Cycling in Atlanta: Gaining Momentum

"...last year, Bicycling Magazine rated Minneapolis the number one city in America for bike-friendliness. Atlanta did not enter the top ten, nor has it ever. What’s changed is that now, it wants to. Mayor Kasim Reed’s administration has announced this year a goal of being a top-ten cycling city by 2016. WABE’s Kate Sweeney looked into just what that means."

Did you know ridership in the city of Atlanta increased almost 400% from 2000-2009? The highest growth in the country? And that's despite the lack of a network of bike infrastructure. Imagine what will happen now that Mayor Reed and the city are committed to doubling mileage of bike lanes and trails by 2016. 

WABE's Kate Sweeney talked to the Georgia Tech creators of the Cycle Atlanta app (an innovative approach to crowd-sourced bike planning), City of Atlanta transportation planner Joshuah Mello, and ABC's Rebecca Serna. 

Photo credit Kate Sweeney / WABE View of North Avenue by bicycle from the Beltline    

 

Rise Up & Bike to Work

Around the country, communities celebrate bike commuters with National Bike to Work Day Friday, May 17th. For many of you, that's every day! Why not invite a co-worker to ride in with you, or just go for a lunchtime ride?

While you're at it, stop by an Energizer Station in downtown Decatur or Atlanta for snacks and good company. Next Friday, May 17th, the City of Decatur will be outside the Recreation Center (231 Sycamore Street) from 7-10 am with coffee, pastries, and snack bars. Central Atlanta Progress will set up at Woodruff Park from 7:30-9 am with snacks. If you work at or near the CDC or Emory, check out the attached doc for a list of bike trains (rides with friends make for fun commutes!)

It turns out some prominent Atlantans love to bike commute when they get a chance too! You're invited to join Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff on his commute from Buckhead to the Georgia Dome this Bike to Work Day. Let's Rise up & Bike to Work with Thomas May 17! There may even be a few of these fabulous retro jerseys for sale. 

Eventbrite - Rise Up & Bike to Work with Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff

The suggested donation of  $30 gets you a one-year membership with your Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, and supports bike advocacy, education, safety, and community-building events like Atlanta Streets Alive! Riders will meet at 7 AM at the Publix shopping center (2365 Peachtree Rd NE) and roll out of the shop at 7:30 AM, arriving at the Dome around 8:30 AM. The Atlanta Falcons will provide SAG (Support And Gear), drinks, and snacks for riders. Local bike shops will be on hand for last minute adjustments. 

[There's been a mix-up on the start location due to there being 2 Publix on Peachtree St in Buckhead. The larger group is at the "peach" (same start as last year) - 2900 Peachtree St NW. That group will stop by the other Publix (at Peachtree Battle) - 2365 Peachtree St on their way down to the Dome. Sorry for the confusion!]

How do you want to get around DeKalb County?

Your help is needed to update the DeKalb County Transportation PlanThis plan will identify goals, needs, and investment priorities for the transportation system. The adopted vision is to improve mobility for all people, enhance quality of life, facilitate economic vitality, and focus on implementation. Please plan to attend one of four face‐to‐face meetings (4/16, 4/18, 4/20, 4/22) or participate in an interactive online meeting (4/23) learn more and share your ideas. Read more for details. 

And don't miss out on the change to give comments on specific changes you'd like to see through the interactive mapping tool. Planners hope this will help generate some new ideas on how the transportation system can be improved. For example, you could point out a problematic intersection, an idea for a new sidewalk or trail, a road diet, or a need for a new bus route. Think big!
 
Interactive Map

Upcoming bike events from ABC & Friends

Been looking for a way to keep up with all your Facebook friends' bike rides and events? Check out Huge City - don't miss out. Read more to see upcoming events from ABC's circle of friends. To get your metro Atlanta bike-related event added, email us a link to the Facebook event (must be by a page or individual - groups are being phased out).

Atlanta's first buffered bike lane

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.

New Belgium Logo 2

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

ASA_SPRING_Assets_020213-06

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.

ASA_Sponsorship-opps

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.

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