Our vision is for a Peachtree Street that’s safe for biking and walking, and supportive of retail.
The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition proposes installing protected bike lanes AND a lane of on-street parking, with protected left turn lanes at key intersections.
Peachtree Street is Atlanta’s most iconic street, rich with cultural institutions, retail businesses, and destinations. Peachtree Street touches two of the largest business districts in Atlanta – Midtown and Downtown – and may be the most important city corridor for biking, MARTA, and the upcoming city Bike Share system.
Protected bike lanes on Peachtree Street would unlock the potential of Atlanta’s signature street. They would connect with existing bike lanes Downtown and reach the estimated 60% of Atlantans who are interested in cycling but concerned about safety.
CURRENT PROPOSAL IN MIDTOWN TRANSPORTATION PLAN (DRAFT)
The draft plan acknowledges the importance of a good north/south connection for biking in Midtown, and currently proposes protected bike lanes on West Peachtree and Spring. These streets have fast, heavy traffic and lack the destinations that Peachtree Street already has. Midtown also proposes a “road diet” for Peachtree Street south of 10th that would add a continuous center turn lane and one lane of on-street parking.They want Peachtree Street to continue to grow into a key retail destination in the city, and believe on-street parking is the best way to accomplish that.
Our proposal would tweak their concept for Peachtree Street only slightly – the turn lanes would lead up to intersections rather than being striped continuously throughout the route. Other U.S. cities have experienced significant increases in retail sales after installing protected bike lanes, not to mention improved safety for everyone, including people driving.
While it’s true that most successful retail districts don’t have bike lane in the U.S., that’s because protected bike lanes, while common in Europe, are just beginning to take off in this country.
- Parking spaces on one side of the street
- No bike lanes on Peachtree Street
- Put bike lanes on West Peachtree & Spring Street instead
- Have a continual turn lane
ATLANTA BICYCLE COALITION PROPOSAL
- Parking spaces one side of the street
- Protected bike lanes on both sides of the street where space permits
- Turning lanes only at intersections
WHY DIFFERING OPINIONS?
West Peachtree & Spring Street are dangerous. 35% of drivers exceed the speed limit on W Peachtree & 48% on Spring Street. Atlanta Bicycle Coalition believes that the Midtown district needs a safe way for people to bike and walk while supporting the local economy.
Midtown Alliance points to the fact that most signature streets in the United States lack bike lanes. While true, this is correlation, not causation. Other U.S. cities have found installing protected bike lanes can dramatically increase retail sales. Arguing that the success of signature streets is due to having on-street parking is fine, but there is also evidence that bike lanes increase property value and support business revenue. Signature streets don’t need bike lanes to be successful, but bike lanes increase success! Why settle for good when you could have great?
WHY NOT PICK ANOTHER STREET?
- Peachtree hosts the majority of businesses, and people riding bikes are more likely than drivers to stop and shop because they notice the smaller signs and store footprints of local businesses.
- Bike lanes already exist on Peachtree Street between Peachtree Center Avenue and Pine St. They end abruptly and need to be connected.
- People already bike on Peachtree and business owners want customers to arrive safely.
- Bike share stations will not be on alternative streets.
- Peachtree is Atlanta’s signature street.
- Peachtree attracts tourists, most of whom are arriving via transit.
WILL LIMITED PARKING HURT BUSINESS?
- Quite the opposite! People who bike shop at local businesses more often than people in cars. They might buy less on any one trip, but they spend more over time.
- Bike share stations will be placed on Peachtree Street. Without bike lanes, these stations risk low use, and even closure. Bike share will increase annual city revenue. Without bike lanes on Peachtree, bike share users will go the opposite direction.
PEOPLE ALREADY BIKE, SO WHY CHANGE IT?
- The fact that people already bike on Peachtree is one of the biggest reasons to make it more bikefriendly. Bike lanes are a great way to calm traffic, and let drivers and bikers arrive faster and safer.
- The alternative options (W Peachtree & Spring) are one way roads. Bike lanes on one way roads are confusing. Further, because downtown is not a gridblock system, many people on bikes will not know to cross to another street, and may bike in the wrong direction, thus creating a dangerous situation for people biking and driving.
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