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.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Rail-Trail follow up

Promising news from yesterday's meeting in Oconee County:
A new effort is starting to rumble among residents in Oconee and Clarke counties to convert a mostly inactive rail line from Watkinsville to Madison into a haven for cyclists and joggers.

Organizers face an uphill climb in their nascent move to switch rails to trails on the 20-mile stretch of railroad. At least one previous rails-to-trails effort, about nine years ago, failed after backers met resistance from the rail company and local officials.

Still, about two dozen locals showed up to a meeting this week to support the project, and Oconee County Parks and Recreation officials are excited about the idea now, so organizer Scott Nichols said he feels good about the trail's prospects.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Oconee County rail-trail meeting

The Oconee County Advisory Committee on Recreational Affairs will be holding a meeting on Greenways, Rails to Trails and connectivity between parks, schools and neighborhoods. Guest speaker will be Mike Wharton from Athens-Clarke leisure Services and John Devine from the Northeast Georgia Regional Development Center. The meeting will be held at the Oconee County Civic Center on October 21 at 6:00pm (just before the SPLOST public hearing).

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bike Swap!

First Annual Athens Bike Swap

Saturday, October 25, 2008
11am - 2pm
Tifosi Optics Headquarters
1051 Industrial Blvd. Watkinsville, GA

Pro teams will be unloading bikes, components, clothing and accessories for unheard of deals and the three bike shops in the Athens area will all be present with their killer deals. Come check it out and bring cash--you won't want to miss these deals!

Equipment from Louis Garneau, Specialized, Shimano, Cane Creek, Hincapie, SRAM, Shimano, Easton, Sidi, Profile Design, Zero Gravity, Kestrel, Thompson, and more.

1/2 mile from the start of the Jittery Joe's Fall Classic Century

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Friday accident- Baxter @ Lumpkin

News from ABH:

A bicycle rider was severely injured Friday evening when he ran into the back of a pickup, Athens-Clarke police said.

The Gainesville man was riding south on Lumpkin Street about 5 p.m. Friday when a truck made a left turn with a green light from Baxter Street to the northbound lane of Lumpkin, police said.

The driver saw the rider and tried to accelerate out of the way, while the rider tried to stop, but the bicycle collided with the truck's rear driver's side fender, according to police.

The rider suffered a head injury and a severe leg injury and still was in intensive care in St. Mary's Hospital on Saturday, Athens-Clarke police Sgt. Frank Smith said.

Police issued no citations in the collision, pending the outcome of an investigation.

We hope for a full & speedy recovery for this guy.

Wear a helmet out there, and ride defensively, especially on game weekends. I rode through downtown yesterday after the game- the traffic volume was ridiculous, and driver manners were somewhat...lacking.

UPDATE (10/20)
There was also a pedestrian hit and run late Saturday night.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Athens Transit survey

Transit Services Survey

GCA, Inc. has been contracted by Athens Transit to obtain feedback from the public on Athens Transit services and rider attitudes. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey: 
Take the Survey

Thank you! Your feedback will help local planners and elected officials understand the demand for expanded transit service in Athens.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

James Kunstler speaking at UGA on 10/21

Renowned author and commentator James Howard Kunstler will be speaking at UGA next week.

Kunstler was the keynote speaker at our inaugural Tour de Sprawl event in 2000.

Event details and flyer below:

James Howard Kunstler
Tuesday, 10/21, 4 pm
The Chapel on UGA's north campus


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Paying to park through dinner

ABH relays that "the Athens Downtown Development Authority wants to extend pay-to-park hours on downtown streets another two hours to 7 p.m."
The two recommendations the ADDA board approved Tuesday will be added to several other parking changes the county commission will consider. During the ADDA's September meeting, board members voted to ask commissioners to raise the fee for on-street parking from 25 cents to 50 cents an hour, as well as increase parking deck fees and fines for overstaying the allotted meter time.

These changes may discourage driving downtown, which is a good thing, so long as there are plenty of safe, equally efficient choices for getting downtown (and home again).

