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, July 31, 2009

'Southern Living' profiles BikeAthens

The August issue of Southern Living features a nice story about BikeAthens!

Here's a scanned image of the article:

Click the image for a larger version.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Rail-Trail progress

Also from Flagpole, a nice status update on the rail-trail project:
" Long in coming, Athens-Clarke County’s rails-to-trails project has passed a major land-acquisition milestone and ought to have plans before the Mayor and Commission perhaps by year’s end. This first phase of the project will create a multi-use bike/pedestrian path along the old Georgia Railroad bed from downtown’s Multi-Modal Transportation Center through Dudley Park and then roughly parallel to Oak Street to the planned site of a park-and-ride lot where Lexington Road meets the 10 Loop."

The article pays particular attention to what remains of the "Murmur Trestle over Trail Creek—so named because a photo of it appeared on that R.E.M. album ... All along, the trestle has inspired the rail-trail project by offering a level route over steep topography into downtown."

New crosswalk on Prince

Via Flagpole:
A Safer Crossing: Here’s hoping the new light-up crosswalk signs on Prince Avenue will contribute towards improving safety there. In an encouraging (if anecdotal) report, ACC Planning staffer Lara Mathes reports seeing a man in a motorized wheelchair cross safely at the Grit under cover of the flashing lights in the first week they were installed—a good sign!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Athens Transit & UGA buses to receive filters

A federal grant will allow both ATS and UGA Campus transit to install emissions filters on their fleets:

For an average city bus, the filter would reduce the amount of harmful particulates by 60 percent, he said.

"It will have a substantial air-quality impact. ... It will reduce the number of tons of particulates in the atmosphere in the air that we breathe in, not just at the bus stops, but countywide."

Thursday, July 2, 2009

South leads in obesity rates

A recent nationwide study on obesity rates shows the southern U.S. still in the lead.

Aside from our country-fried diet of chicken and biscuits, our inactivity is a major factor in our collective girth. We've built our communities to accommodate car use, to the almost complete exclusion of enabling a walk or bike ride.

If we incorporate physical activity into our daily routines - commuting by bicycle, walking to and from the bus stop, spending weekends strolling greenways - we will make significant headway against the obesity epidemic. The best way to encourage walking and biking is to make it as safe and as convenient as driving, which means we need:

- an interconnected network of well-maintained bike lanes and greenways
- an interconnected network of well-maintained sidewalks and crosswalks
- a bus system that takes people where they want to go, when they need to go

While Athens-Clarke and UGA, especially, have made modest gains towards these goals, we are only half-way there. Many still feel unsafe riding a bicycle in Athens. Long stretches of foot worn paths evidence the need for more sidewalks.

As Jeff Levi, executive director of the Trust for America's Health, notes, the obesity problem is "not going to be solved in the doctor's office but in the community, where we change norms."