General Frequently Asked Questions

What is Atlanta Streets Alive?

Answer

Atlanta Streets Alive is an initiative of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, shifting Atlanta's culture to become a more livable city - building community and highlighting neighborhood pride, providing healthy activities  for Atlanta residents and visitors, and educating the masses on transportation options to get where you work, live, and play.

Atlanta Streets Alive does all these things by removing cars temporarily from key Atlanta streets, and opening them up for people. It creates public spaces for all and helps people think differently about streets in their communities.

Where did the idea originate?

Answer

Atlanta Streets Alive was inspired by the ciclovia in Bogot√°, Colombia, where city streets are closed to car traffic to allow people to participate in all kinds of free health and community-oriented events. Thirty years after the first program, the concept has spread around the world from Tokyo, Japan to Kiev, Ukraine. Now we are bringing it to Atlanta! Our first Atlanta Streets Alive took place May 23, 2010 from 1-6 p.m. in downtown Atlanta, and we've since held over 11 events in 13+ neighborhoods.

Is there a fee to participate?

Answer

Atlanta Streets Alive is absolutely free to all participants. You can enjoy the open streets route by biking, strolling, skating, or just people-watching. Or you can take part in free activities like tango, yoga, hula hooping, break dancing and more, clustered in "activity hubs" along the route.

If you are interested in supporting our work you can donate here! 

Are cars allowed on the route?

Answer

No, cars are not allowed on the route, but most intersections/cross-streets are open for cars to cross over the route. Participants should follow all the traffic signals for their safety. Local access is available for residents, churches, and businesses directly on the Atlanta Streets Alive: Southwest route until 1:30 PM and 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM.

View street closures and detours here.

How does Atlanta Streets Alive impact traffic?

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Atlanta Streets Alive is held on Sunday afternoons, a time of the week with relatively low motorized traffic. We carefully selected this time to avoid overlap with other large events going on throughout the city, and to allow those who attend religious services on Sunday to participate.

Additionally, there will be "soft closures" with cross traffic allowed at most intersections along the route and auto access for residents and businesses located within the closed route. This type of closure has worked very well in other cities around the world. Traffic will be monitored and future events will reflect any needed changes.

View street closures and detours here.

What if my home or business is on the route?

Answer

Walk outside and come play with us!

Please take note that any cars parked on the Atlanta Streets Alive route an hour before the actual start time on the Sunday of the event will be towed. Cars will not be allowed back on these streets until approximately one hour after the event ends. Additionally, all driveways along the route will be blocked 1.5 hours before and after the event.

Are you a business on the route? We'd love for you to participate and help activate the street! Check out our activity page for ways to get involved.

Is this a race? Where is the start?

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No, Atlanta Streets Alive is an experience and opportunity to explore! There is no starting point or finish line. Feel free to hop on or off the route wherever you'd like. To make a plan utilize our interactive map which includes activities, participating businesses, restrooms, water stations and more.

Keep in mind - traffic flows both ways, exactly like a regular street. We ask that fast traffic keep to the left, and that riders pass on the left. There are a lot of people traveling in all directions, so please pay attention!

Who benefits from Atlanta Streets Alive?

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Atlanta Streets Alive is for everyone. It offers free and fun activities for Atlanta residents and visitors, turns streets into temporary parks in areas without many parks and that are not always people-friendly. Local businesses benefit from increased pedestrian and bicycle traffic along commercial corridors. Atlanta Streets Alive models how cities can provide healthy, environmental-friendly outdoor activities for their residents.

How can I get involved?

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If you are interested in volunteering with this project, please fill out the Volunteer Sign-Up Form.

To add your activity to the event, please complete the free activity partner registration. If you have specific questions, email events@atlantabike.org. 

Where can I rent a ride for ASA?

Answer

Need to rent a bike for ASA? Check out Relay Bike Share! The City of Atlanta's bike rental program. There are 500 bikes at 70+ stations across the city. Download the app to find and rent a bike.

Did you know that Atlanta Bicycle Coalition coordinated a feasibility study that helped make this amazing transportation option a reality?

What are the benefits of this event for the community?

