Some of you may have heard that the Fulton County Library branch on Ponce De Leon is scheduled to undergo renovation. While interior changes are needed and welcome, there has been much conversation in the neighborhood over the past few weeks about the plan to remove up to 17 healthy trees. After careful review of the plan and discussions with representatives of the project team, we also have identified some real safety concerns.
In order to create a drive-thru book drop, a one-way alley is proposed on the east side of the library with access off Ponce de Leon Avenue exiting into the parking lot and onto Frederica Street. This proposal presents many safety concerns:
- The alley has no provision for a sidewalk to separate pedestrians from cars
- The alley is out of sight from the library entrance and from the parking lot and the street. Such blind spots welcome undesirable behavior and are inherently unsafe. Even with adequate lighting it would be unwise to enter this blind alley – especially after dark.
- The alley is one way with access from Ponce de Leon only. A patron arriving on a bicycle would have to ride on Ponce de Leon Avenue (a high volume and high speed four lane state road) to access the book drop.
- In the new plan there is no provision for a pedestrian book drop. Pedestrians or cyclists who enter the property from Frederica would need to walk all the way around the library to deposit books and compete with cars in the alley.
- This book drop clearly does not meet ADA accessibility requirements.
- Drivers on Ponce De Leon Avenue will be tempted to skip the stop light at Frederica and use this as a cut through to access Frederica and the neighborhood.
Neighborhood advocates have started a petition that will ask Fulton County Commissioners to delay this project to allow for additional community engagement and improvements to the plan. Find more information and sign here.
Regarding the loss of tree canopy city-wide, you can add your voice to the discussion. The Atlanta City Council Community Development and Human Services Committee’s work session on revisions to the City’s Tree Protection Ordinance scheduled for June 19 has been rescheduled to Thursday, August 22 at 10 a.m. The work session will be held in Committee Room No. 1 at Atlanta City Hall, 55 Trinity Ave SW.