New Belgium Brewing Reveals “Tour de Fat” National Schedule, kicks off in Atlanta

Tour de Fat Stage 3

Atlanta kicks off the national Tour de Fat event - Saturday, May 11 in Candler Park. Invite a friend today - you won't want to miss this!   

This daylong festival in the park celebrates the bicycle, showcases New Belgium beers, and provides eclectic and engaging entertainment for all. The event is free, yet all proceeds from food and beer go to local biking groups. Over its course, Tour de Fat has raised more than $2 million for nonprofit organizations.

Each festival kicks off with a police-escorted bicycle parade through city streets in celebration of the bike. Costumes are encouraged but not mandatory, though the truly aware come prepared. Each parade route is designed for people of all skill levels, wrapping up at the park for a day of both sensory stimulation and relaxation.

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After the parade, the festival stages heat up with national musical acts, touring comedy groups, artistic ensembles and unexpected entertainment. New this year is the opportunity to heighten your beer knowledge through beer contests, providing the chance to explore new brews and revel in a unique lineup of New Belgium selections. Kids of all ages can test their bicycle prowess on art bikes, dance in the grass and explore a wide variety of games and activities, such as giant versions of telephone and Plinko.

Read more for details.

Vehicular homicide bill in Georgia Senate

 

Legislative update: The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, supporting Georgia Bikes, recently testified on behalf of a vehicular homicide bill sponsored by Senator Curt Thompson (District 5). 

This bill would give law enforcement the option to impose stiffer fines and sentencing in cases of accidental death with a vehicle. Currently, they can only charge as a misdemeanor unless the vehicle hits and kills someone while overtaking a school bus, or involves a hit and run, reckless driving, DUI or fleeing an officer incident -- those carry felony charges. 

SB 116: A bill to be entitled an Act to amend Code Section 40-6-393 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to homicide by vehicle, so as to increase the penalty for homicide by vehicle in the second degree from a misdemeanor to a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date and applicability; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

While nothing can bring back a loved one in the case of a fatal crash, this bill would allow prosecutors more flexibility in bringing charges in cases, and show that the state values human life more highly than a $1,000 fine. 

Status: The bill passed the Senate Judiciary Non-Civil Committee unanimously, then was "held" (no action taken) by the Ramsey Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. 

We hope this bill will make it to the floor for a vote. Please contact your representative to ask for their support (visit votesmart.org if you're not sure who is yours). 

Here's the basic message: "We need to give law enforcement tools to be able to charge people who are responsible for vehicular homicide with something stronger than a misdemeanor. Support SB 116." 

Atlanta Streets Alive coming to Peachtree Street: Sunday, May 19

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Atlanta Streets Alive is just around the corner! With Mayor Reed's support, our ambitious goal is to hold three events in 2013! We still have room for additional sponsors. To become an Atlanta Streets Alive sponsor, contact rebecca@atlantabike.orgTo appear on posters and flyers, the sponsor deadline is March 15. For print ads and inserts, April 1.

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To volunteer or organize an activity, visit www.atlantastreetsalive.com

Atlanta Bicycle Coalition's Atlanta-Decatur Bike Share Feasibility Study

In 2012, the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation awarded ABC a generous grant to conduct a feasibility study of bike sharing in Atlanta and Decatur. The study was conducted by Brad Davis of Robert & Company, who went above and beyond to create an informative, attractive, and thoughtful document.

The financial analysis was conducted by MetroBike of Washington, D.C., and our technical review committee included planners and support from the City of Atlanta and City of Decatur, as well as the Atlanta Regional Commission

The ATL bike share program proposed in our bike share feasibility study recently took one step closer to reality when the City of Atlanta issued a Request for Proposals in June 2013. 

To view the bike share feasibility study executive summary or full report, click read more, or visit the Presentation, Executive Summary and Feasibility Study. For the GIS files, please visit our Dropbox folder.

City of Atlanta sets ambitious bike goals

2012 marked a turning point in the bicycle history of the City of Atlanta. For the first time, not only is the city setting ambitious goals when it comes to creating bicycle infrastructure, they are making real investments in these improvements, and funding plans that once would have sat on a shelf for years. 

Here's a presentation to City Council summarizing the state of cycling in Atlanta today, current city and partner funding sources and projects, and goals for a bright bicycling future for our city. View below or read more for the text version.

 

Bike lights to cyclists in need

With a grant from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety, and in partnership with Atlanta City Council Member at-large Michel Julian Bond, ABC volunteers give out "blinkies" to cyclists riding in the dark. Visibility is a key factor in preventing bike crashes, and this program helps address the issue head on. Thanks to the volunteers and contributors who make this work possible! We will recognize the volunteer who gave out the most lights at the February 8th Blinkie Awards. 

 

Auburn Avenue Streetcar update

 

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." 

Summary

"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. 

Join us on the Great Atlanta Bicycle Expedition: Saturday April 20

From the East Atlanta Village to the West End, from North Buckhead to South Atlanta, unknown gems to unforgettable history, community gardens to champion trees, street art to high art... from Terminus to Today! Rediscover Atlanta... by bike!

The Expedition features the Atlanta BeltLine and replaces the BeltLine Bike Tour. 

Details

Saturday, April 20th, with staggered start times from 9 am (registration at 7 am)

Route options: 7 miles17 miles, and 35 miles

Police escort options: 7 mile route includes bike police, 35 mile route option to add motorcycle police for $25 more

The Expedition will start and & end at Elliott Street Deli & Pubwith an after-party including great food, beer, music and fun!

 

Open house on upcoming bike projects in Midtown

Midtown Alliance and the City of Atlanta Department of Planning & Community Development invite you to an Open House on January 30, 2013 from 5-7 p.m. at 999 Peachtree Street, Suite 500 to get feedback on plans for a new sidewalk and bicycle project on Juniper which will transform this corridor into one of Atlanta’s greenest streets. Plans for new, high quality bicycle facilities in Midtown on 10th Street, and Piedmont Avenue will also be discussed. Midtown Alliance and City of Atlanta representatives will kick off the meeting with a brief presentation of each project and how they fit in to the City’s Connect Atlanta Plan between 5:00 pm and 5:30 pm. Staff and consultants will be available for the remainder of the meeting to answer specific questions. These are exciting projects with tremendous potential and we encourage you to attend! Details from Midtown Alliance below and attached. Please RSVP at http://www.eventbrite.com/event/5154164244.    

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