Rebecca Burns wrote a great little reflection in Atlanta Magazine recently on the general unfriendliness of Atlanta to the car-less population and how MARTA continually suffers from this burden.
Burns used to live in Avondale Estates and struggled to walk the mile to Avondale Station thanks to a lack of pedestrian infrastructure along the way. Why so much trouble?
Sidewalks stop at the city limits (i.e. three blocks from my home) forcing you to navigate footpaths worn through the easement and hop in and out of parking lots, as shown in the photo above. One business (You know who you are!) erected chain-link around its parking lot, forcing pedestrians to venture onto the shoulder of College Avenue, risking five lanes packed with speeding cars, trucks, and buses. Walk on the south side of the street, and you dodge drunks lollygagging around two liquor stores. Walk on the north side, and you pass a salvage center that was reportedly the site of a homicide. When it rains, the whole thing turns into a red-clay swamp.
Burns continues that after looking for an affordable new home this summer, the best she and her family could do in relation to MARTA was in Cabbagetown, close to King Memorial Station. However, even Google Maps advised her to the dangers of walking this route thanks to “missing sidewalks and pedestrian paths”.