Atlanta Criminalizes Walking

The high-profile case of Raquel Nelson, who was arrested when her four-year-old son was killed as she attempted to cross the street with him, and another recent episode demonstrate the Atlanta region's abysmal attitude toward pedestrians.
October 3, 2012, 7am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Angie Schmitt discusses the recent case of a pedestrian struck by a car in northwest Atlanta who was charged with jaywalking; another example of the region's draconian pedestrian laws. 

"Sally Flocks, director of Atlanta's pedestrian advocacy organization, PEDS, says it is not unusual for police officers in the region to cite and fault pedestrians involved in collisions, even as they're lying in hospital beds," writes Schmitt.

"The sad fact is that many of Atlanta's sidewalks are in terrible condition; the city had to pay $4 millionin injury settlements last year as a result. Meanwhile, in the suburbs, pedestrians get cited for crossing the street outside of a marked or unmarked crosswalk."

"Even worse, despite discrimination claims around the Raquel Nelson case, local pedestrian advocates have reason to believe the law is being applied unevenly. Flocks said the citations tend to be concentrated in low-income and Hispanic neighborhoods." 

 

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Published on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 in Streetsblog D.C.
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