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, January 31, 2008

Call for Donations!

Hi, everyone.
As we take stock of our inventory at the Bike Recycling shop, we see a few material needs that you, our generous supporters, may be able to help us with.
Below are some items we could use at the shop. If you would like to donate one or more, please either leave a comment below or email me: brent.buice(at)
  1. Rags
  2. Dry erase board
  3. Small step ladder
  4. Fluorescent work lights
  5. Bicycle chain lubricant
  6. Working headlights
  7. AA, AAA, and C batteries
  8. Bike locks
Thank you for your support!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Public Input Accepted Through Wednesday January 30
Informational Session on Wednesday January 23rd 5:00 - 7:00 pm

An informational open house is scheduled for Wednesday, January 23rd, from 5 to 7 PM at the Planning Department Auditorium. Public comment sheets will be collected. A resource room is also set up at the Planning Department and is available Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM for review of Comprehensive Plan materials.
Public comments will be collected via email and submittal of comment sheets through Wednesday January 30th. These comments will be forwarded to the Mayor & Commission for review.
Planning Department announcement at:

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

ACC Comprehensive plan available for review

from today's Banner-Herald:

Athens residents can review Athens-Clarke County's proposed comprehensive plan today through Jan. 30.

The comprehensive plan is a state-mandated document that will guide growth and development over the next 10 years.

The document will be available for review at the Athens-Clarke Planning Department, 120 W. Dougherty St., from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Jan. 30. An open house also is scheduled for 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the planning department. The Athens-Clarke Commission will discuss the plan at a Feb. 12 work session and vote at a called session before a Feb. 21 agenda-setting meeting.

For more information on the plan, visit

Monday, January 21, 2008

MLK Jr. Day of Service event

Here are some pics from our very successful (and cold) Day of Service event at the BRP shop. We had 15 volunteers come out to help clean and organize the shop, and we got a lot of brush cleared from the loading dock. Our scrap bikes were also broken down and set aside for recycling. Plus, reporters from both Columns and the Banner-Herald came out to see us.
Many thanks to all who volunteered!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Tripling the federal gas tax?

From Newsday:
Federal gasoline taxes should be almost tripled over five years, a special commission urged yesterday in calling for drastic changes to fix aging bridges and roads and reduce traffic deaths.

The two-year study by the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission is the first to propose broad changes after the devastating bridge collapse in Minneapolis that took 13 lives in August shone a spotlight on the deteriorating national infrastructure.

The commission proposed increasing the gas tax, now 18.4 cents a gallon, by 5 cents to 8 cents annually for five years and then indexing it to inflation to help fix roads and bridges, expand public transit and highways, and broaden railway and rural access.

Monday, January 14, 2008

URGENT: Grow Green Coaltion Announcement

Following is an urgent email posted today by the Athens Grow Green Coalition about the ACC Comprehensive Plan update. Please read this email through completely, as it contains a great deal of information of immediate importance to all ACC citizens.

From Athens Grow Green Coalition 1/14/08:

Hi everyone,

As you know, the ACC Comprehensive Land Use Plan is being updated. What you may not have heard is that the updated Plan is currently scheduled for a vote at the February 4 Mayor & Commission meeting -- less than 3 weeks from now. Grow Green is asking the Mayor & Commission to postpone this vote for at least a month to allow sufficient time for public review and input. If you would like the opportunity to review and comment on the document that will guide our growth for the next 20 years, please contact your commissioners (contact info available at ) and ask them to postpone this vote! Read on for more details.

The Plan update process began with several large public meetings, followed by the appointment of a citizen Steering Committee to lead volunteer subcommittees in drafting sections of the Plan (such as Environment, Housing, Transportation, etc.) The timeline called for the subcommittees to create a draft Plan, which was to be edited by the Steering Committee, followed by 2 months of public review and education before adoption by the Mayor & Commission. The public involvement process worked well up though the creation of the first draft, which was handed to the Planning Department and Planning Commission for review in June. But at that point, public involvement effectively ended.

