The Downtown Atlanta Master Plan is hosting their final public meeting today and you'll want to see what they have in store for Downtown's Bicycle Network.
First the not-so-good. They are proposing removing the Peachtree Center Avenue protected two-way bike lane. They want to replace it with dedicated lanes for buses! Our jaws dropped when we saw this slide.
Here's what could make the project list potentially great: it opens the door for high-quality bike facilities on Peachtree Street, the (bicycle) heart and hub of Atlanta. But we can't consider removing protected bike lanes on Peachtree Center Avenue without replacing them with a bikeway on Peachtree Street.
Now the good news - north-south protected bike lanes are proposed for both Piedmont and Courtland (one way on each street). These protected bike lanes will connect with Midtown's protected bike lanes on Piedmont and Juniper/Courtland.
But we need you to attend the Downtown Atlanta Master Plan public meeting (also on Facebook here) and show your support for safe space for biking on Peachtree Street.Read more
The goal of this state road project is to make Moreland Avenue safer for people on foot and on bike, between Mansfield and Austin Aves. (Several years ago, a person riding a bike was killed in this section as they pulled out onto Moreland.)
The state DOT's concept report states "studies show that an increase in pedestrian, cycling and vehicular volumes has taken place along the corridor. Crash data from 2008-2013 indicates that approximately 252 crashes occurred along SR 42/Moreland Ave from Dekalb Ave to McClendon Ave. Of these crashes, six were pedestrian injuries and one was a bike fatality."
Neighborhood bike advocates and the City of Atlanta Planning Office have been involved in the design, and did not settle for painted bike lanes. Instead, the current design includes a raised bike lane, as well as wider sidewalks and safe crossings. While barrier-separated, protected bike lanes on busy roads are always the safest option, they may not be possible on Moreland because NACTO guidelines recommend a minimum of 3' to add a raised barrier.
Here’s what was presented at the public meeting June 7, 2017:
Bike lanes raised 3” above the street level and 3” below the sidewalk level.
Bike lanes would be 7’ wide - including a 2’ painted buffer.
Timeline - During Summer 2017, they will stripe standard bike lanes for a quick safety improvement and reduce lane widths on general lanes to reduce speeds. In 2019, bicycle lanes upgraded to raised.
Here's what we told GDOT - feel free to include this in your comment supporting the project:
- We support high quality, raised bike lanes and pedestrian crossings for SR 42/Moreland Avenue from Dekalb Avenue to Mansfield Avenue.
To make the project even better, find a way to add a barrier between the raised bike lane and the general travel lane, so that people on bikes are separated from all those trucks. While the idea of separating people on foot from those on bikes is a good one, it's all relative. Trucks have the potential to do more damage to a person biking in a crash, so we think it's more important to separate those two modes from each other.
Add a crossing near the DeKalb Avenue interchange, and make the exit ramp from DeKalb form a "T" intersection, to encourage drivers entering Moreland to make a full stop first.
- We like the diagonal crossing at Euclid as a way to make that crossing safer and easier for people on bikes, and it helps make up for the lack of bike lanes north of Euclid.
Read GDOT's Response to Public Comment Here: GDOT's Response to 6/7/17 Open House Comments
Memorial Drive is a 5.5-mile east-west thoroughfare that cuts through eight neighborhoods. Despite being home to five schools and numerous homes and apartments, Memorial Drive functions more like a highway than a street that connects neighborhoods. Speeds regularly reach 60 miles per hour, even at school crossings, yet it’s a short driving distance from I-20, an actual highway serving the same area. Georgia Department of Transportation noted there have been 1,000 crashes in the past five years on Memorial Drive. That’s nearly one crash per day.
In 2014, Councilmember Natalyn Archibong commissioned a study of the corridor. You can learn more about the Imagine Memorial project on the Central Atlanta Progress website. Several important projects are tied to Imagine Memorial’s success, like the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Livable Centers Initiative, the City of Atlanta’s neighborhood greenways and Trolley Line Trail projects, and the Atlanta BeltLine.
On March 21, 2017, a woman was killed trying to cross Memorial Drive.
Just two months earlier, on January 27, 2017, a mother was killed and her seven-year-old daughter put in urgent care by a high-speed crash.
Neighbors throughout the corridor came together to make Memorial Drive safe for communities.
Councilmember Archibong asked the Georgia Department of Transportation to identify traffic calming measures that would make Memorial Drive a safer corridor for people biking and walking.
