News, updates, commentary and more from BikeAthens. BikeAthens is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Athens, GA. BikeAthens promotes transportation and land-use policies that improve alternative modes of transportation, including pedestrian, cycling, and public transit options. The mission of our organization is to make alternative transportation a practical, convenient, and safe option for all citizens of Athens-Clarke County.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A future for transit?

"Hybrids and diamond lanes may be soothing our conscience, but they're not easing the transportation crisis. Will long-term solutions like mass transit ever get a real chance in our car-addicted culture?"
Full story here, from metroactive.

Solar-electric buses

very cool story from Australia:
"this is a great niche for fully electric vehicles to occupy - a vehicle in frequent use that is contantly returning to its base and has no need to make longer journeys."

"You'd look hotter in a helmet"

A sexy campaign for safety.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Transit & development news in Flagpole

This week's Flagpole Magazine has a slew of articles about transportation-related issues:

Sewer & Sprawl
(bottom of 1st story)
People he’s talked to are “desperately concerned about development pressures on that area of town,” he said, especially traffic congestion
Improvements Come: But is The Bus Getting Somewhere?
(scroll to 2nd story)

Also, "Holes in the Road":
There’s no question that an agency as large and tradition-bound as DOT could benefit from an organizational shakeup. If it saves some of our taxpayer dollars, so much the better. But it may be that the departmental problems are being exaggerated a little for the benefit of people who have their own agendas.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Pushing Pedals for Sgt Gale - update

Looks like there was a great turnout for Sunday's ride in support of Sgt. Gale!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Transit Oriented Development

"Transit Oriented Development or "Smart Growth" is often cited as one of the potential solutions to dealing with peak oil by reducing suburban sprawl and creating more usage of mass transit and walkable communities. The idea generally is to promote development near existing transit hubs or along transit corridors."
Full article from The Oil Drum here.

Friday, December 14, 2007

"Pushing Pedals for Police"- Supporting ACC Sergeant Gale & Family

An announcement from friends of BikeAthens:

*Please join us at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, December 16th for a bike ride to raise funds for Athens Police Officer Sergeant Courtney Gale.* Sergeant Gale was attacked Tuesday evening in a local grocery store and is in critical condition at St. Mary's Hospital. As is true of every police officer, Sergeant Gale puts her life on the line daily to protect each one of, we rally to support her.

In an effort to help further surround her, and her loved ones, with positive energy and support from the community, we will be conducting a Police Escorted Bike Ride from the downtown Police Station (133 Washington Ave.) to St. Mary's Hospital and back.

We ask a $10 donation to participate, but no one will be turned away. All proceeds will go directly to Sergeant Gale and her family.

*If you cannot attend the bike ride, please try to focus your encouraging thoughts, alongside ours, in her direction Sunday morning.
*Donations may be made directly to any SunTrust bank branch or mail donations to:
SunTrust Bank
Attention: Heidi Spratlin
1022 Prince Ave.
Athens, GA 30606

"Pushing Pedals for Police"
Athens, GA

Route Map:
Show your support for Sgt. Gale and her family. Our thoughts are certainly with them, and we hope for her full & speedy recovery.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Baxter St Lane Conversion Featured in Engineering Article

The conversion of Baxter Street from 4 - Lanes to 3 - Lanes was
featured as part of a larger article regarding the concept of Road Diets
in this month's edition of the "ITE Journal" (the monthly publication from the
Institute of Transportation Engineers). Baxter Street was one of six
streets highlighted in a recently published book, "Road Diet Handbook:
Setting Trends for Livable Streets," documenting the process and results communities
have followed in converting four lane streets to three lanes in the past
few years. Transportation & Public Works staff worked closely with the
researcher to convey [their] experiences with the concept of road diets and
[their] successes and failures in implementing them on several streets since 1999.
The book was recently awarded the ITE Past Presidents' Award for Merit in
Transportation Engineering.
- from "The Week that Was" - an ACC publication covering weekly goings-on within the government

Monday, December 10, 2007

Bike Recycling Program - Items for Sale & Auction

BRP volunteers have refurbished a number of classic bicycles, including a Schwinn Lil' Chik, a Raleigh Mountie, and a Huffy Desert Rose. They are available for bidding, here, here, and here, respectively. More photos of the bicycles.

Here's BRP volunteer Mike testing one of the rides.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

GA Transit Assoc. Annual Conference in Athens

The Georgia Transit Association will hold its 2007 Annual Conference in Athens, Georgia from
December 12th through the 14th at the Classic Center.
GTA is a non- profit organization dedicated to improving public transportation in the
state of Georgia.

Conference agenda available here.

Got a spare kids' bike? Come on down!

At the Bike Recycling shop, we've almost exhausted our supply of refurbish-able children's bikes, but we have a great crew of volunteers ready to work on more. If you have a youth bicycle that's in decent condition (and not in use), please consider donating it for our Holiday Bikes for Kids program. Drop offs accepted on Sundays from 2-4:30 or Wednesdays, 6-8:30pm at the shop, located here:

View Larger Map

If you feel like supporting the shop but don't have a bicycle to donate, we could also use:
  • cash donations (to offset the cost of the helmets, lights, locks, etc. we provide with each bicycle)
  • supplies, such as a bike repair stand (or two), cleaning spray, bike lubricant, rags, paper towels, vinyl gloves, shop lights, and a space heater
  • your time! come help us clean, repair, and inventory our bicycles
Thanks in advance for your support!

Since BikeAthens is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, you can deduct the value of your donation from your taxable income.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

"How Big is your Bicycle?"

Thinking about [the] future raises some other concerns. While total freight traffic must decline, it's likely that big trucks will still be common because of their efficiency per unit transported. Buses are also going to be a big part of our public transport future. But these trucks and buses will be sharing the roadspace with an increasing number of small and ultra-small vehicles. We could see a bi-modal size distribution of vehicles develop on our roads, which has hefty implications for road safety and infrastructure planning.

Another result of this is that line between 'cars' and 'bikes' will become increasingly fuzzy.

Which ones should 'bicycle' advocacy groups support?

Full article here.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Revisiting Prince Ave?

For now, numerous plans to improve Prince gather dust on a shelf, but if the state legislature commits to funding a Medical College of Georgia expansion and an associated University of Georgia health sciences campus at the Navy school, the Athens-Clarke Commission can pull them out of mothballs, Commissioner Kelly Girtz said.

"As soon as we know what's happening with the Navy school property, we need to get all those plans back on the table," Girtz said.

If it had passed, a commission proposal in November 2005 would have been the key to turning ideas on maps and in binders into real landscaping, bricks and pavement. In one of the most controversial votes of recent years, the commission voted 6-4 against taking over a state-owned stretch of Prince Avenue west of Milledge Avenue from the state.

The vote saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in maintenance costs over the decades and reassured suburbanites who viewed the street mainly as a highway into downtown. But it destroyed in-town residents' hopes that Prince would become more of a neighborhood center, lined with trees and small businesses, and safe for people on foot and on bicycles.

(emphasis added)

Full article from the ABH here.

I was quoted in this piece as a BikeAthens representative, but I'm not happy with 1) how I phrased myself or 2) how the ABH decided to quote me. Let me clarify that my point was not that any of the Prince accidents were the pedestrians' or cyclists' fault.

The point is that clearly defined crosswalks, 3-lane striping, and bike lanes would certainly make Prince a safer place- for walkers, cyclists and motorists.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Bike art in the parking deck

There's some great transportation-related art up at the College Ave parking deck. On each floor, by the elevator, there are displays created by Athens area students.
Some examples below. Check 'em out: