The Governor’s Highway Safety Association marked October as National Pedestrian Safety Month, even as pedestrian safety concerns loom in Atlanta.
Atlanta residents who frequently use Hollowell Parkway, a stretch of state highway that expands from Northside Drive to I-185 have been raising concerns about several pedestrian accidents in the area. There are no pedestrian crossings on this approximately one-mile stretch of Hollowell Parkway. This means that pedestrians are put to great risk when they have to cross the street. As a result, there have been a number of accidents in the area.
Hollowell Parkway is a very busy highway, that is used very often by trucks. The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition calls this stretch one of the most dangerous roads in Atlanta. According to law enforcement, since 2016 alone, there have been as many as 7 pedestrian accidents on the stretch of road. During the same time, there have been 40 pedestrian injuries occurring on Hollowell Parkway.
After one such fatality, residents met with George Department of Transportation officials to voice their concerns, and the agency decided to make infrastructure improvements, including the installation of 3 new crosswalks in the area. However, delays have meant that not even the first crosswalk has been installed yet. Residents continue to worry about the danger to pedestrians using the road.
These concerns come even as the Governor’s Highway Safety Association launched a campaign to raise awareness about pedestrian safety in the month of October. According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, there was a drastic increase in pedestrian fatalities during a 10–year period between 2009 and 2018. The number of pedestrian deaths nationwide jumped from 4,109 deaths in 2009, to a total of 6,283 deaths in 2018. That was a staggering increase of 53%, and denotes the increasing risk pedestrians face on our roads. Also, according to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, during the same period of time, there was a significant increase in the percentage of pedestrian deaths in the overall motor vehicle accident fatality toll in the United States. That rate jumped from 12% in 2009, to 17% in 2018.
The fact is that our roads are now significantly more dangerous for pedestrians than they used to be. This glaring gap in the number of pedestrians on our roads and the safety measures that they can expect, is even more disturbing during the pandemic when there has been an increase in the number of people choosing to walk while maintaining distance from other people. Social distancing – friendly modes of transportation like bicycling and walking are going to become even more popular in the months ahead, as Georgians fight to avoid Covid-19 infections. State authorities must step up and do more to make all roads safer for Atlanta pedestrians.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a pedestrian accident, talk to an Atlanta pedestrian accident attorney at the Katz Law Firm, and determine your legal options for a claim. You may be eligible for compensation that includes damages for lost income, medical expenses and pain and suffering.