Response to the Fiscal Year 2019 Proposed Budget

Thank you to all of our members who asked City Council for $2.5 million in funding for bike infrastructure and maintenance in the Fiscal Year 2019 Budget, and to all the City leaders who greeted the request with enthusiasm. Unfortunately, the funding was not allocated this year. While we’re disappointed, we’ve already begun planning our campaign for next year’s budget cycle! 

What would this funding have been used for?

  • Connect gaps in the bikeway network - we want to put an end to those "bike lane ends" signs!
  • Enhance the safety of existing projects - add things like flexposts to protect lanes where space permits
  • Actually maintain bike lanes, addressing persistent issues that impede the safety of people who bike
  • Help meet the ambitious goals in Atlanta’s Transportation Plan, the City’s Comprehensive Transportation Plan, which aims to reduce the number of people driving alone and double the number of people who bike, walk, and take transit.

Why was it needed?

  • Renew Atlanta and TSPLOST funds are very important but are reserved for bigger and more complex Complete Street and multi-use trail projects that can take several years to design and build
  • We have many smaller connectivity gaps that undermine the bike network as it exists today
  • Those gaps could be filled relatively quickly through internal City capacity if the funding and the will exists

What's next?

  • ATL DOT: We're encouraged by the conversations we had with City leaders about our request, and the process of identifying a department to house the funding confirmed the need for a stand-alone transportation agency. We need one department with the ability to plan and implement projects that build out the City’s overarching, long-range vision.
  • Atlanta’s Transportation Plan, presented to the Transportation Committee last week, shows us the path forward. City leaders need to adopt the plan this fall and move quickly to implement its visionary recommendations. Those recommendations range from focusing on first- and last-mile transit connectivity to improving safety for our most vulnerable road users.

“Expansion of the bicycle network will require the City to identify ongoing and dedicated sources of funding to install and maintain the network,” the draft report of Atlanta’s Transportation Plan states. “Further, Atlanta should reserve funding to install bicycle facilities quickly when detailed design and engineering are not required.”

When we look at the trajectory of Atlanta’s rapid population growth, it is impossible to envision a future where Atlanta’s streets are able to function well without dedicated funding for bicycle infrastructure and maintenance in future City budgets.