Atlanta Mayor Announces City’s First DOT
Mayor of Atlanta Keisha Lance Bottoms recently announced that she will be establishing the city’s first Department of Transportation.
The decision is a key pillar in Mayor Bottoms’ One Atlanta agenda, which will improve the safety and accessibility of neighborhoods, jobs, schools and services, in addition to providing better transportation for local Atlantans.
In 2017, the Atlanta City Council authorized a study examining the creation of a city DOT, followed by a feasibility assessment from the mayor’s office in 2018. Currently, the city council is reviewing Bottoms’ proposal and enacting legislation to authorize the department.
DOT for Atlanta
“For two years, I’ve envisioned and worked to establish an Atlanta Department of Transportation because our residents deserve better coordination, effectiveness, mobility and citizen engagement from our transportation network,” said Andre Dickens, representative of the Atlanta City Council.
“I would like to thank Mayor Bottoms for her full support and several key members of her Cabinet for working with us to plan, design and implement this new department.”
During Bottoms’ speech last Thursday (March 14) at the Georgia World Congress Center, she informed the public that the new department would be coordinating with the city’s Department of Public Works, Department of City Planning’s Office of Mobility and Renew Atlanta for the repair, design and creation of long-term investments for the city’s transportation infrastructure.
City officials plan to develop a one-stop transportation agency that combines road construction and repair operations for the management of more than 1,500 miles of Atlanta streets.
“A city’s success begins with its streets, and a dedicated department is critical to putting the transportation pieces together,” said Janette Sadik-Khan, transportation principal At Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that will advise the creation of the DOT.
“Atlanta has an unprecedented opportunity to change course on transportation, and Mayor Bottoms is showing the strong leadership that a city needs not just to grow but to make real progress for Atlantans.”
The Atlanta Regional Commission predicts that the Metro Atlanta region will add more than 2.5 million people and 1 million jobs by 2040. The new agency is scheduled to be set up in the spring, with Jacob Tzegaegbe, the mayor’s senior transportation advisor, overseeing organizational structure.
“Transportation is the lifeblood of our city,” said Bottoms.
“I have publicly spoken about my grandmother, who rode MARTA to work every day for 30 years, and the generational impact her ability to simply get to and from work has had on my family. Like my grandmother there are many working families who rely on public transportation. But the importance of transportation extends beyond buses and trains.”
Once the new DOT is created, Bottoms will appoint a leader, who is 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; and collaborating with local partners.