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KNO supports change to bike lane on Hosea L. Williams Drive

COVID-19 Kirkwood and East Lake Metro ATL

KNO supports change to bike lane on Hosea L. Williams Drive

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Photo by Dan Whisenhunt


By Sara Amis, contributor 

Atlanta, GA — The Kirkwood Neighbors’ Organization on Aug. 10 voted to send a letter to the city of Atlanta in support of moving the existing bicycle lane along a section of Hosea L. Williams Drive to the curb.

The change will allow existing on-street parking to act as a buffer between cyclists and the lanes of automobile traffic.

“This has been proven all over the world to be a cheap and effective way of providing increased safety to users of the bike lane,” said KNO Secretary Carl Holt. “No on-street parking spaces would be lost, and the bus stop would not be affected. It just seems like a win-win.”

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The section of Hosea L. Williams that will be affected runs between Warren Street Northeast and Rogers Street Northeast next to Toomer Elementary School. Two bicyclists were injured in a hit and run accident at the nearby intersection of Hosea L. Williams and Saunders last July.

KNO President Katie Kissel said she had walked the site with the Atlanta Department of Transportation commissioner.

“It does look like this will be the better way. You won’t see as much jiggy-jogging, with the bike lane going one way and then the other way and then back again,”  said Kissel.

In other news:

– Board of Education member Michelle Olympiadis reported to KNO that Atlanta Public Schools will start August 24 on a virtual basis.

“It is going to be a tough learning environment, but I think the district is well prepared and better prepared than when we pivoted back in the spring,” said Olympiadis.

Last year APS was able to provide free meals for all students in the district, however this year the students at twenty-one schools in the district will have to apply for free and reduced meals based on income.

Those schools include Toomer Elementary, Maynard Jackson High School, Drew Elementary & Drew JA/SA and Wesley International.

– Atlanta City Councilmember Natalyn Archibong said that the City of Atlanta is trying to ensure that everyone is wearing masks while out in public, and to that end will be using funding from the CARES act to provide masks to residents who don’t have them.

United Way has $22 million to administer for eviction protection and utility shut off prevention. Recipients must be within the city limits of Atlanta.

Another $22 million is available to small businesses affected by COVID-19 through the Resurgence Grant, open through the end of August. $40,000 per business plus $10,000 in technical assistance will be given to qualifying businesses. Applications should be made through Invest Atlanta’s website.

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– State Senator Elena Parent told KNO that she is recruiting poll workers in hopes of avoiding the problems that occurred during the June primaries.

“A lot of our veteran poll workers felt that they did not want to risk serving due to the pandemic. One of the issues in June among many was that some poll workers were hired the day before, so there wasn’t time to train them on new machines,” said Parent. Aspiring poll workers can apply on the DeKalb County government website.

– DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson emphasized the need to fill out the census, the deadline for which has been moved up thirty days to Sept. 30. Johnson stated that while DeKalb residents have filled out the census at a higher rate than the rest of the state or the US as a whole, it is still below the percentage of completion during the last census. He added that undercounting during the last census resulted in a loss of $275 million annually to the county budget. Additional resources like CARES Act funding for COVID-19 relief are also based on population. “We don’t need to leave any money on the table,” said Johnson.

– KNO Treasurer Bill Dewalt said that despite not being able to hold Spring Fling which is KNO’s largest source of revenue, the organization is in good financial health. KNO has $105,000 in reserves and was expecting to spend at most $35,000 to cover various expenses, but so far has spent $5,000. “I think we’re in good shape, we’ve had no surprising expenses,” said Dewalt.

– Kirkwood Cares has reached $1,000 per month in recurring donations, which it has spent on plumbing and electrical work, a wheelchair ramp, and other needed repairs for Kirkwood residents. Joan Howse, who had a tree fall on her home in April., is expected to be able to return home in the next two weeks. Kirkwood Cares put her up through AirBnB while replacing her roof. “Shout out to everyone who donates to Kirkwood Cares. This is part of how we keep longtime residents in their homes,” said Kissel.

– Chair Brittany Eddy reported that the Adopt a Senior program is continuing to grow, and is in need of more volunteers to deliver meals and groceries.

– Community Outreach chair Tina Davis plans to revive the KNO newsletter in a print format and requested volunteers to produce content.

– KNO meetings will continue to be virtual for the foreseeable future.  “Encourage your neighbors. You can show up in your pjs and you can drink, there’s no reason not to attend,”  said Kissel.

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