Neighbors march to demand officials make busy road safer for pedestrians

Neighbors march to demand officials make busy road safer for pedestrians

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — People took to the streets Saturday to push for changes to a busy street they say is too dangerous to walk or bike on.

Channel 2's Rikki Klaus was on DeKalb Avenue, where a big crowd came out for the Walk the Walk March. Neighbors say cars speed through the Inman Park and Candler Park neighborhoods and they'd like officials to improve safety in the area.

Klaus spoke to Jeff Wisard, who said he is constantly scared that a car will hit him while he's walking or biking on DeKalb Avenue.

"Right now, it's only car-focused, and even the cars are suffering because of it," Wisard said. "No one's winning in DeKalb."

Wisard wife, Trang, spoke to a crowd of activists and concerned neighbors ahead of Walk the Walk, a demonstration by the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition.

"We would love this street to be safer for everyone," Trang Wisard said.

Klaus learned that city officials originally planned to overhaul the congested thoroughfare. She talked to city council member Amir Farokhi about what happened to those plans.

“Originally, there was a vision to turn this into a complete street," Farokhi said. "It was going to remove the center lane, put in a turn lane, with nice planters, medians, a bike lane, wider sidewalks."


Farokhi said officials scaled back the plan because the money dried up. He said other projects used the funds and construction and labor costs rose.

Trang Wisard still has hope.

“It’s such an important street because it’s such a huge throughway between Decatur all the way to downtown, and so if we can get that right, we are impacting so many neighborhoods along the way," she said.

The Atlanta Bike Coalition wants to see a separated path near the MARTA line for bikers and walkers.

The city's scaled-back plans include removing the reversible lane in the middle of DeKalb Avenue and making it a turn lane.