Atlanta’s rate of pedestrians killed by vehicles is rising and is worse in majority-Black neighborhoods, according to new data mapping by the advocacy group Propel ATL.
The new report, “38 Reasons Why,” analyzes the 38 pedestrian deaths reported within city limits in 2022, the last year for which complete data is available. That death rate was 26 percent higher than in 2021 and 52 percent higher than in 2020, the report says.
“The rise marks a continued upward trend that started in 2018 in a city whose overall traffic fatality rates are already high compared with similarly sized cities,” Propel ATL wrote in a press release.
The report found over 35,000 vehicle crashes on Atlanta streets — including highways — in 2022. Of those, 548 involved people walking, biking or rolling.
Most crashes involving bicyclists and pedestrians happened in the dense areas of Downtown and Midtown, but the crash rates were lowest there and higher in outlying neighborhoods analyzed by Atlanta City Council districts. More than two-thirds of pedestrian fatalities — 25 out of the 38 — happened in majority-Black neighborhoods, the report says.
The City had similar findings as part of its “Atlanta Vision Zero,” a plan in the works intended to eliminate pedestrian deaths and serious injuries with better designs.
One bright spot in 2022 was no bicyclist fatalities from vehicle collections. The report suggests one factor is improved bicycling infrastructure, such as dedicated lanes.
Some other key findings include:
- 63 percent of pedestrian fatalities occurred on roadways that didn’t have sidewalks.
- 38 percent of bicycle and pedestrian crashes occurred on state routes that tend to lack sidewalks and bike lanes.
- 29 percent of bicycle and pedestrian crashes were hit-and-runs.
Propel ATL says it sees similar rises in pedestrian death and overall traffic fatalities in the larger areas of Clayton, DeKalb and Fulton counties.
Besides the numbers, the report also profiles some of the pedestrians killed in 2022, reflecting the personal costs of lives lost. One of them is Brittany Glover, 33, a food truck operator and new graduate of flight attendant training who was killed by a hit-and-run driver on Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway, where the report says crosswalks are lacking.
Police are still seeking her killer. City Councilmembers Byron Amos and Keisha Sean Waites have scheduled a Nov. 17 press conference to announce an increase of the reward for offering information about the case.