In 2019, the City of Atlanta and Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) installed a "road diet," which converted the two inside lanes into a center turn lane. This has made the street safer for everyone.
Atlanta is poised to take the next big leap forward. But it needs elected officials with the vision and commitment to deliver high-quality projects that encourage mobility and discourage snarling gridlock. It needs leaders with the courage to put the safety of people before high-speed traffic that places our families and vulnerable road users at risk on a daily basis.
We are committed to giving you all the information you need to make the best decision this election cycle. We may not be able to endorse candidates, but we can show you where they stand on issues important you.
Check out our election resources below and BIKE THE VOTE!
These are the core policies and goals we believe the next Mayor and City Council must adopt if Atlanta wants to continue to compete for the best talent in the world while improving the quality of life for Atlantans who have been historically disadvantaged and marginalized by a lack of transportation options.
- Create a City of Atlanta Department of Transportation, for a cohesive transportation planning and project delivery process that better leverages resources
Adopt the Street Design Policy drafted by the Department of Planning
Make housing more affordable by eliminating the minimum number of car parking spaces required for housing developments
Build 100 NEW miles of high-quality bike lanes and trails (we currently have 104 miles) to connect the city, including 20 NEW miles of protected bike lanes (we currently have 4 miles)
Publish schedule for sweeping streets with bike lanes, and prioritize bike lanes for clean up after winter storms
Add a $2.5 million line item to the City’s General Fund annually, to connect gaps in the bikeway network and enhance safety of existing projects
Ensure quality bicycle transportation by hiring transportation engineers with training and experience designing bicycle projects
Set a city goal of zero traffic deaths, and create a data-driven approach in which multiple city departments collaborate to reduce roadway crashes and fatalities to zero, because no one should die trying to get where they are going.
Prevent fatal roadway crashes by standardizing the speed limit on residential streets to 25 mph
Provide access to last-mile healthy transportation options by prioritizing installation of bike share stations in low-income, disinvested, and disconnected neighborhoods
Questions about our platform or our engagement events? Please contact Bennett Foster at [email protected] or call 404-881-1112 x 2.
DeKalb Avenue is fast, dangerous, and out of control. In 2015, Atlanta voters overwhelming approved the Renew Atlanta Infrastructure Bond to update and improve our streets, including a Complete Street for DeKalb Avenue.
Yet in 2019, after three years of public meetings, funding for the Complete Street on DeKalb Avenue was cut, leaving only resurfacing and replacing the reversible lane with a center turn lane and design for a future Complete Street in the budget. It's not clear where funding would come from to actually build it.
The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, along with community members and neighborhoods along DeKalb, is continuing the fight for a DeKalb that serves more than high-speed traffic speeding through our communities. DeKalb Ave connects 11 neighborhoods -- all but 1 wrote letters of support for a Complete Street.
We are calling for any project, including repaving, that affects this key, flat corridor to make the road safer -- for everyone. The resurfacing project should include a buffer between people walking on the sidewalk and cars, and a place for people to bike.
The City of Atlanta retained Arcadis as the design firm for the striping design for the first phase of resurfacing on this project. They are pursuing short-term safety improvements that can be accomplished within the resurfacing project, with an eye toward long-term improvements that can be built in a future second phase.
The design team intends to begin meeting again with various local stakeholders in January and February 2020 to be followed by a public meeting. It's not yet clear when the design will be finalized and when the resurfacing project will go to construction.
Atlanta Bicycle Coalition remains an advocate for both long and short term solution to the dangerous conditions on DeKalb Avenue. The improvements should address the glaring gap in bike facilities stretching from the Stone Mountain PATH trail to the Inman Park-Reynoldstown MARTA station.
Click here for more background on our campaign for a safe and complete DeKalb Ave.
Peachtree Street is Atlanta's most iconic street. It connects Downtown and Midtown, and it's home to major landmarks, businesses, and tourist destinations. Peachtree is the heart of the city. MARTA trains, buses, and the Streetcar pump up and down the corridor while the long, flat, direct nature of the street attracts people who bike - even without bike facilities.
There are a couple of ways to expand mobility options on Peachtree Street in powerful and distinct ways. In Downtown, the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition supports the shared street concept proposed in the Downtown Atlanta Master Plan, adopted by City Council in December 2017. While in Midtown we are advocating for parking protected bike lanes.
