell, a State Walking College Fellow, for the Center Hill and Grove Park neighborhoods of Atlanta.
PLAN VISION AND GOALS
- By 2026, Baker Road NW will have accessible sidewalks that begin at the Hamilton E. Holmes Drive and Baker Road NW corridor in Center Hill and end at South Evelyn Place NW in Grove Park.
Taryn Bell is the president of the Center Hill Neighborhood Association and a 2021 fellow of Eco-Action’s Atlanta Watershed Learning Network. She strives to help build safe and equitable communities through advocacy and partnerships.
- A continuous 1.3 mile pedestrian lane will be created. In addition to sidewalks, ADA-accessible crosswalks and traffic calming devices, such as speed detectors and speed tables, will be installed on Baker Road NW.
Located in Atlanta’s Center Hill and Grove Park communities, Baker Road NW connects two of Atlanta's most extensively used corridors: Hamilton E. Holmes Drive NW and Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway.
Baker Road NW is not safe for pedestrians.
Residents are forced into the roadbed due to the lack of sidewalks. The roadway also lacks crosswalks and necessary traffic-calming devices that could potentially decrease the speed of vehicles.
Drivers typically exceed the posted speed limit of 30 mph by driving 45 to 60 mph. School buses drop off children (ages range from early elementary to middle school) on Baker Road, leaving them with no option but to walk along the edge of the roadway while two-way traffic passes them.
Grove Park and Center Hill does not have the types of the pedestrian safety features that enable residents to safely use Baker Road without being in a vehicle. As a result, the mobility and overall quality of life of many residents is signifcantly impaired.
POTENTIAL COMMUNITY PARTNERS
- The Grove Park Neighborhood Association
- Atlanta Bicycle Coalition
- Grove Park Foundation
- Ask the City of Atlanta to conduct a speed study to determine the mean speed and speed distribution on Baker Road NW
- Add Baker Road NW to the city’s Vision Zero Action Plan
- Install all-way stop signs at intersections along Baker Road NW
- Add stop signs along the southern and northern stretches of Baker Road NW
- Add sidewalks with ADA-compliant curb ramps along the southern and northern stretches of Baker Road NW beginning at Hamilton E. Holmes Drive and ending at S. Elizabeth Place
- Use speed detectors and speed tables along the full stretch of Baker Road NW
- Place rapid flashing-beacon lights at intersection crosswalks to help ensure that motorists actually see any pedestrians crossing the street
- Working with city officials to allocate funds
- Possible pushback from community members
- A yearly evaluation will be completed by stakeholders. The first evaluation will be considered a benchmark.
WHAT’S BEEN ACCOMPLISHED SO FAR
As of February 2022:
Goals 3 and 4 in the list above have been accomplished, while goals 5 and 7 will need until late 2026 to be implemented. The others should be completed by 2023.
Page published March 2022
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