Changes made to SW Atlanta walking path after residents’ mail service disrupted

The tactical urbanism project was intended to address speeding and safety concerns.
Road project hinders mail delivery
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 5:21 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Efforts to make an Atlanta neighborhood safer are causing quite a stir with neighbors calling the project an “eyesore” and an inconvenience.

In the 42 years Jean Avery has lived off Boulevard Granada in southwest Atlanta, few things have bothered her more than a recent road project outside her front door.

“It’s not useful here,” Avery said. “Look at these plants. They just put the plants here. They already looked dead. Who’s going to take care of them? They’re not. It was just something to do.”

The Atlanta Department of Transportation (ATLDOT) recently created a walking path on one side of the street. The project, made possible through a $25,000 grant, was intended to address speeding and safety concerns. However, neighbors told CBS46 that the new path has the opposite effect.

“You see there, cars, how they’re driving. You see this,” Jean asked as cars sped around a curve, crossing the double median. “It’s not something I’m just saying, it’s what’s happening. It actually seems like the cars speed up now that they see this.”

Even more frustrating for homeowners, most of whom are seniors, are the wheel stops and flex posts installed blocking their mailboxes, preventing the postal service from delivering mail.

“I don’t blame the postal service,” Avery said. “It’s a hazard for them because they will have to stop in the middle of the street to even get to our mailboxes.”

“I care that people are being inconvenienced,” said Edith Ladipo, a nearby neighbor. “I think that people are not being respected.”

CBS46 took the neighbors’ concerns to the City of Atlanta. As our crew was talking with Avery and Ladipo, a crew from the ATLDOT showed up. They removed the wheel stops and flex posts in front of neighbors’ mailboxes. An ATLDOT spokesperson told CBS46 they are actively working with the postal service to address any potential issues related to mail delivery.

“In coordination with the USPS, the City is actively making modifications to the project to address mail delivery access,” the spokesperson wrote in an email to CBS46. “The USPS resumed mail delivery on Monday (8/15) for any impacted residents.”

The spokesperson said the community worked with the City to identify potential safety solutions, including the tactical walk lane that was installed.

“Given the absence of sidewalks, this project is intended to provide safe pedestrian facilities for the community—including residents and school-age children,” the spokesperson added. “The project also provides connectivity to Cascade Elementary School, neighborhood businesses, parks and other amenities.”

Avery said it’s an improvement, but the neighborhood would prefer speed bumps instead.

“I’d say that’s the start but all of it needs to be removed” she added. “Because again, it doesn’t look good, and we don’t want it here. It’s a whole lot of things, you could have done it to better and beautify the neighborhood. This wasn’t one of them.”

The tactical urbanism project is intended to be temporary. Speed bumps are a possibility and are planned as part of additional future safety improvements, according to an ATLDOT spokesperson.

“While speed bumps act as a deterrent to speeding vehicles, they do not address the absence of safe walking facilities along this corridor—which is the intended purpose of the tactical walk lane.”

The United States Postal Service (USPS) sent the following statement to CBS46:

“The Postal Service appreciates its customers and always strives to provide the best possible service. We are aware of customer concerns regarding temporary delivery disruptions, due to a planned construction project currently underway in Atlanta, GA, near the Cascade Heights Post Office (30311). The Postal Service works closely with local government entities, such as ATLDOT, to help minimize impacts to our customers during such projects. Local postal management reports that, although there were some temporary delivery disruptions recently, all mail and packages have been delivered. Going forward, customers should see a resumption of regular mail delivery service. We apologize for any inconvenience that may have been experienced. Additionally, the Cascade Heights P.O. team will continue to carefully monitor delivery in this area and will immediately address any issues that may arise. Customers are reminded that, if they need assistance with mailing or shipping concerns, they have a variety of options for reaching us, including contacting a supervisor or manager at their local Post Office, calling 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) or visiting our website at www.usps.com/help.”