Check out this cool new map. You can look at air quality (aka “Particulate Matter levels”) around Atlanta down to the street level! As the ARC notes on its website…
Understanding air quality at the neighborhood level is also important in addressing land use and site planning- particularly for schools where children are most vulnerable to the effects of air pollution. It can also help us identify communities that are affected, but may be underrepresented in local decision-making.
Not too surprisingly, the air quality is best in residential areas away from major traffic arteries. So Decatur Heights, Oakhrust and Winnona Park all look pretty good. School-wise, College Heights, Oakhurst and Winnona Park have the best air quality.
The worst areas aren’t necessarily those that host the most traffic, but the areas where congestion is the worst. Around Decatur that means the intersections along Scott Boulevard and South Candler fare the worst. But they are nothing compared to how poor the air quality is along Ponce de Leon Ave between Moreland and Clifton in neighboring Druid Hills(as you can see above), which sees regular congestion during the work week and even often times on weekends. The other pop of red of the map is at the intersection of North Decatur and Clifton, which sees substantial backups in the afternoons when Emory students and staff get out of work.
And of course, nothing in the Atlanta area compares to the poor air quality around the Connector downtown, especially north of downtown. Yikes.
Take a look at Decatur and the larger metro region yourself and let us know what you see!