Jan 5, 2023 - News

Drive-through ban and no minimum parking proposed near Beltline

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The path to a safer city for people on foot, bicycles and wheelchairs near the Beltline, an Atlanta city council member says, starts with ditching drive-throughs nearby.

What's happening: Under a trio of measures proposed by Council member Jason Dozier, gas stations and drive-throughs selling food, beer and wine, or other products and gas stations would be verboten in the Beltline area.

  • In addition, he wants to eliminate the minimum number of on-site parking spaces developers are required to build in Beltline-area residential, retail or office projects.

Catch up quick: The Beltline was envisioned as a way to coax Atlantans out of their cars.

  • But the bulk of nearby development is auto-centric. (Looking at you, Chick-fil-A currently under construction at Ponce and Boulevard, and apartment buildings wrapped around parking decks.)

By the numbers: The number of Atlanta pedestrians who are hit and killed is growing every year. Black people make up the overwhelming majority of those deaths.

  • Since 2015, 14 pedestrians have died and 47 have been seriously injured as a result of car accidents near the Beltline. The majority of both deaths and fatalities have taken place in the past two years.

The big picture: Speed tables, stop signs and traffic signals can only do so much, Dozier told Axios. Data showing a correlation between pedestrian injuries and fatalities that occur near curb cuts and driveways made him think about additional solutions.

  • "I think there's a lot we can do from a land use and zoning standpoint to help us meet our city's [pedestrian and bicyclist safety] goals," he says.

What's next: The legislative package heads to Council's community development committee for its first vetting.


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