Holy smokes, Atlanta has some serious problems with transportation infrastructure. This video, from PBS's great Blueprint America series, documents the almost comically treacherous conditions faced by people trying to survive as pedestrians in the suburbs outside the city. Imagine that highway crossing scene from Bowfinger, but much scarier.
For people trying to walk or use public transit along Buford Highway, it's one problem after another. There aren't good crosswalks along the artery, so people try to cross the street without them. Oops: There are seven lanes of speeding traffic—and a hill that makes it hard to see when cars are coming. Want to take the bus? The "bus stop" along Buford highway shown in this video consists of a single pole on a dusty hill, inches from traffic. Found an actual crosswalk with traffic lights? The buttons don't work.
So Buford Highway is a death trap and it's not the only dangerous, unwalkable area in suburban America. That's the bad news. The good news is that the last few years have seen a huge increase in awareness of urban planning and transportation issues, and Ray LaHood has a good head on his shoulders.
CORRECTION: This post has been updated to address some geographical ambiguities in the text.