The Most Dangerous Road in Georgia

Blueprint America reports from suburban Atlanta, where getting to the other side of the road is nothing to take for granted.

In recent years a little noticed shift has been transforming suburbia: the home of the middle class has become the home of the working poor. As a result, roadways that were built for the car are now used by a growing population that can't afford to drive. The consequences can be deadly.

Thanks to Jon

Full Story: Dangerous Crossing

Comments

Comments

The video missed quite a bit

The roads alone don't deserve the blame. Yes, their design is car-oriented, but also keep in mind that they were built for a generation that moved only by car...

Now as socio-economic demographics shift & attitudes toward walking/biking improve, we're starting to have increased ped/bike volumes along roads that were never designed nor intended for them.

It's not just the local DOT to blame; they're the result of the policy decisions made by elected officials on behalf of their constituents... us.

Some roads simply have no easy fix: they're straight & wide, promoting long crossings among high-speed traffic. If we really want a change, we need to completely change the context of the road: narrower, slower, and denser land uses.

However, we also have to consider what that cost poses to those beyond that particular corridor: those who travel along that route by car will be the ones now forced to divert or forced to slow.

Not to sound too car-oriented here... I actually support such redesigns; but it's a decision that must be made even above the head of the highest DOT official. It requires our elected officials to decide, and it requires voters to support it; even those who live outside of the community but drive through it.

One other thing that irked me was the very brief media clip regarding pressing pedestrian pushbuttons & nothing happening. While this *could* be a result of malfunctioning equipment, I'd place my bets on that the reporter expected the WALK to come *immediately*; whereas in actuality it'll take some additional time for other movements to time out & also some delay on account of corridor offsets.

All in all I was very disappointed with this clip... it focused on one small part of the problem without focusing on its root causes, and a number of its examples & cases came off as somewhat shoddy reporting. Somewhat surprising given that I'm generally a fan of PBS; particularly its Blueprint America series.

Retrofitting Atlanta

Since we are talking about Atlanta suburbs, let me recommend a great image in the book Retrofitting Suburbia by Ellen Dunham-Jones, which shows the Atlanta metropolitan area as it is now and as it could be 100 years from now, if the sprawl were rolled back and replaced by New Urbanist development.

There is a video based on the book Retrofitting Suburbia at http://www.ted.com/talks/ellen_dunham_jones_retrofitting_suburbia.html and the images of Atlanta are at 16:18 in the video.

Charles Siegel

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