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.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Cities of the future

Some folks envision futuristic, urban utopias like this:

One city in Germany has taken a different approach.

The cause of accidents

From the NYT:
A study in Toronto "found that clumsy or inattentive driving by motorists was the cause of 90 percent of [bicycle-car] crashes. Among the leading causes: running a stop sign or traffic light, turning into a cyclist’s path, or opening a door on a biker."

Friday, August 28, 2009

Annual Meeting recap

Thanks to all the folks who came out for our annual meeting at ATHICA last night!

Many thanks also to ATHICA, for hosting us, and to Dondero's for providing the tasty noodles.

If you missed the meeting, you can see the slide show presentation of our accomplishments from the past year. A few pics from the evening below.

Cash & prizes

If you walk, bike, ride transit or carpool, Clean Air Campaign wants to give you Visa gift cards and other prizes.

Check out their Commuter Rewards program. Register, enter your commuting method and be entered to win cash & other prizes. The more who register, the more who win. Pretty sweet deal.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

UGA students reminded to obey traffic laws

Red & Black, the campus newspaper, reminds UGA students who bike or walk that they need to obey traffic laws and use some common sense.

I'll add that cyclists need to a) wear a helmet and b) be visible.

For you students who are driving around Athens, watch for pedestrians and cyclists. Give them plenty of room, and save your harrassing comments for Florida and Auburn fans.

State reviewing Lexington Rd after deaths


State traffic engineers will review the circumstances surrounding three recent pedestrian deaths on Lexington Road to see if the five-lane roadway needs crosswalks or other safety improvements.

Athens-Clarke police say two of three pedestrians who were hit on the road in the past eight weeks had been drinking, but traffic investigators say they may never know exactly what happened in the latest fatality early Saturday morning.
"We collect fatality information on every state route and interstate and look for the cause of the accident and see if there's anything we can do to improve the roadway," said Teri Pope, spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Sober or not, people have no choice but to venture across the busy road, also known as U.S. Highway 78 and Georgia Highway 10, [Sgt. Don Eckert, a supervisor with the police traffic unit] said.

...traffic lights and pedestrian crossings are two miles apart, at Winterville Road in the west and at Cherokee and Gaines School roads in the east.

It's an area where Edward Pittman regularly hears the screeching of tires, oftentimes followed by crashes while working at his business, Pittman's Tire Service, at the corner of Lexington and Winterville roads.

"I hear it two or three times a week," he said, "This is a dangerous place."

In short, Lexington Rd "needs crosswalks or other safety improvements."

Monday, August 24, 2009

That's Civilization!

David Lowery (Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven) on Athens: "Its intellectual energies have never been spent on creating material things. You can play in a band, and work a part time job, and not have a car, and ride your bike to work—to me that’s civilization.

From Flagpole.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Burley recalls child trailers


Third pedestrian fatality on Lexington

Another pedestrian was killed on Lexington Rd yesterday morning, the Banner-Herald reports.

There have been three fatal pedestrian accidents on Lexington in six weeks.

Elected official contacts here. The state Bike/Ped Coordinator is Byron Rushing:

Demand safe pedestrian infrastructure on Lexington Rd.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Rummage Sale a huge success!

Many thanks to all the BRP volunteers and supporters who made today's Rummage Sale a great success.

Pics of the day below:

Long Range Plan in the news

Banner-Herald reports.

Thanks to everyone who submitted a comment!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

GDOT's new director approved

Todd Long, the governor's pick for the newly created statewide transportation planner, was unanimously approved today.

In his comments, Long assured the House Transportation Committee "that while the director of planning has a close relationship with the governor, he would weigh the governor’s priorities alongside others, and that he was dedicated to serving all of Georgia’s transportation needs, not just urban, suburban or rural."

He ... threw cold water on the notion that he’ll be able to solve congestion and throw new roads all over the state, especially in metro Atlanta. “Our goal cannot be to widen every road wide enough that your trip no matter where it is is going to be free flow 100 percent of the time,” he said. “There’s just not enough money to do that…You’ve got to provide options.”

By "all of Georgia's transportation needs," let's hope you mean this, and by "options," how about some of this, this, or this? You can take a lesson or two from D.C.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Decent bike parking's Tom Vanderbilt asks, "What would get Americans biking to work?"

His answer: decent bike parking

Surveys have shown that the leading deterrent to potential bicycle commuters is lack of a safe, secure parking spot.

A number of American cities are now waking up to the fact that providing bicycle parking makes sense. Philadelphia, for example, recently amended its zoning requirements to mandate that certain new developments provide bicycle parking; Pittsburgh's planning department is weighing requiring one bicycle parking space for every 20,000 feet of development (admittedly modest compared with the not-uncommon car equation of one parking space per 250 square feet); even the car-centric enclave of Orange County, Calif., is getting in on the act, with Santa Ana's City Council unanimously passing a bill requiring proportional bicycle parking when car parking is provided. In Chicago, Los Angeles, and other cities, pilot projects are investigating turning car-parking meters—once semireliable bike-parking spots, now rendered obsolete by "smart meter" payment systems—into bike parking infrastructure.

