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, June 30, 2009

Athens Transit begins selling ads on its buses

From the Banner-Herald:
Hoping to make enough money from advertising to add routes and frequency without raising fares or taxes, Athens-Clarke officials will begin selling ads this week on the sides, back and interior of buses.
The money could be enough to increase frequency on an hourly route to every half hour or run a couple more buses at night or on Saturdays.

Mass transit continues to become more popular. People made about 1.7 million trips on Athens buses in the past year, up almost 200,000 from 2006.

But fuel costs remain high, federal operating grants are flat, and the state offers no support, so the system is struggling for funding.

Fares will go up 25 cents to $1.50 on Wednesday. Even with the increased fares and anticipated ad revenue, though, the Athens-Clarke Commission did not expand bus service this year.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Greenway news

In "a couple of years," you'll be to walk/ride the Oconee River Greenway from Sandy Creek Nature Center to College Station Rd.

Thanks to the Greenway Comission for patiently pursuing the property for this extension!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Firefly rail-trail: Athens -> Greene Co.

From the Banner-Herald:

Plans are in the works to convert an abandoned railroad from Athens to Greene County into a 38-mile trail.

Firefly Trail, still in the early stages, would run from the Multimodal Transportation Center in downtown Athens through Winterville, Arnoldsville and Maxeys before ending in Union Point.

An informal town hall meeting to unveil preliminary plans is scheduled for 5:30 to 7 p.m. today at the Depot in downtown Winterville, but alternative transportation advocate John Devine cautioned that the trail is a long way from coming to fruition.

Kudos to John Devine and the staff at NEGRDC for pursuing this exciting project!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Federal funds available for rail in Georgia

High-speed and traditional rail may yet come to Georgia.
Though the revival of passenger rail service has been talked of and dreamed of for decades, the federal government now is offering huge sums to states that could provide the locomotion to finally pull the train out of the station.
The board of the Georgia Department of Transportation voted last month to draft a statewide proposal for submission to Washington as a way of tapping into the flood of federal money. Six months earlier, it had hired a young hotshot, Erik Steavens, to begin coordinating its modest rail line with bus service and highways. He began by dusting off railroad plans sketched out in the 1990s. Georgia lawmakers in the '90s had mandated the order in which trains would be put into service, starting with a line between Atlanta and Macon, because the power in the legislature at the time was centered in South Georgia. The first phase of that line was to run 26 miles from Atlanta to Lovejoy, to be expanded next to Griffin.

Steavens intends to follow that framework, which would include connections in Macon to other Southern cities.

Advocates and real estate developers also have lobbied for a line between Atlanta and Athens that they dubbed the "Brain Train" because it would link so many universities. Joined by environmentalists, they have been the most vocal supporters of passenger rail service in Georgia.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Don't forget your Alternative Fuel!

Jittery Joe's Alternative Fuel coffee blend is flying off the shelves!

Proceeds benefit our programs and outreach efforts- we've already raised over $500 thanks to Alternative Fuel.

Please get your can(s) today!

Monday, June 15, 2009

GDOT transformation update

AJC has the latest on the restructuring of GDOT and profiles the contenders for the department's chairmanship.

Monday, June 8, 2009

ACC wins Safe Routes grant

Thanks to the efforts of Athens-Clarke government officials, the ACC School District and the Northeast Georgia Regional Development Center, Five Points will benefit from a $110,694 Safe Routes to School grant for pedestrian improvements.

Kudos to the grant writing team!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Bikes on sidewalks

The state legislature has clarified the law regarding bicycling on sidewalks.

In short, don't do it.

The bill "allows local governments to let kids 12 and under bike on sidewalks, and states that this is the only group allowed to operate vehicles on sidewalks."

Read the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition blog post linked above for some excellent safety reasons for not biking on the sidewalk. It may not seem like it at first, but riding on the sidewalk is not as safe as riding on the street....and now it's not as legal.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

REI's Novara bikes recalled

If you ride one of these, be sure to take it to REI for a very important repair.

Bus fares rise

The Athens-Clarke commission voted 8-2 last night to raise Athens Transit fares from $1.25 to $1.50.