Our lives are being challenged in many ways -- businesses are being closed and workers are left without income; transportation decisions and options become dilemmas; spaces to practice safe, healthful activities are being reshaped. At the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, we’re doing what we can to lessen the impact of these challenges. This week, we worked with local bike shop owners, city council members, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, and ATL DOT Commissioner Josh Rowan to establish bike shops as essential businesses under the Mayor’s shelter-in-place executive order. In our outreach to bike shop owners on Tuesday, we learned that some bike shops were closed and many were seeking clarification on the city’s stance. Today, we are pleased to relay this message from Peter Kadushin, the Director of Communications for the mayor. "Bike shops are considered essential under the order. While not listed specifically, bike shops are authorized pursuant to Section 6(f)(15) as essential businesses.” We shared this breaking news with two bike shop owners who had closed shop. “Thank you! Oh my goodness that’s great news.” celebrated Earl Serafica, owner of Earl’s Bike Shop, which now will re-open. Bike shops we spoke to are adhering to social-distancing guidelines. Some are only doing drop-off and pick-up, all have created environments limiting access to store floors, and at least one has set up online bike-repair scheduling. Kate Rockett from Outback Bikes asked us to spread the word that “Outback has a full run of free bike rentals available for healthcare workers, first responders, and other essential employees to get to work”. This shop is just one of many upholding the intentions of Section 6(f)(15) of the Mayor’s Order - ‘Essential Businesses’ means businesses that supply other essential businesses with the support or supplies necessary to operate. Local bike shops support essential bicycle trips through repair services, similar to auto repair shops for car trips. Designating bicycle shops as essential businesses and permitting bicycling for both transportation and light recreation are crucial steps to providing relief to people in Atlanta. To find local bike shops closest to you, check out our map. Onward and be safe. *Update: On March 27, the Mayor issued several clarifications of the Stay at Home Order, adding bike shops to the list of exempt businesses.read moreThe Atlanta Bicycle Coalition along with the American Heart Association, PEDS, MARTA Army, NPU-I, TransFormation Alliance, ThreadATL, Historic South Atlanta, Atlanta Families for Safe Streets, and more are lobbying the city of Atlanta government to set safe speed limits and adopt Vision Zero, an effort to eliminate all traffic fatalities and serious injuries. Legislation to allow the City to establish a 25 mile-per-hour speed limit on all neighborhood streets was introduced March 11th to the City Council Transportation Committee, which approved the ordinance unanimously March 25th. [Next, the legislation will likely be up for a vote by the full City Council April 20th. We'll update this post with details on how to submit your comment as we learn more.] While applauding the step, ABC and its partners want to strengthen the legislation even further--Georgia ranks as one of the deadliest states for vehicular fatalities and Atlanta’s fatality rate is three times higher than of peer cities like Boston and Seattle.read more
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