During the fall of 2007, the Planning Department and Planning Commission made significant changes to the document without the involvement or input of the citizen Steering Committee. When some Steering Committee members questioned this, they were given a week in November to provide written comments -- an insufficient time to reconvene the volunteer subcommittees. No meetings were held to explain the Plan to the general public or invite their comments.

The rewritten Plan has now been submitted to the Mayor & Commission. There has been no official notification to the general public, nor even to the subcommittee members and others who participated in the planning process. As of this writing, only the original draft of the Plan, not the rewritten version, is available at the Planning Department Web site ( ).

Even more alarming, we recently learned that the Future Land Use map -- the map that serves as a basis for zoning designations -- has also been revised without public involvement. The new draft map briefly appeared on the Planning Department Web site but has been removed as of today, Jan. 13.

We are not suggesting any duplicitous activity or bad intentions on the part of the county. The deadline by which the Plan must be accepted by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs is June 2008, and DCA will take some time to review it, so it is understandable that ACC wants the process to move quickly. It is also entirely possible that these latest changes to the Plan and map are in the public’s best interests.

However, those citizens who donated their time (an estimated 2500 hours, according to ACC) to the process should be given a fair explanation of the changes that were made, and be given a reasonable opportunity for further comment. We recommend inviting the chairs of the subcommittees to a work session with the Mayor & Commission. Equally important, the general public must be given a fair opportunity to evaluate the plan and the new map through well-publicized meetings and an organized process of input and response.

Please contact your commissioners before the agenda setting meeting this Thursday, Jan. 17 and ask them to postpone the vote for at least another month.

Beth Gavrilles

Day of Service: 1/21

Join hundreds of volunteers at the upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. On Monday, January 21st, volunteers will be joining hands in service and celebration of the King Holiday by making it “a day on, not a day off.” Choose from over a dozen different community projects and then join us for a Celebration of Service. Projects start at 9 a.m. and volunteers can sign-up to participate by visiting or by dialing 706-353-1313. Join us at the Bike Recycling Shop and be a part of greatness this upcoming MLK Jr. Day.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Discussion of GA's transportation issues on GPB

from BikeAthens Board member Peter Norris:

This week's episode (Jan 6 2008) of Georgia Weekly features a round
table with journalists covering state legislature one of the items discussed is the state transportation legislation you can find the episode at:

Search for Journalists’ Round-Table.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Kunstler on Atlanta

James H. Kunstler, author of The Geography of Nowhere and, more recently, The Long Emergency, on Atlanta's particularly heinous case of the sprawls:
There was ... a gathering recognition among the prospering classes that the development explosion of the past thirty-odd years around Atlanta had begun to produce diminishing returns, as the geeks in econ might say, tending toward a decrease in the quality of life -- to use the kind of euphemistic, understated, neutral language that was commonly employed to describe the fucking mess that even hardcore suburban growth cheerleaders, in their narcotic raptures of consumerism and gourmet coffee, had begun to dimly apprehend. Above all, traffic had become intolerable. That was pretty much the sole criterion for the quality of life in Atlanta: motoring convenience (or lack of). You dared not venture out anymore to a restaurant on a Friday evening in Buckhead, the Beverly Hills of Atlanta, unless you wanted to spend half the night listening to books-on-tape in your SUV. Routine mid-day trips to the supermarket now required the kind of strategic planning used in military re-supply campaigns under wartime conditions. Mothers with children were spending so many hours on chauffeuring duty that they qualified for livery licenses. Motorists were going mad, literally, behind the wheel -- one berkserker tired of waiting at an intersection shot out the signal light with a handgun. The people of Atlanta were clearly driving themselves crazy with driving.

Whole article here.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Pics from Holiday Bikes for Kids 07

Thanks to all the volunteers this year!