Over Two-Thirds Of Pedestrian Deaths Happen In Black Atlanta Neighborhoods

Over Two-Thirds Of Pedestrian Deaths Happen In Black Atlanta Neighborhoods

PropelATL reported there’s a surge in pedestrian fatalities on Atlanta on the streets of Black Atlanta neighborhoods.

On Nov. 16, PropelATL, a nonprofit transportation safety advocacy group, reported there was a surge in pedestrian fatalities on Atlanta’s streets, with a disproportionate impact on predominantly Black neighborhoods. According to FOX Atlanta, the harrowing statistics underscore the urgent need for immediate action and heightened accountability.

In September 2022, Brittany Glover fell victim to a fatal hit-and-run on Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway. Her mother, Valerie Handy-Carey, passionately expressed the profound impact her daughter’s death had on her family. “We loved Brittany. We miss Brittany. It has an impact on our family, the torment of not knowing who,” Handy-Carey lamented. The unidentified driver further compounds the tragedy, leaving families like Brittany’s without closure.

Last week, Keisha Waites, a member of the Atlanta City Council, took a bold step by putting up $3,000 of her own money and rallying support from fellow members to offer a $10,000 reward for information leading to the identification of the driver responsible for Glover’s untimely death.

The PropelATL report, 38 Reasons Why, presents a bleak picture of pedestrian safety in Black Atlanta. The city witnessed a rise in pedestrian deaths from 31 in 2021 to 38 in 2022, marking a 23% increase. The surge is even more alarming than 2020, showing a staggering 52% rise.

Rebecca Serna, the executive director of PropelATL, underscored the situation’s urgency, highlighting Atlanta’s disturbing trend compared to national averages. The report reveals Atlanta’s alarming average of 12.8 traffic deaths per 100,000 people, more than double the rates in peer cities like Chicago (5.4) and Seattle (3.72).

“Here in Atlanta, our streets are not really designed for safety overall. They’re really designed more for speed. How can we get as many cars through as possible? So, the lack of safe pedestrian crossings, the lack of bike lanes, and the very wide, fast car travel lanes all contribute to this problem,” Serna said.

The report’s revelation that 50% of pedestrian crashes transpire on just 10% of Atlanta’s streets presents a clear opportunity for targeted interventions. Serna advocates for immediate changes to these high-risk areas, emphasizing the potential to enhance pedestrian safety in the city dramatically.

PropelATL’s campaign for adopting pedestrian safety signal timing, providing pedestrians a head start when crossing streets, emerges as a cost-effective and proven strategy to mitigate crashes. However, the report’s findings demand more than just campaigns; they demand accountability from city leaders.

Handy-Carey, echoing the sentiments of many affected families, emphasized the need for accountability. “There’s no other responsibility that you have before you fix the street because people are still dying,” she asserted. While Serna acknowledged some city efforts, such as planned pedestrian crossings on Moreland Avenue and 40 voter-approved “Moving Atlanta Forward” projects focusing on pedestrian safety, the urgency of the matter necessitates more robust and immediate action.

As the city grapples with this crisis, the report serves as a call to action, urging authorities to prioritize pedestrian safety, address systemic issues, and implement effective measures to prevent further tragedies. The $10,000 reward for information on Brittany Glover’s case is a testament to the community’s collective effort in seeking justice for victims of these devastating incidents.

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