Toward that end, be sure to stop by the ACC Library tonight or on the 29th (3:00 or 6:00 pm) to provide feedback on improving Athens Transit service!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Talk back to Athens Transit

Several public input sessions have been scheduled, so that you can help guide the 5 year Transit Development Plan for Athens. See the flyer below:

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Road & development plans

Two items from the ABH today:
  1. The state Department of Transportation will hold an informational meeting this afternoon about a proposed interchange at the Athens Perimeter intersection with Peter Street and Olympic Drive.

    The meeting will be held from 5-7 p.m. at Stroud Elementary School, 715 Fourth St.

    Visitors will be able to view interchange plans, ask questions and make comments. There will be no formal presentation.

  2. Oconee [county] approves Epps Bridge shopping center despite environmental & traffic concerns:
Oconee commissioners voted 3-1 Tuesday to rezone the site from agricultural use to allow the shopping center. Commissioner Margaret Hale voted no.

Commissioners were more concerned about the problems visitors to Epps Bridge Centre will create for already-clogged traffic in the area, especially if plans for a new state road never come to pass.

The entire project hinges on a road that hasn't been built, the Oconee Connector extension, with which state Department of Transportation officials still have not moved forward.

Oconee officials hope the shopping center, if approved, and the road - if it's ever built - likely will be finished about the same time, early in the next decade.

But, the potential lack of access, along with environmental concerns, kept a regional planning organization from recommending the project last summer.

The Northeast Georgia Regional Development Center found in its nonbinding July review that Epps Bridge Centre would not be in the best interest of the region.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Bus ridership sky high

As a result of the hurricane-sponsored gas drought, many more Athenians turned to the bus last month. Flagpole reports:
According to Athens Transit Director Butch McDuffie, last month’s ridership figures are up 20 percent over September of last year, and up 15 percent over August of this year. The bus system logged almost 195,000 individual rides this September. Over 30-plus years, “It’s the highest recorded ridership in any one-month period that Athens Transit has ever experienced,” McDuffie says.
“I would hope and anticipate that after this gas crunch goes away, that we will maintain 50 percent of that increase - because people will see that the bus does work,” McDuffie says. “Now that they’ve figured out that, ’Wow, it works,’ I think they’re going to stay.”
Let's hope so, and let's hope the Commission formally approves the ads-on-buses revenue program, that the state legislature moves quickly on allowing a transit-focused TSPLOST program, and that the federal government pulls us out of our exploits for dwindling resources and puts a fraction of that money toward rebuilding our nation's paltry public transit systems.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Bailout plan includes tax breaks for bike commuters

Odd & surprising mention of a tax break for bicycle commuters in the new 1-trillion dollar iteration of the Wall St bailout bill:
Wind power developers, disaster victims, college students, teachers and millions of taxpayers and businesses stand to see substantial benefits from the tax relief package that lawmakers added to the huge financial rescue plan.

So will more narrowly focused groups, including motor sports racetrack owners, film producers and bicycle commuters.

Bike Commuter Benefit: Allowing employers to exempt from taxation what they spend on some fringe benefits for workers who commute to work by bicycle, for example reimbursing the cost of parking the bikes. Cost: $2 million.
The bailout seems like a staggering case of corporate welfare to me (free marketeers are suddenly not so ideological when things go really sour...), but this rider is an interesting recognition of the benefits of bike commuting.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

"Five @ Five" - 5 Points 5 K Run/Walk on 10/12

Starts at 1690 S. Milledge Ave, Athens, GA.

See for more information.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Reminder: River of Bikes Ride tomorrow

River of Bikes Ride

In support of the eco-conscious touring practices of Okkervil River
(playing at the 40 Watt on 10/2/08), BikeAthens is organizing a twilight
group ride from downtown, along the Greenway, and back to downtown.
Afterwards, we'll convene at Max Canada's patio for refreshments before
the show.

The ride begins at City Hall at 7 pm - be sure to have a helmet, lights,
and water.

We hope to see you there!