With the Eastside Trail extension now open to Kirkwood Avenue, we are so excited to add even more Atlanta BeltLine to your neighborhood! As many of you are already aware, everyone has a duty to maintain their own safety and the safety of others when using the trail. This may mean slowing down on a bike, staying to the right if you’re walking, or keeping your dog close by, as our etiquette campaign explains.
On very few parts of the Atlanta BeltLine, people will have to interact with cars, such as the intersections of the Eastside Trail at Irwin Street and DeKalb Avenue.
DeKalb Avenue can be a challenging road to navigate. We wanted to ensure the safe crossing of the thousands of people that use the Eastside Trail every day. At this juncture, the construction of the trail also includes the implementation of a “pedestrian scramble” at Krog Street and DeKalb Avenue. Though it sounds like it could be a brunch special, it’s actually a method of traffic signalling where all motor vehicle traffic is halted at the same time to let bikes and pedestrians through.
If you’re going north on the trail, this means you’ll stop on the east side of the Krog Tunnel at DeKalb Avenue. If you’re going south, the trail is on the west side. When the scramble is triggered, you may cross in any direction once all motor vehicles are stopped. Please, for your safety, do not cross at this intersection until the scramble is triggered.
Additionally, the Eastside Trail will have a gap between DeKalb Avenue and Edgewood Avenue until early 2019 as North American Properties builds out The Edge – an $80 million development with affordable housing. For now, trail users will need to use Krog Street and Edgewood Avenue as a detour. A ramp and stairs at Edgewood Avenue enable easy access on and off the trail at that point.
At the Irwin Street crossing, we have what we call a “speed table.” Like a speed bump, a speed table protrudes from the ground with the intent of slowing down vehicles, but with a flat surface for pedestrians to cross. It is everyone’s responsibility to be safe when crossing, especially as this particular intersection has only been a pedestrian crossing for a short time. Rapid flashing beacons have been installed that will flash yellow when you press the button. It’s very important that they are used every time someone crosses the road so that drivers learn to watch for people crossing this intersection. Drivers have the responsibility to go slow to protect their vehicle on the speed table.
Just like with other safety and etiquette initiatives, there is a learning curve. As you are out enjoying the Atlanta BeltLine, please make sure you are aware of other people at all times, on all sections – be they cyclists, joggers, drivers in motor vehicles, or people with strollers. It’s the safest way to be on the trail, and it’s just plain old good etiquette.