An advocacy group called PEDS is taking issue with Atlanta’s crumbling sidewalks by pushing Atlanta City Council members to add sidewalk maintenance to the city’s budget. PEDS claims that Atlanta’s sidewalks are hazardous which can lead to injuries and lawsuits. Not only are the existing sidewalks in need of repair, there are many areas of Atlanta which, in my opinion, are not safe because they do not even have easily accessible sidewalks for pedestrians to safely walk without being in the way of traffic. Contrast this with the newly formed City of Brookhaven, which has been installing sidewalks along and around Buford highway and other areas of the new City. Perhaps the City of Atlanta could take notice of this and follow suit. After all, it is for everyone’s safety and benefit that a City’s pedestrians are able to walk about and be safe.
At 17th Street and Peachtree Circle, which is just around the block from PEDS Midtown office, the pedestrian advocacy group points to portions of a sidewalk that have been pushed up by the roots of trees. Other areas of the sidewalk are fractured and missing. News viewers have sent pictures of the worst sidewalks in their neighborhood in support of PEDS’ claims.
At present, the public works budget covers sidewalk repairs. An audit estimates that 25 percent of the sidewalks and curbs in Atlanta need to be repaired or replaced altogether at a cost of about $152 million. The maintenance of sidewalks is supposed to be overseen by property owners. However, as PEDS points out, this is seldom the case.