By Riki Bolster
The community organizations along Moreland Avenue have organized a new working group, SMAWG (South Moreland Avenue Work Group), to advocate for long-term safety improvements and infrastructure investment with the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), the City of Atlanta, DeKalb County, and other stakeholders.
The recent beginning of construction on the realigned intersection at Moreland and Glenwood Avenues is both exciting and a frustrating reminder of how long it can take for community priorities to come out of the ground. Plans for this intersection adopted by the neighborhoods date back to the 2000s.
Our goal is to start the discussion and sustain attention for many other long-neglected issues along Moreland. To start:
- High driver speeds, even in locations that are directly lined by homes and businesses.
- Poor or non-existent pedestrian infrastructure, including sidewalks and infrequent crosswalks.
- Unacceptably high numbers of fatalities and serious injuries. Moreland Avenue is among the worst offenders on the City of Atlanta’s “High-Injury Network” list of roads and streets.
- Renewed attention to the South Moreland Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) plan, which details a strong and compelling vision for future development and infrastructure along the corridor.
The group intends to meet monthly (virtually for now) with GDOT and city officials to define priorities and discuss how to address them. One of the reasons for this approach is that it’s difficult to maintain an ongoing dialogue with the relevant officials under the existing neighborhood and NPU meeting structure. Representatives for this working group were elected by East Atlanta Community Association (EACA) and South Atlantans for Neighborhood Development (SAND) and further approved by a vote of the NPU-W general body. The group is continuing to seek additional involvement from communities to the south beyond NPU-W. The group asks those who have issues they would like to raise about Moreland Avenue, to please reach out through their respective neighborhood organizations.