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KNO supports improvements in the Kirkwood Triangle area, Hosea Williams

Crime and public safety Kirkwood and East Lake Trending

KNO supports improvements in the Kirkwood Triangle area, Hosea Williams

Kirkwood. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Atlanta, GA — The Kirkwood Neighbors’ Organization (KNO) met via Zoom on Wednesday, May 10.

During the meeting, KNO voted to support a proposal to the city of Atlanta for a District 5-wide Roadway and Infrastructure Visioning Effort (DRIVE). The proposal asks for improvements in the Kirkwood Triangle area and Hosea Williams Drive NE.

Key aspects of the plan include:

— Closing the “slip lane” from Hosea Williams Drive to Oakview Drive, repurposing the space for public use such as murals and seating.

— Converting the one-way stop-controlled intersection at Oakview Drive and Hosea Williams Drive to two-way.

— Enhancing pedestrian safety by installing Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPIs) at intersections, adding parking setbacks and bulb-outs, and considering pedestrian crossing warning beacons.

— Improving cyclist safety by refreshing faded bike lane striping and considering a consistently protected bike lane.

The proposal is a part of KNO’s ongoing efforts to improve safety, accessibility, and sustainable transportation in Kirkwood.

In other KNO business:

— As of May 10, the Spring Fling deposits have totaled $40,765. This includes sponsorships, race registrations, and Tour of Homes tickets.

The Spring Fling is the primary fundraiser for the KNO, and festival proceeds are used to fund efforts, ranging from school and park improvements to resident-assistance programs like Adopt-a-Senior and Neighbor in Need.

Even though the state legislature is not in session right now, Rep. Saira Draper joined the call to discuss a possible special session to address gun violence in Georgia.

“We are demanding a special session to deal with the gun violence epidemic here in Georgia,” Draper said. “We released a letter this morning, and 70 representatives have signed it so far, requesting a special session.”

Draper said that she and her colleagues didn’t feel like the end of the legislative session was an excuse. Georgians need action now, she added.

A special session can either be granted by the governor, or with 3/5 of the general assembly’s agreement.

“I don’t know that our demand will be met, necessarily, or that we will be able to get the number of names on that letter that we need to convene the special session,” Draper added. “That’s the primary purpose.

“The secondary purpose is to demand action. To show that there are people who are willing to move on this issue.”

On Wednesday morning, there was a press conference at the Capitol around this initiative. And Draper said, “It was absolutely electric.”

“So many people in our community are fed up, to say the least, with the gun violence in Georgia,” Draper added. “We see people die, it seems like, daily at this point. And obviously, what happened in Midtown last week shocked a lot of people. I feel like the winds are changing a little bit about how people view this. People are exasperated and want a solution.”

— Councilmember Bakhtiari’s Chief of Staff Nic Cappon hopped on the call to deliver several updates.

Following the release of the DeKalb County Medical Examiner’s autopsy that showed Cop City protester Manuel Teran had 57 gunshot wounds, Councilmember Bakhtiari called for an independent investigation by the Department of Justice.

“That was echoed by a lot of partners in the state government,” Cappon said. “We hope the DOJ is able to intercede because, as the Councilmember has said, and I think a lot of folks on this call have said, we have a multi-jurisdictional police response that results in somebody’s death. And as more details come out, compounding confusion rather than clarity, it’s incumbent on somebody to rule out truth from fiction. And particularly in the absence of body cameras, we do need to have the adult in the room to tell us what transpired in January.”

In other recent news, Bakhtiari has also worked with the city finance department, solicitors office, and the courts, to develop a system where people can pay a marijuana citation online, similar to a parking fee.

“In 2017, the city decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana,” Cappon said. “However, to date, anyone found and charged with the possession of marijuana offense still has to appear before a city court judge, which is ridiculous and compounds the already back-logged case docket for municipal courts.”

Additionally, the city council approved a revised tree protection ordinance and achieve and maintain an average of 50 percent of the tree canopy in the city.

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