Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms plans to create a new city Department of Transportation, she announced during the “State of the City” address March 14.
The department would coordinate projects to fix roads and sidewalks and construct bike lanes, among others, Bottoms said.
Currently, transportation work is performed by the Department of Public Works, which fixes roads; the Department of City Planning, which designs and proposes changes; and Renew Atlanta/TSPLOST, two programs funding transportation infrastructure fixes and improvements, the city said in a press release about the announcement.
“All of these departments do a good job, but to do a great job they need to operate from the same playbook,” Bottoms said in the release.
Bottoms sees the department as “a one-stop-shop, combining the work of multiple city departments, to better deliver for Atlanta’s mobility future,” she said in the speech, which can be read in full here.
The new agency is planned to manage roadway repair, sidewalk maintenance, bike lane construction, streetlight installation and traffic signal upgrades, among others, the city said.
The condition of some Buckhead sidewalks has been criticized by wheelchair-using residents, leading to a lawsuit against the city of Atlanta over its alleged lack of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The city began looking into creating a DOT in 2017, when the Atlanta City Council authorized a study on the creation of a department. The Mayor’s office began a feasibility review last year, according to the city.
The City Council must authorize the creation of the new agency, and Bottoms plans to introduce legislation next week, she said in the speech.
The mayor 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 city said.
The leader, who would be appointed by the mayor, would also be charged winning and directing federal, state, regional and local funding; developing more effective partnerships with state and regional transportation agencies like the Georgia Department of Transportation, MARTA and The ATL; and collaborating with local partners like community improvement districts.