Nashville: cool city model for Atlanta on bike/ped issues?

Yesterday our new advocacy intern and I attended a webinar called "Policy Promotion: Get policy makers on board with pedestrian and bicycle improvements." It an offering from the Association for Bicycle and Pedestrian Advocates (APBP if you're a planning nerd and love acronyms more than apple pie). The most interesting panelist in my opinion was Adetokunbo "Toks” Omishakin, Nashville's Director of Healthy Living Initiatives and the city's first Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator.

Dancing Bikes on the BeltLine

Local artist Tom Bell and contacted me about rounding up some bicyclists for a performance piece he is producing with Brooks & Company Dance as part of "Art on the BeltLine".

Georgia Bikes seeks Executive Director

Organization: Georgia Bikes!
Job position: Executive Director
Job location: Georgia
Reports to: Board of Directors
Application deadline: Open until filled

Georgia Bikes!, a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization working to improve bicycling conditions and promote bicycling throughout the state of Georgia, is accepting applications for the position of Executive Director.

ABC office moving to storefront on Mitchell Street

Big news for ABC operations - our board has approved a move into storefront space on Mitchell Street, just a few doors down from our current location in downtown Atlanta. Our goal with this move is to create an inviting space for the bicycle communities of Atlanta to gather, plan, and learn. The timing of the move is to accommodate bikes donated for the Starter Bikes program, and hopefully allow us to expand that program.

Parking enforcement moratorium ends

The parking enforcement moratorium by Park Atlanta ends tonight (June 10) at midnight. Park Atlanta will issue warnings tomorrow through June 16, then start full enforcement of new hours 7a-7p M-F, 12p-10p Sat, with no enforcement on Sundays.

Here at ABC we have a little different perspective on parking, and pricing parking. We're concerned that too much free or cheap parking incentivizes people to drive even short distances. Did you know 99% of trips in America end in free parking?! (From The High Price of Free Parking.)

We all want fair, evenhanded enforcement, but we do need enforcement. As we've seen on our downtown street, without it employees (we're talking to you, federal workers :-) will park in the same spot all day, preventing customers from reaching small businesses that need high parking turnover to thrive.

There is an optimal price for parking that varies from city to city. For Atlanta, we believe rates should be at least equivalent to a round-trip fare on our public transportation system.

We want to see parking fees support the development of more options for people to get around Atlanta. Stay tuned for our upcoming op-ed taking the broader view of parking issues in Atlanta. Press release from City of Atlanta follows.

What happened to three feet?

The path from bright idea to law is not often short or direct – it’s more likely to be long, circuitous, and not exactly pretty, much like a business route that takes you around the city rather than going to the heart of the matter.

The Three Feet Safe Passing bill sponsored by Georgia Representative Wendell Willard (R-HD 49) and helped along by the Georgia Bikes Alliance (recently-formed lobbying sister to Georgia Bikes!), is no different.

A little background

City of Atlanta installs sharrows on Charles Allen Drive

The City of Atlanta's Public Works Department Quality of Life program is installing sharrows (shared lane markings - in the street pavement markings as opposed to signs) on Charles Allen Drive near Piedmont Park. Check them out and let us know what you think!

Sometimes I race the bus; sometimes I win

My bus trundles up Freedom Parkway to Highland, where I am sometimes waiting at the light, both bound north. Occasionally it will be a block ahead and I will catch it, deciding to cruise the remaining four miles home.

Other times, I watch it move, see it shudder, readying to race. It breathes its hollow howl, I adjust my shoe on the pedal, and we wait for the light to snap from red to green, a deaf starter pistol.

And then we race.

"Where's your bike?": on two-wheeled identities

If I board the bus or walk into my office building sans velo, I am inevitably asked, "Where's your bike?"

My response, a white lie, usually is, "In the shop." I've learned this stems follow-up questions. Drivers understand having a car in the shop; they can identify with that, and usually just nod and go, "Mmmm." If I say, "At home," or, "Felt like resting today," or, "I'm running home," it just draws more questions. (Number two response to "In the shop," after the nod/hum: "Flat tire?")

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