advocate

ADVOCACY ALERT: make this project list great

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Winning this one would have a HUGE impact on the next five years of bicycle infrastructure in Atlanta! And we need YOU to make it happen.

The City of Atlanta is proposing an infrastructure bond to complete much-needed improvements and repairs to our city's built environment, especially roads, bridges, sidewalks and community facilities.

Check out the map of projects and make sure to comment on your favorites to make sure they make the final cut.

The draft list includes 12 complete streets projects with bikeways ($23.4 million of the total). DeKalb Avenue and Peachtree (two of our three Connecting the City priorities) are on the list, along with 10 other great Complete Streets projects. But in order to achieve Mayor Reed's ambitious goal of becoming a top ten city for cycling by 2016 -- by doubling our miles of bikeways and percentage of bike commuters and creating a safe bike network for bike share users -- we need to do more! 

Our goal is 15% of the bond for bikeways. In addition to what's on the list already, here's what else to ask for at the public meetings or by email:

  1. Fully fund Cycle Atlanta Phase 1.0 at $10 million including a multi-use trail on Lee Street in SW Atlanta and 31 miles of bikeways throughout the city
  2. Make every street on the list a Complete Street
  3. Fund the PATH400 project

Public meetings have ended, but you can still weigh in on the project list by email or by commenting on a project via the map above. 

Join us for our first commuter breakfast of 2013!

Hello commuters, the next ABC bike commuter breakfast is Thursday January 3rd (that's tomorrow), at Empire State South in Midtown (10th & Peachtree), and it's being extended to 9:30, yay! Here's the breakfast menu, with options from $2 to $. And if you just want coffee, I hear it's some of the best in town. And because I can sense you might ask, no, the coffee won't be free ;) For this breakfast, we decided to focus our time & energy on advocacy rather than discounts, so we're going to be having guests from the Midtown Alliance join us, and I'm crossing my fingers for BeltLine folks too. And hey, if you want to email or call your council member to invite them as well, please feel free to do so! citycouncil.atlantaga.gov

Here's the link www.facebook.com/events/278643718924346, and here's the official blurb:
 
Two very exciting new items for our January Bike Commuter Breakfast: by popular demand and after months of requests, the breakfast is finally coming to Midtown! Also, we're extending it to 9:30am! (It will still start at 7am for all you early birds too)

Now, if you're one of the many bike commuters who commented on the thread we had about Midtown and/or live or work in the neighborhood, here's a special challenge for you: between now and then, try to convince a coworker or neighbor to ride with you one day - with the BeltLine Eastside Trail connecting Piedmont Park with Freedom Park or other PATH trails and tons of cool neighborhoods, bike commuting to & from Midtown has never been easier! Then, bring those friends to the bike commuter breakfast with you!

In exchange, here's what we're preparing for you: we've already had at least one staff member from the Midtown Alliance confirm their RSVP, and we're confident we'll also have folks from the Beltline join us as well to to chat about bike improvements in the area. Join us for breakfast ($2-9) and/or what I've heard is the best coffee in town, at Empire State South on 10th & Peachtree (SE corner, behind the Clothing Warehouse)

Protect two-by-two riding in Georgia

Existing Georgia law protects the right to ride two abreast, which adds safety to our riding and enables the social element we hold dear. The right to sit next to your fellow traveler is taking for granted when we're driving -- why shouldn't it be the same on a bike? 

Today a bill that would take that ability away was introduced in the Georgia Senate: click here for text of bill

Only three states in the U.S. prohibit riding side-by-side -- let's work to educate our elected officials why it's important that Georgia remain a two abreast state. If you live in one of the following districts, please contact your state senator to let them know you support the right to ride two abreast and ask that they do so as well. 

