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.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

"Around Town" Courteous Mass this Friday, 6pm

Join us at City Hall this Friday (5/2) for our "Around Town" Courteous Mass Ride.
More information here. We hope to see you there!

Monday, April 28, 2008

BikeAthens at Twilight

Thanks to all the volunteers and raffle participants for showing your support to BikeAthens, and special thanks to the Twilight organizers for coordinating one of the most exciting weekends in the southeast!

Congratulations to Bo Qualls, winner of the inaugural Vintage Bike Raffle at Twilight!

Pics of Saturday's events and friendly faces below:

Saturday, April 26, 2008

LIVE from Twilight

Hi out there!
We're all set up on College Ave. Come on down and pick up some cheap raffle tickets for a chance to win one of 7 vintage bicycles. Tickets are only $2!
Details and pictures of the raffle bikes here.
Good luck to all you Gamblers!

Friday, April 25, 2008

With neighbors like these...

Some of today's delightful comments from the Banner-Herald's story on this morning's Bike to Work Day, which was a success.

Why is it that I have to "share the road" with bicycles when they pay no fuel tax to maintain the streets and roads, no ad volorum tax, have no insurance, no registration, and are more of a traffic hazard than Winfield's telephone poles on Hawthorne Avenue?

Friday, April 25, 2008
Those cute little cock-roach hats is what I like.

Friday, April 25, 2008
How would I look wearing Spandex(sic) and driving my SUV with a Hemi engine? Bet I'd look cuter than these wimps.

Friday, April 25, 2008
How about because roads are also built using money from property taxes, sales taxes, federal grants, etc... Do you want to ban pedestrians from crossing the street as well?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday, April 25, 2008
Athens will look like Ho Chi Mihn city today.

Winfried J. Abbe
Friday, April 25, 2008
It's just another liberal ploy to raise the cost of gasoline. We must ban bicycles at once!

Makes you feel all neighborly, doesn't it?
I am concerned that Winfield J. Abbe is hip to our demonic conspiracy to raise the cost of gasoline (who knew BikeAthens and Twilight were so influential?).
I guess this means we'll have to find another secret subterranean lair in which to hatch our next nefarious plans for world dominance and economic manipulation...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bike Raffles at Twilight

Come down to our table at the Twilight Expo (held on College Ave right across from the Arch) to pick up raffle tickets for our first Twilight Recycled Bike Raffle.

Available bikes include a classic Raleigh Mountie kids bike (pictured below) a vintage yellow Schwinn (his and hers available), and a Giant brand mountain bike.

All bikes have been fully refurbished by experienced Bike Recycling Program volunteers.

Raffle tickets are $2 each, and all proceeds will go to supporting BikeAthens' programs, such as Bike Recycling and Safe Routes to School.

Raleigh Mountie

To see a vintage ad for the type of Schwinns we have available, click here.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Important meeting tonight: new greenway

Please note tonight's important pubic hearing, below:

April 21


6:30 -
8:00 p.m.
Community meeting on expanded sewer capacity in the Barnett Shoals area

Barnett Shoals Elementary School, 3220 Barnett Shoals

This project is an opportunity to take the first step in establishing a new, east-side, greenway trail, and is on the ACC Commission's agenda for May 6th. Access the agenda report at:
This project is an upgrade of a sewer line linking Lexington Rd (via Shadybrook Dr.), to Barnett Shoals Road, connecting to the sewage treatment plant off College Station Road. See agenda map. Sewer lines traditionally have not included provision for trails, despite considerable encouragement from some Commissioners. Now we have another opportunity, and an exceptional one connecting to the North Oconee Greenway and South Campus---all off-road!
This time there may be majority support on the Commission to include the trail option as part of the sewer project. But public support and encouragement are essential. Here's how to help.
1. ATTEND the public hearing tonight as an advocate of the trail option.
2. SUBMIT a written e-mail comment supporting the trail option. Deadline is Tuesday 4-22-08, at 5 pm.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

More follow up on TSPLOST debacle

From Atlanta's Creative Loafing:

Do-nothing Legislature: Lack of action leaves Atlanta in gridlock

Senate Resolution 845 – the constitutional amendment that would've allowed counties in metro areas to join together to levy a one-cent sales tax for transportation projects – had the support. More than 50 stakeholders, including business leaders, environmental groups and public-transit advocates were on board. The road builders saw a hefty chunk of change and grinned. It even had language that would've raised money by shifting a penny from the gasoline tax and raising nearly $180 million without a tax increase. If legislation were a song, then SR 845 would be "We Are The World."
The transportation bill seemed doomed as soon as Gov. Sonny Perdue came out against the proposed constitutional amendment, and also promised to campaign against it if it went on the ballot in November.
"Unfortunately, the leadership in this state has not stressed transportation at all," [president of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce Sam] Williams says. "We've been talking about this for the past six years. Every time we try to do something, we are told, 'Wait another year, wait another year.' People are fed up and we should let our elected officials know in the loudest voice possible."

Full article here.

Bike To Work Day, April 25th

Put the keys down, save a couple bucks, and try a new form of transportation – for one day, opt from your rigorous schedule and take time to either walk or ride a bike to your daily destinations! Experienced bike commuters will lead group rides from a number of locations, convening downtown for coffee, refreshments, and a drawing for prizes! Support alternative transportation choices and help BikeAthens promote pedestrian, cycling, and public transportation.

Details at

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hopeful epilogue for transit expansion

Per today's article in the Banner-Herald, elected officials are still committed to improving public transit, despite the recent setback on the T-SPLOST legislation.

Athens-Clarke commissioners frequently discuss their desire for more mass transit, but don't collect enough money in property and sales taxes to consider such costly projects.

"It'd be great to see a trolley system going up and down Prince (Avenue), Milledge (Avenue) and Lumpkin (Street) serving downtown and the university, but something like that isn't possible under our current funding system," Commissioner David Lynn said.

Athens-area legislators said they'll try to pass the sales tax again next year, but it can't appear on the ballot before 2010.

Lawmakers are more open to non-road forms of transportation, such as the "Brain Train," a proposed passenger rail line running from downtown Atlanta to the Athens Multimodal Center, said state Sen. Bill Cowsert.

"You're seeing much more interest in mass transit and innovative solutions to the transportation problem than you have in the past," Cowsert said.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Photos from April's Courteous Mass

Some shots from today's Cmass below - and thanks to all who came out! Watch the blog and for details on the next ride.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Local roads up for reconfiguration

Also from today's Banner-Herald, some important news about road reconfigurations:

Lane revamps advised for busy Athens roads

Athens-Clarke transportation officials say changing lane configurations on three busy Athens roads will make them safer.

Part of Hawthorne Avenue will return to four lanes and Cedar Shoals drive will switch to three lanes, while most of North Avenue will remain five lanes if the Athens-Clarke Commission follows the advice of the county Transportation and Public Works Department.

Full article via link above.

The article does not indicate whether Cedar Shoals will have bike lanes added as part of its potential re-striping to three lanes, but normally that occurs when a street transitions from four to three lanes.

Certainly, the current bicycle lanes on Hawthorne are not an ideal width and are poorly maintained, but their presence creates a valuable safety buffer, both for cyclists and for pedestrians. Hawthorne also serves as a valuable connector for the Oglethorpe and Alps Rd bicycle lanes. Removing them is moving us away from an interconnected network of bicycle lanes.
While the frustration with congestion is understandable, congestion is a result of excessive car dependency. By going backwards in our transportation planning- doing all we can to accommodate the rapid flow of automobiles and eliminating transportation choices- we are guaranteeing further congestion.

Pedestrian accident downtown

From the Banner-Herald:

An Athens woman was struck by a car Wednesday while in a marked crosswalk downtown, Athens-Clarke police said.

Misty Rowe, 28, was crossing College Avenue shortly before 8 a.m. when a car that made a left turn from East Dougherty Street hit her and knocked her to the ground, according to police.