Shared Street Concept in Downtown
"Atlanta's Signature Streets, as it traverses Downtown, should be one where residents, workers, and visitors can come together at all times of the day -- on foot, on bike, by car, and by Streetcar." - Downtown Atlanta Master Plan
Shared Streets enhance the feel of the street, encouraging users to stroll and allowing the street to serve many modes and users simultaneously. The goal of the Peachtree Shared Street Concept is two-fold. The Peachtree Shared Street puts people and transit first; it also improves the interaction of the buildings and street, essentially removing the distance and barriers between patrons and businesses while maximizing the public space on Peachtree Street.
There are a few design/implementation considerations:
- Bicyclists need to share the street at a leisurely pace and follow painted markings or pavement differentiations to reduce conflicts with Streetcar tracks
- Reduction of travel width to two lanes, one in each direction
- Enhanced pedestrian streetscape to include a protected buffer of share trees, street furniture
- Removal of curb cuts to reduce turning conflicts
- Consider bollards to restrict vehicle access
Protected Bike Lanes in Midtown
The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition envisions a Peachtree Street that’s safe for people to bike or walk. We want high-quality, protected bike lanes separated from cars by on-street parking where space permits, with protected left turn lanes at key intersections, from Pine Street to Peachtree Circle.
The fact that people already bike on Peachtree regularly is one of the biggest reasons to make it more bike friendly. Bike lanes are a great way to calm traffic, and let drivers and bikers arrive faster and safer.
While we support the alternative one-way street options on Juniper, W Peachtree, and Spring St.. Bike lanes on one-way roads may confuse users. Because downtown is not a grid-block 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.
- Bikes are good for business. Studies show that people on bikes frequent shops more often than drivers, and make purchases more often.
- Customers need access to shops and workers need a safe route to work. Bike lanes already exist on the south end of Peachtree Street, but they end before hitting the commercial areas.
- Bike share is here! The city is offering hundreds of bike share (rental) bikes for people to use on Peachtree, but without protected bike lanes, people may not feel safe.
For more info on this campaign, please click here.
Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard, affectionately known as RDA, serves as a major corridor for schools, historic neighborhoods, and businesses in Southwest Atlanta. RDA is a large street with fast traffic and a lonely stretch of bike lane between Murphy Ave and I-85. The road, whether by bike or by car, is often perilous due to potholes, debris, and jagged train tracks.
RDA turns into Georgia Avenue and runs through seven amazing Atlanta neighborhoods: Westview, West End, Adair Park, Pittsburgh, Mechanicsville, Summerhill, and Grant Park.
The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition connects these neighborhoods at Atlanta Streets Alive. You can help make this a more livable, walkable, and bikeable corridor all year-round by supporting our campaign for bike lanes and regular maintenance on RDA and Georgia Avenue.
In addition to bike lanes on RDA and Georgia Avenue, we are advocating for:
- Resurfacing and repairing dangerous potholes on RDA
- Regularly maintaining this critical corridor by sweeping trash and debris
- Paving over the hazardous out-of-use train tracks
Last week was a big week for our #Bond4Bikes campaign, with two big events: the Ride the Gap and the start of early voting for the Infrastructure Bond.
“What makes Lee Street livable as it is today?”
Brent Brewer, a resident of the Historic West End, asked this question at last week’s People for a Livable Lee Street Listening Session.Read more
GET INVOLVED IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD & NPU, AND GET TO KNOW YOUR CITY COUNCIL MEMBER
In a city of neighborhoods, safe streets for all begins at the neighborhood level. Here's how you can help make streets safer for everyone.
1. Join your neighborhood association. Attend meetings, speak up, and vote for policies and projects that will make streets safer for walking, biking, and people in wheelchairs and provide better access to transit for your community. Find out if there's a transportation committee and join if so - many recommendations made at the committee level get approved by the neighborhood association.
2. Find your Neighborhood Planning Unit, also known as NPU, and attend monthly meetings. The City of Atlanta is divided into twenty-five NPUs: "citizen advisory councils that make recommendations to the Mayor and City Council on zoning, land use, and other planning issues. It is also used as a way for citizens to receive information concerning all functions of city government."
3. Because many of our calls to action involve contacting an Atlanta City Councilmember, get to know yours ahead of time! Click here to find your representative on the Atlanta City Council. Send them an email introducing yourself and sharing your desire for safe streets in your community. Follow them on social media to keep the conversation going!
4. Once you are familiar with what's been happening at the neighborhood association and NPU level, at some point you may want to step into a leadership role. Neighbors can be the most effective advocates for safe streets in communities. Neighborhood chairs and other officers can join our Community Advocacy Network: a space for neighborhood transportation leaders to connect, share information, and learn from each other.