Co-sponsors

Senator Butch Miller, Gainesville: (404) 651-7738
Senator William Ligon, Brunswick: William@senatorligon.com (404) 656-0045
Senator Cecil Staton, Macon: cecil.staton@senate.ga.gov (404) 656-5039
Senator Bill Jackson, Appling: bill.jackson@senate.ga.gov (404) 651-7738
Senator Ross Tolleson, Perry: ross.tolleson@senate.ga.gov (404) 656-0081
 
Resources to use when talking to folks: Bob Mionske on "Two by two" and White paper from Georgia Bikes!

graphic from Road Rights, Bob Mionske's column in Bicycling Magazine

ABC's 2012 policy and advocacy goals for a bike-friendly Atlanta

With the new year we launch a new season of advocacy for policy change to support more & better biking in Atlanta. Here are ABC's 2012 goals, organized by jurisdiction. Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas! 

bike-friendly traffic calming

Speed kills (as the PEDS sign reads) - and as bicycle riders, we know this is true. Traffic calming projects are designed to slow down motor vehicles in order to increase the safety and well-being of other roadways users, especially pedestrians, but they can also provide a huge benefit to cyclists, if done correctly.

Yet all too often in Atlanta, traffic calming projects have not taken bicyclists in account, and have even resulted in fewer bike friendly roads - McLendon and East Wesley being the best-known examples of how bikeable shoulders that functioned like bike lanes were removed to make way for on-street parking and curb extensions/bulb outs. Today McLendon is still a popular bike route, but it's also seen an increase in bike crashes as our visibility to cars has decreased.

Yesterday, we met with at-large Atlanta City Council member Michael Julian Bond and representatives from Atlanta Public Works, to discuss how traffic calming projects could become more bike-friendly going forward. This discussion was sparked by a traffic calming project on Whitefoord Avenue brought to ABC's attention by one of our members. The meeting was quite positive, and we believe will result in policy and engineering changes moving forward.

Lane Change: help us create a winning presentation for potential bike lane funders

Recently we became aware of an opportunity to reach a large funder with a proposal to support the city's bicycle network plan.  We'd like to ask your help finding the supporting data that makes a convincing case as to why bicycle facilities make sense, both fiscally and socially.  Our goal is to convince funders that building the city's bike network is an excellent way to have a lasting impact on the built environment, thereby dramatically improving the city's outlook in the areas of economic development and public health.  Read more to add your data points and suggestions to the draft powerpoint presentation. Please support all assertions - this will be an evidence-based proposal. 

Baker-Highland Connector: comments needed

If you've biked down North Highland Street into downtown Atlanta recently, you may have noticed something different. The bike lane is gone, replaced with a multi-use trail. We've gotten some comments about the removal from our members and have a site visit scheduled with the city for next week. We'd like to hear from you on this issue - how does the new trail work for you? Is it better than the bike lane? Worse? Does it serve your transportation needs or function as more of a recreational facility? Please email your comments to rebecca at atlantabike.org, or submit them below.

When traffic signals don't detect bikes

John Becker has covered several bicycle issues in his "Take to Task" column in the AJC. This week he writes about traffic signals that don't pick up bikes. Check out the article. If you have a similar problem, report it to ABC's SeeClickFix page.

Public meetings on Xpress bus expansion plan

[Clarification] Public transportation is an important component of our transportation systems, and ABC strongly supports expansion of all transit services. What we are advocating is that large coach buses be routed to streets that can better accommodate them and other users, including bicyclists. At the following upcoming meetings on express bus expansion, it's important to realize those are not opposing viewpoints. As the tremendous popularity of the express bus system indicates, commuters are demanding more options. We just want to make sure those options are provided while considering the needs of cyclists (many of whom could benefit from the availability of more express bus routes).

Please try to attend one of the meetings listed below regarding express bus expansion and routing downtown.

Interacting with these coach-sized buses can be hairy for cyclists, and we need to make sure our perspective is taken into account when plans are made for where all the buses will go. One suggestion you could make is to re-route the buses so they do not clog up Peachtree Street, where the scale and street-level developments are great for bicycling and walking, but not so great for plus-size buses.

Preserve multi-use trail in Roswell: Meeting Wed 4/29

Please attend the Cobb County Commissioner's Meeting on Wednesday, April 29, 7:00 PM at 100 Cherokee St., Downtown Marietta, GA. to support the multi-use trail on Lower Roswell Rd. This agenda item is currently at the top of the page on the Cobb County web site Cobbcounty.org. This trail will link Columns Drive at the river, northbound on Johnsons Ferry road to Lower Roswell Rd, ultimately tying us to the Roswell Trail System. Background after the break.

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