Answer

Atlanta Streets Alive is more than a day of fun; it‚Äôs an everyday endeavor. While Atlanta Streets Alive has a festival-like atmosphere in many ways, we avoid using the terms ‚Äúfestival‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúevent‚ÄĚ to describe it. It is a program with an advocacy initiative that aims to inspire a shift in how we all view our city streets by transforming them into a place where people come first. Calling Atlanta Streets Alive a program might seem like a small distinction, but we believe it helps us lay the groundwork for a bigger change.

Through the initiative, we create an environment that demonstrates tangible, communal changes ‚Äď including infrastructure changes, like Complete Streets, which include:¬†

  • sidewalks with accessible pedestrian signals
  • accessible public transportation stops
  • frequent and safe crosswalks bike lanes or wide paved shoulders, and more.
     

All streets in Atlanta should be safe for everyone to use. This year our Atlanta Streets Alive routes have focused on areas slated for Complete Street improvements through Renew Atlanta. Both Cascade Avenue and DeKalb Avenue were not given the funding promised. Demanding funding and change have been central to our Atlanta Streets Alive advocacy.

What about people that rely on MARTA, how will they be impacted during Atlanta Streets Alive: Southwest?

Answer

The four pillars for Atlanta Streets Alive are Transportation Options, Civic Pride, Living Streets, and Health. This community program serves to elevate the conversation around the importance of safe streets for all and the advocacy work we do at Atlanta Bicycle Coalition. 

On July 25, we learned from MARTA that the logistical challenges -- primarily, the lack of a street grid with alternative streets and lack of a rail station nearby -- prevent a viable re-routing of the 71 Cascade Road route from Beecher Street to Cascade Springs Nature Preserve. Route 71 has approximately 430 riders on an average Sunday during the times of our proposed road closures. Typically, MARTA re-routes bus service during Atlanta Streets Alive to nearby streets, minimizing the impact on bus riders. Also, for most of our other routes, the ridership numbers are dramatically lower, affecting fewer people.

This level of disruption to bus service would be out of step with the Transportation Options pillar of Atlanta Streets Alive and would not be in keeping with our mission and values as an organization advocating for ease of mobility. We want to make the mobility experience better for today's bus riders, not worse. We revised the route to avoid disrupting MARTA bus service or making the commutes of bus riders any more challenging than they already are.

What happens if there is an emergency on or near the road closure?

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Next year will mark ten years that we have activated Atlanta Streets Alive. We have found that emergency service providers can access requests faster on Atlanta Streets Alive routes. All cross streets are open to local traffic, and providers have full access to the route in case of an emergency.  Also, people that are walking, rolling, and biking can disperse faster than cars. Since Atlanta Streets Alive is closed to car traffic, police personnel stationed at each cross street can assist emergency service vehicles through the route more swiftly. The majority of Open Streets programs around the globe primarily plan them on Sundays since traffic is lighter.

 

Additionally, we have two-three ambulances and medic stations along the route for Atlanta Streets Alive participants in case of an emergency.

How does the street closure impact businesses?

Answer

Atlanta Streets Alive is about civic pride and living streets, which benefits businesses along the route. We celebrate the unique character and spirit of each community, and unlike festivals or events, we do not petition outside vendors. The program encourages neighborhood businesses along the route to engage potential customers by showcasing outdoor displays or activities in front of their storefront. Historically, businesses on Atlanta Streets Alive routes see an increase in sales on the day of the program. People that are walking, rolling, and biking move at a slower pace than cars passing by a business location and have more of an opportunity to see the storefront. For more information, take a look at this Open Streets and Local Economies Fact Sheet.

How long will church parishioners be able to access the street during Atlanta Streets Alive: Southwest?

Answer

The street closure which begins at 1:00 p.m. is a rolling closure, meaning the streets don't close at once. Additionally, we can provide local access to residents, church-goers, and businesses directly on the route from until 1:30 PM and 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM.

How are routes selected?

Answer

All streets in Atlanta should be safe for everyone to use. This year our Atlanta Streets Alive routes have focused on areas slated for Complete Street improvements through Renew Atlanta. 

Visit the Southwest Community Engagement Process page to learn more about our outreach efforts for the Atlanta Streets Alive: Southwest route.