Rowe was slightly injured, police said, but after the collision, she suffered a seizure and was taken to Athens Regional Medical Center, police said.

Police didn't know if that seizure and another one at the hospital were related to the collision.

"It was a low-speed impact," Athens-Clarke police Lt. David Coker said.

The driver, 81-year-old Willie James of Athens, was charged with failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, police said.

Even if you think you are clear and you have the right of way, always double check for cars. Be careful out there. Our thoughts are with Ms. Rowe and we hope for her speedy recovery.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Bikes preventing drunk driving

A very interesting piece in the Red & Black describes a new motorized bike-based business, Zingo, that provides designated drivers for downtown drunks.
The newest mode of sober transportation in Athens keeps students from driving drunk if they need their cars the next morning.

Zingo Athens Designated Drivers sends insured drivers to the student's car by motorbike - within 10 minutes of a call - to drive the customer and car home safely after a night on the town.
Full story here.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Downtown traffic counts

ACC's Transportation & Public Works department is performing traffic counts downtown. Based on their results, they may adjust the timing of lights.
Full story here.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

State Senate's warped priorities let us down

After all the encouraging build up toward finally passing the desperately needed T-SPLOST bill, the Georgia Senate let it slip through our fingers.
According to the Banner-Herald,
State lawmakers worked for months to cobble together a plan to allow local governments to levy a 1-cent sales tax for transportation projects to ease the state's congested roads. It passed in the House but fell three votes short of the needed two-thirds majority in the Senate.
It's not saying much, but at least it was close. This legislation should have happened ten years ago. We will just have to re-double our efforts for next year.

On the bright side, the Legislature did ensure our continuing safety in the menacing, kill-or-be-killed world of bus riding in Athens-Clarke County:
Lawmakers [did vote] to allow Georgians with concealed weapons permits [to] carry their guns on public transportation.
We're so glad they're looking out for our best interests.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Courteous Mass Rescheduled for next Friday

Due to a tornado watch and the threat of thunderstorms, we will reschedule our first Courteous Mass for next Friday, April 11th.

Riders should meet at City Hall, 6 pm.

We hope to see you there!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Commuter Rail resolution passes!

Great news from the state capitol!

The Georgia House passed HR 1631 in support of commuter rail service in the Athens – Atlanta – Macon corridor yesterday by a margin of 143 to 12. This resolution states "that the members of the Georgia Transportation Board are urged to help ensure that the existing plans for the Macon to Atlanta to Athens commuter rail lines are implemented with urgency."
- from Bulldogs for the Brain Train

"Peak Oil"? What's that?

A story from the Columbia Journalism Review investigates why you might not have heard of peak oil:
Oil has always been a big story for obvious economic, environmental, political, and technological reasons. For decades, Americans have read about tanker spills, rising oil prices, shortages at the pumps, and delicate trade relations. More recently, the press has swarmed the story of prices topping $100 a barrel and OPEC’s refusal of President Bush’s request to increase production. But throughout the history of oil reporting, there has been one major aspect that the press has remained largely silent on: peak oil.

First Courteous Mass of aught eight- Tomorrow, 6 pm

Dogwoods are in bloom, our bikes are lightly dusted with pollen...must be spring, which means it must be time for Courteous Mass.

Our first CMass of '08 will start this Friday at City Hall, 6:00 pm.

Details on the ride here:

Current forecast calls for scattered thunderstorms tomorrow afternoon - cross your fingers!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

OneAthens action plan includes transit expansion

From today's Banner-Herald:

The University of Georgia, Athens-Clarke County government and Clarke County School District will act on at least a handful of new poverty-fighting programs within two months, leaders pledged Monday.

Affordable housing, public transportation, teen pregnancy and health care are among the first OneAthens recommendations officials will turn their attention to, they said during a meeting to unveil OneAthens' strategies for reducing Athens' 31 percent poverty rate.

The county also will begin planning a series of budget hikes for Athens Transit, funded partially by advertising on buses and at bus stops, to expand service hours and routes, Davison said.