Doraville receives federal funding for pedestrian safety along Buford HighwayDoraville Mayor Joseph Geierman, speaks at a press conference in front of Doraville City Hall on Friday, January 3, 2023. (Matthew Pearson/WABE)
BY Emily Wu Pearson | WABE
More than a million dollars in federal funding is coming to Doraville for pedestrian safety and road improvements along Buford Highway.
The money, secured by U.S. Senator for Georgia Jon Ossoff, is the latest in moving the city’s overall mobility plan forward.
Improvements include more sidewalks, pedestrian crossings and additional safety technology at intersections along Buford Highway at I-285, Oakcliff Road, McElroy Road, and Longmire Way.
“What you may not know is that over 10% of Doraville households do not have cars in their households,” said Doraville Mayor Joseph Geierman, “many of them walk and bike on Buford Highway on a daily basis.”
Census data shows 41 percent of Doraville residents were born in another country, and immigrants don’t often have easy access to driver’s licenses or buying a car.
Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry said GDOT figures show Buford Highway has about seven pedestrian incidents a year. A quarter of those have been fatal.
The roadway is the main artery of Doraville. MARTA route 124 runs down a stretch of Buford Highway and carries about 1000 people in that stretch alone per day.
“Pedestrian safety is a major component of the transit experience,” said MARTA General Manager and CEO Collie Greenwood. “Taking transit exposes people to far fewer traffic accidents and risks than they might be exposed to if they’re riding in a privately operated vehicle. But those benefits are diminished if they’re forced to navigate unmitigated safety risks across several live lanes of traffic on their way to and from our transit stops.”
The 1.5 million dollars for pedestrian safety improvements comes from the recent omnibus budget bill, and Ossoff emphasized strong bipartisan support for the project. The City of Doraville is also providing funding for the improvements.
Ossoff says funding will disperse to Georgia within the next several months, and local officials say the project could be off the ground within the year.
This story was provided by Decaturish partner WABE.