“A city should be so constructed so that it is safely navigable by any seven-year-old on a bicycle” –ENRIQUE PEÑALOSA
Sunday, May 23 marked Atlanta’s first ciclovia, Atlanta Streets Alive. Six months in the making, I was floored by what I saw Sunday at 1 pm. People spilling out into the streets to explore the city unimpeded or distracted by car traffic, children riding bikes without fear, grownups dancing like kids in the streets. It was magical.
251 Atlanta-area cyclists signed up for Bike to Work Week - thanks to everyone who participated! Together we biked a total of 14,144 miles over the course of the week. As the Clean Air Campaign notes, "every mile we drive creates a pound of pollution," so you prevented more than 7 tons of pollution in just one week! Read more for drawing winners.
The U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division (my former employer - consistently highly ranked among federal agencies for workplace culture and benefits) closed out Bike Month on a high note. After soliciting feedback from employees for several months, the division announced it would provide the Bicycle Commuter Benefit. Let's hope they set a trend! Read more for the announcement and details.
Roswell mayor Jere Wood on Bike to Work Day, 2010. We don't all have to be all-weather riders, but it's so impressive when you have a mayor who is! He'll be speaking at the Open House for Elected Officials in July - stay tuned for more details about that event.
During this Bike to Work Week, we want to hear the story of how you came to enjoy your commute. Every bike commuter has one, and sharing stories of our growth into this healthy mode can help others get started! Even in a region like Atlanta that has so much sprawl and congestion to contend with, getting started bike commuting is only the second hardest part. We've found that once you get going, it's much harder to stop. I got us going with the post below - now please share your own!
The first time I rode my bike to work, I was terrified. Traffic was fast and frequent on Cascade Road and I hugged the curb as if my life depended on it, which I thought at the time it did. That was after a few weeks of biking to the MARTA station on the sidewalk, and being amazed at how slowly I had to travel. Switching to the street made my commute that much faster, and as I later learned, that much safer.
I recently became aware of a report released by the San Francisco Civil Grand Jury discussing the barriers that exist in regards to a peaceful co-existence between motorists and cyclists. Here's the complete document.
I believe that many of the recommendations in the report can be applied here in Atlanta as well. I hope ABC can find a way to get a copy to our local elected officials.
Here's a summary for you of the portions I think hold true in metro Atlanta:
Join the ABC Bike Advocacy Team to help ABC have greater influence at the neighborhood and city level in working for bike improvements. This is a working group that identifies and implements projects with a high potential for success and impact. We're meeting tonight at Engine 11, a bar/restaurant owned by some great ABC business supporters, next door to the North Avenue MARTA station. Agenda items for tonight include our neighborhood and business outreach plans, a Bike Summit, and developing a timeline for all three.