Two perspectives, one conclusion: why we're voting yes
Rebecca's perspective as a bicycle advocate and mom, posted in Creative Loafing's Fresh Loaf:
Bicycle projects are usually lumped into the “other” category — at least, that’s how it used to be, and, we often hear, that’s how it’s always been.
Well, those assumptions no longer hold. The Complete Streets movement is gaining ground in unexpected territory — metro Atlanta, poster child for sprawl.
Last year around this time, the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition was pushing for bike projects on the regional transportation sales tax project list. The final regional list approved by the Roundtable sets aside less than 1% of funding for stand-alone bike projects.
I’m here to tell you that’s a good thing.
Bicyclists and the bike-curious have been “standing alone” for far too long in this region and in this state, and we’re tired of it — we want to roll forward, into the future. So we were thrilled to find good solid bicycle infrastructure hiding under the heading of roadway projects on the region’s list that goes to voters July 31.
The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition and other cycling advocates have been working for decades towards acceptance of our position on the road. “Share the road,” we exhort drivers. “Same road, same rules,” we tell cyclists over and over.
It’s time to see those messages to fruition by voting yes on July 31 for the regional transportation sales tax.
Jessica's take, inspired by a week by bike after her car broke down, posted on CommonCreativ ATL:
When my car broke down along I-85 North, I was angry and embarrassed, standing out on the six-lane highway waiting for a tow truck and becoming fifteen, then thirty, then forty-five minutes late to my job. I cowered in my car while eighteen-wheelers roared past, trying to figure out why I felt I needed to rely at all on the stupid, expensive machine.
So instead of adding the cost of a rental car to the ($764!) repair bill, I decided to tackle Atlanta car-free.
I’ll be honest: bicycling is already my primary mode of transportation for short trips inside the city, and usually it’s convenient—especially on the days of the week that I commute a mere three-and-a-half miles to downtown. Convenient unless it rains, that is. And, of course, on Friday, my first car-free day, it rained. While I can bike in a downpour, I prefer to keep my flats from becoming sloshy.
Google Maps informed me that my only non-bicycle transportation option to downtown would be a combined bus and train trip. I considered texting my director to tell her I’d be in late to work. But the whole commute only took me thirty minutes—faster than driving and drier than biking. The #6 bus (exactly one minute late) picked me up from the street corner in front of my house and dropped me under the awning at the Inman Park Marta station, where I took a seat on a train and read my long-neglected book club book. At Five Points, I got off and walked eight minutes to my office. When my director came in—later than I did—she told me that she liked my (mostly dry) shoes.