Atlanta's most popular bike lane needs you

Are you one of the 2,700 daily riders on the 10th Street protected bike lane who have been affected by the latest festival-related lane closure or the missing flex posts? The recent bike lane and sidewalk closures on 10th Street raise serious questions about how we prioritize and define transportation -- especially when it comes to Atlanta's most popular bike lane.

Councilmember Jennifer Ide (District 6) and Amir Farokhi (District 2) called a meeting with the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Atlanta Police Department, residents, and commuters shortly after reports of the bike lane and sidewalk closures came to light.

The goal of the meeting was to identify immediate improvements to the intersection, but it actually underscored a glaring issue with how the City review traffic plans and prioritizes the safety of people who bike and walk. 

Photo credit: Charles Long:

Below are the main issues the City needs to focus on:  

1. Safety - The flex posts protecting you on 10th Street are difficult to maintain and seldom replaced after big events or even minor street repairs.

By our last count, 73 flex posts had been removed and tossed near a dumpster well before Music Midtown even started setting up. The 10th Street protected bike lane is Atlanta's busiest bike lane. First, the City needs to make sure all of the flex posts are reinstalled. Next, identify better barriers, such as the planters on the Park Place bike lane, that are easier to maintain and provide more protection.  

Photo credit: Cashelle Rose

2. Traffic Control Plan Review- The Department of Public Works Office of Transportation reviews traffic plans attached to the permit application. We need a context-sensitive review that seeks to minimize the disruption to bike lanes and sidewalks. With so few roads dedicated to people biking and walking in Atlanta, a lane closure means people will have to take unexpected detours onto potentially unsafe streets like Monroe Drive, causing significant delay, anxiety, and dread.  

3. Department of Transportation - A dedicated Department of Transportation could be tasked with reviewing, prioritizing, and evaluating bike lane or sidewalk closures for both events and construction. By looking at the full scope of the transportation network, a DOT could appropriately weigh the impact of closures on all modes to ensure we keep Atlanta moving.

If you were one of the 2,700 daily riders on the 10th Street protected bike lane affected by the latest lane closure or the missing flex posts, please share your story with Councilmember Ide, Councilmember Farokhi, and the Department of Parks and Recreation Special Events Manager Adrienne Wright: jnide@atlantaga.gov, arfarokhi@atlantaga.gov, awright@atlantaga.gov

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