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January 2009
PEDS Pizza Party: January 27
Join other PEDS members for a great time. You'll find out about PEDS' priorities for 2009, give us your ideas, meet PEDS' staff, elect board members, network and enjoy delicious pizza!  Slice, a terrific pizza restaurant and bar in downtown Atlanta, is hosting the event.

Members PartyWhat: PEDS Pizza Party
When: Tuesday Jan 27, 6 - 8 pm

Where: Slice, 85 Poplar Street (MAP)
Free for PEDS members. Cash bar.

It's an easy walk from both the Peachtree Center and Five
Points MARTA stations.

Friends are welcome and will be asked to join at the door. We're offering a special $20 rate for first-time members who join on January 27.

Sidewalk Maintenance Projects Provide Big Bang for Buck
To create the millions of jobs needed to pull the United States out of the recession, President-elect Barack Obama is encouraging Congress to approve a bill that make "the single largest new investment in our national infrastructure since the . . . federal highway system in the 1950s." The proposed Economic Recovery Act is likely to include a "use it or lose it" provision, which makes it essential that the Atlanta region select projects that can get started quickly.

In comments to the Atlanta Regional Commission's Transportation Coordinating Committee and in a letter to ARC Chair Sam Olens, PEDS President Sally Flocks encouraged the region to target proposed funds for sidewalk maintenance and curb ramp upgrades in the half-mile area surrounding transit stations and bus transfer points.

Worker installing sidewalkSidewalk maintenance projects have no red tape and are easy to implement quickly. They also create the greatest number of local jobs per dollar spent and provide many economic benefits for communities.

Yet most important are the positive results for the community. Well-maintained sidewalks make it more inviting to walk for short local trips, reduce municipal liability for trip and fall injuries, and help make the transportation system accessible to all pedestrians, including those the Americans with Disabilities Act was intended to help bring into the mainstream.
No Excuses: Pedestrian Safety Can't Wait
AJC Article 01-05-2008A recent article in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Girl's death renews pedestrian concerns," highlights PEDS' continuing call for pedestrian refuge islands on multi-lane roads like South Cobb Drive.

Unfortunately, the article also features misleading comments from Laraine Vance, planning division manager for the Cobb County Department of Transportation. She offers excuses that impede pedestrian safety.

The public deserves clarification about government responsibility, pedestrian behavior and proven safety solutions. To that end, PEDS submitted this letter to the editor. Watch for it in the AJC this week.
Police Wrongly Ticket Pedestrians
Piedmont Rd. at Main St.
Undercover Atlanta Police officers recently ticketed PEDS member Paul Grether and numerous other pedestrians for crossing Piedmont Road at Main Street, near the Lindbergh City Center. One problem: the pedestrians didn't violate any laws. This photo shows where they crossed.

We know what you're thinking: there's no crosswalk. No problem. Paul knows his rights and you should too. Crossing outside a crosswalk is illegal only where the two adjacent intersections are both controlled by traffic signals. At all other locations, including the unsignalized, unmarked, t-shaped intersection where Paul crossed, Georgia Code 40-6-92(a) allows pedestrians to cross anywhere they want as long as they enter the roadway safely and "yield the right of way to all vehicles." Paul yielded to cars, which means he crossed legally.

But wait! Paul's ticket says he and the others violated a different law: Georgia Code 40-6-91(b), which says you can't dart into the path of a vehicle "which is so close that it is impractical for the driver to yield." Paul doesn't have a death wish. No one in his pack of pedestrians jumped in front of traffic, and no drivers slammed their brakes. Paul and the others crossed to the center median during a safe gap in traffic, waited for a gap in the other direction, and finished crossing. No dashing, just safe walking.

After hearing from Paul, PEDS sent letters with supporting graphics clarifying the Georgia Code to the Atlanta Police Department and to all City of Atlanta municipal court judges. We'll continue to follow these and other pedestrian cases to ensure pedestrians' rights don't get trampled by well-meaning but misinformed police officers.
Membership Matters
Happy New Year to all our members and contributors! We can't stress enough how much your support means to us. If you haven't done so already, please take a moment to renew your membership with PEDS. 

Not yet a member? Join today and add your voice to the hundreds of metro Atlantans who look to PEDS to protect their rights and promote their dreams of making communities in metro Atlanta safer and more enjoyable places to walk.
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About Us
PEDS is a member-based advocacy group dedicated to making metro Atlanta safe and accessible for all pedestrians.Logo - thick - small

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