Five Tips for Staying Safe on the Atlanta Beltline
Atlanta’s Beltline is the place to be these days. Whether you’re walking, jogging, biking, or skateboarding, Atlantans have embraced the Beltline’s West End, Eastside, and Northside Trails. It’s pretty tough to beat the usefulness of the Beltline. Why sit in heavy traffic when you can hop on the Beltline and enjoy Ponce City Market, Krog Street Market, Historic Fourth Ward Skatepark, Piedmont Park, Freedom Park, Gordon White Park, tons of great restaurants, and a host of other Atlanta parks?
With so many Atlantans enjoying the Beltline, it’s important to keep a few safety rules in mind. Help protect yourself and your fellow neighbors.
- Call for help. Always call 911 if someone needs medical attention or if you witness anything illegal or suspicious. If it’s merely a Beltline maintenance issue, you can report it via the Atlanta Beltline mobile app, by calling 404-477-3687, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Walk and bike like a good driver. Traveling on the Beltline follows the basic rules of driving in America – stay to the right of the center line. Hopefully, you would never make a sudden U-turn or just stop in the middle of the I-75 or I-85. The same principles apply on the Beltline. Slower travelers should stick to the right side of the path, while faster joggers or cyclists pass on the left. And, watch your speed. The Beltline isn’t the place to reenact those amazing car chase scenes from the Fast & Furious movies. Remember that pedestrians have the right of way before cyclists and skateboarders. And, step off the path if you’re stopping to fix your shoelaces, answer that phone call, or simply enjoy the view.
- Watch the kids. Teach your kids about trail etiquette, and be a stickler about enforcing those rules. Keep your kids close and always watch out for other children who are straying too far from their parents.
- Mind your dog. Have you met Zoey, our four-legged, furry friend? She keeps us company most days here at the Litner + Deganian office near Brookhaven and Druid Hills. Zoey loves the Beltline. One way we keep her safe is with a 6-foot leash. Fabric or leather leashes are best. Long, retractable leashes, especially the cord types, are extremely dangerous – on the Beltline and in general. Serious injuries happen when people or cyclists get “clotheslined” by a leash. Keep your dog close, avoid unfriendly dogs, and step off the path to let your dog sniff their heart out or play with a friend.
- Be courteous. When you’re approaching someone from the back and intend to pass them, give them a heads up. The common phrase is “On your left!” It’s also a great time to ring the bike bell you spent a pretty penny on. Not only will you avoid startling your fellow Atlantan, but they’ll also know to stay on the right while you pass. If you really want to be courteous, say “hi” to a stranger or tell them how they great they look today. Go ahead. Make someone’s day.
Injured on the Atlanta Beltline?