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Atlanta’s deadly streets are an infrastructure crisis in need of quick action

William Alexander died last week doing what the city told him to do: get off the sidewalks and ride your e-scooter in the street.

He was crushed to death by a bus as he navigated around construction barricades in the roadway on West Peachtree Street, at 15th Street.

He was crushed where a bike lane – or a Lite Individual Transportation (LIT) lane as many are calling them now – has been planned for years. Never built. In the shadow of a MARTA Station where walking, cycling, and micro-mobility should be safe, easy choices. 

In response, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has put a moratorium on adding new scooters to city street. As if the scooter killed William Alexander. As if a scooter killed Eric Amis, who died two months ago while also being hit by a vehicle next to a rail station. 

In both cases, the streets are waiting on planned safety improvements that have not been built. 

A scooter no more killed them than feet kill pedestrians or bikes kill cyclists.

Lip service has to stop. It’s time to prioritize pedestrian, cycling, and yes, scooter traffic as alternatives to cars.

It’s time to protect LIT lanes and install crosswalks and HAWK signals.

It’s time to address the fact that Atlanta’s streets are among the deadliest for pedestrians in the entire U.S., according to a study of congressional districts by Smart Growth America.

When the Mayor speaks before City Council on August 5th regarding the “scooter crisis”…keep in mind that what we really need is a discussion of an infrastructure crisis that puts anyone not in a car at risk.

You can read the Executive Order prohibiting new scooter permits here.

Please contact your elected officials and let them know that scooters may need some regulation, but what we really need is safe lanes for them, for cyclists… we need safe sidewalks and crosswalks for pedestrians.

On August 5th, Council will hear the mayor’s legislation regarding the scooter “problem”. Please be there to let council know… this isn’t a scooter problem. It’s an infrastructure problem. It’s a car problem.