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
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.