Message from ABC:
Thank you to everyone who took action to bring bike lanes to Auburn Avenue as part of the Streetcar project! Your voices were heard, and a partial victory is the result. The mayor's transportation advisory sent the message below detailing the thought process behind the decision. Over time, we see more projects including bicycle facilities from the get-go, in no small part due to the outpouring of support generated by this initiative. Stay tuned for the next opportunity to get involved.
Response from City of Atlanta -- Tom Weyandt, Senior Policy Advisor for Transportation, Office of the Mayor
"After receiving over 230 emails from the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, I requested our staff to thoroughly review the current proposed bike facilities. We heard your concerns and we are taking action.
A key finding of our review of the current design is that we will investigate the possibility of an eastbound bicycle lane between Park Place and Peachtree Center Avenue section and will commit to a separate eastbound raised cycle track on the Fort Street to Hilliard Street section of Auburn Avenue as part of our bicycle facilities expansion efforts.
There are other sections along Auburn where we will not be able to install dedicated bike lanes and I would like to explain the rationale behind this decision.
The Atlanta Streetcar project will transform the look and feel of the whole corridor. Improvements include the transit facility itself, enhancements to the entire project area for pedestrians, support for bike facilities and support to the merchants and other new activities along the whole route. Given these multiple factors, trade-offs are inevitable."
"The City of Atlanta fully appreciates the thought and passion you and others bring to the support of bicycle facilities in the City of Atlanta. We have carefully reviewed your concerns and are working diligently to accommodate some of your requests. I believe with some certainty that we can add a dedicated bike lane in the first critical uphill block as mentioned above (between Fort and Hilliard) and we will incorporate this into our own bicycle priorities. Additionally, we will review the possibility of adding a bike lane on Auburn (between Park Pl and Peachtree Center Ave).
For the three-block section of Auburn Avenue with sharrows, the loss of up to 39 planned parking spaces is an unacceptable burden on the corridor and its businesses. Equally, the loss of more than two dozen trees and various other street furniture – monuments and benches, etc – is also inconsistent with a friendly and safe pedestrian environment we hope to create. Such changes would require a re-visit of the environmental work already accomplished, documented and approved. The net impact on the corridor would not, we believe, be an overall benefit to the project and community it serves.
I hope this puts some context to the bike facilities issues and will give you some comfort that we consider this one of many important elements of the Atlanta Streetcar project and will act accordingly in our own bicycle facility implementation."
Please read more for a detailed section analysis.