METRO Magazine

METRO Magazine

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced that she will establish Atlanta’s first dedicated Department of Transportation (DOT) to improve the safety and accessibility of city streets and bring new vision and leadership to meet the increasing demands of Atlanta’s growing population.

The management of Atlanta’s more than 1,500 miles of streets is currently dispersed across numerous city agencies. City officials will look to create a one-stop transportation agency that combines the road construction and repair operations of the City’s Department of Public Works with the long-term planning capabilities of the Department of City Planning’s Office of Mobility. These duties will be integrated with the infrastructure investment program of the Renew Atlanta Bond / TSPLOST, which manages capital roadway projects backed with dedicated, voter-approved funding streams.

The Atlanta Regional Commission forecasts that the Metro Atlanta region will add more than 2.5 million people and 1 million jobs by 2040, making forward-thinking transportation strategies critical.

The new agency will manage a range of transportation improvements from roadway repair and maintenance to sidewalk and bike lane construction to installing and upgrading streetlights and traffic signals, making streets more accessible to people of every age and ability. Combining multiple functions into a single unit with a common vision will enable the new agency to streamline its funding and project delivery pipelines, and to ensure that all roadway projects meet Atlanta’s long-term economic and mobility goals.

City Council will now review the Mayor’s proposal and must enact legislation authorizing the standalone transportation department, the structural organization of which will be set up throughout the spring. Mayor Bottoms has also authorized the drafting of a strategic transportation plan to establish the vision and set key goals and accountability measures for the new agency.

The Mayor’s announcement starts a period of assessing and developing the organizational and reporting structure of the eventual transportation department, a process that will be overseen by Senior Transportation Advisor Jacob Tzegaegbe, whom Mayor Bottoms appointed in December. Once the new DOT is created, the Mayor will appoint a leader, who will be in an effective position to represent the city’s interests for winning and directing federal, state, regional and local funding; developing more effective partnerships with state and regional transportation agencies like Georgia DOT, MARTA/ATL; and collaborating with local partners like Community Improvement Districts.

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