Few cities are doing more than Portland—which has been experiencing a particular boom in bicycle commuting—to increase bicycle parking. In September, for example, the City Council will vote on code changes that would require residential buildings to have the same bicycle parking requirements as commercial buildings. Granted, Portland, Ore., is an unusual place for the United States: a place where business owners actually petition the city to build "bike corrals," or collections of racks that tend to swap one or two car parking spaces for a dozen bike spaces, in front of their establishments, and where residents casually drop lingo like staple, meaning the type of bicycle parking structure that looks like a staple stuck into the concrete. And in a move that is sure to give John McCain fits, the city is spending $1 million of federal stimulus funds on bicycle parking at transit hubs.

Much more in the full article. Thanks to Mike E. for sharing this article.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Lexington Rd pedestrian fatality

Banner-Herald shares this awful news:

A Winterville man was killed trying to cross Lexington Road between Winterville Road and Barnett Shoals Road on Saturday night, according to Athens-Clarke police.

Kyle Haynes, 23, was crossing the highway when he apparently stumbled and was struck by an east-bound Ford F-150 around 9:30.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to this young man's family.

Folks, always be careful out there, but especially this next few weeks. Thousands of 18-year old new arrivals are driving Athens' streets, and they may not be used to sharing the road with buses, cyclists, or pedestrians. Be extra watchful out there, and drivers: keep it slow, and watch carefully for other users of the road. Share the road. Save a life.

Friday, August 14, 2009

GDOT ok's sprawl in Oconee Co


GDOT "will give Oconee County officials the go-ahead to buy 150 pieces of rights of way along Mars Hill Road in North Oconee."

" The new Mars Hill Road will be a four-lane, divided highway... and [will] help spur business growth in the area. "

The affected area:

View Larger Map

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Athens area "Long Range Transportation Plan" needs your input

The LRTP is a document which outlines the transportation plan for the Athens region for the next 25 years. Now is your chance to tell local planners what kind of transportation choices you would like to see in Athens.

Your input on this plan is critical!

Use our convenient comment form (with suggested comments), or download the hard copy form from MACORTS (pdf).

Comment deadline is August 18th.

Thank you for taking a few minutes to share your thoughts on this important document!

D.C. demonstrates

If you make the investment, the people will come.

Watch & learn!

Perdue's pick for trans planner moving ahead

In a Tuesday vote, the state House Transportation Subcommittee approved Gov. Perdue's pick for the newly created statewide "transportation planning director," Todd Long.

Long, a Georgia Tech-trained civil engineer, worked at GDOT prior to his nomination.

Perdue selected Long to "lead the state’s road planning efforts, via a position created by the transportation reform bill approved this past legislative session."

If confirmed, Long will work for the governor, but have to navigate the sometimes conflicting interests of Perdue, legislative leadership and the state Department of Transportation board.

If there were spots of disagreement between Long and the subcommittee, it often focused on the split of state transportation dollars between metro Atlanta and rural parts of the state.

How about the split between sprawl-subsidizing road projects and the paltry amount spent on rail and transit in this state, much less bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure?

If past actions are any indication, Long will be encouraged to explore other solutions.

Welcome to Athens

Welcome to Athens, new UGA students! And welcome back, all who summered elsewhere.

Check out or this blog for everything you need to know about transit, walking, and cycling in Athens. If you like to volunteer, we have plenty of opportunities! You can always check out the great local weekly, Flagpole, for transportation news and event announcements as well.

In its orientation-to-Athens issue, Flagpole generously mentions BikeAthens quite a few times...

* BikeAthens Co-Chair Amy Johnson is quoted in a story on the Long Range Transportation Plan.

Don't forget to come by Trappeze at 7 pm tonight! We'll be discussing the LRTP and finalizing BikeAthens' formal comment on the plan. If you can't make it, be sure to submit comment on the plan. If you haven't read it, don't worry! While we strongly advise you to read the plan, you can submit any comment you like on the future of transportation in Athens. It will all be considered. You can email comments to until August 18th. Or, stay tuned for our soon-to-be-live online comment form, where you can tailor your comments on the LRTP and submit them from a single web page.

* Also, City Dope talks sidewalks, Athens Rising covers downtown and parking decks, and a feature for new arrivals points folks to our free Bike Map.

* Finally, the events calendar reminds the volunteer-minded to consider our ongoing Bike Recycling Program.

BikeAthens encourages you to walk, ride a bike, or take transit whenever possible. It's easier than you think to get around without a car! It will save you money, keep you healthier, and reduce traffic all around.

When you do drive, watch for pedestrians and cyclists, and give them the right-of-way. It's not just neighborly, it's the law!

And when you bike or walk, just remember:
  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Be visible
  • Ride legally & predictably
  • Wear a helmet
  • Share the road with all users
Enjoy yourself, and take advantage of all that Athens offers. We hope you'll get involved with BikeAthens!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Rummage Sale - 8/22

Need a bike? Come out to our 2nd annual rummage sale!
8/22, 10 - 2 pm at the Chase St Warehouse

We're selling fully refurbished cruiser, road, mountain, and kids bikes. Parts and accessories also available.
Proceeds support the BikeAthens Bike Recycling Program. Photos of available bikes below:

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The ghost of ped malls past

In a story on the old urban renewal plan for downtown Athens, the ABH revisits the idea that College Square could be converted to a pedestrian mall.

This topic has come up on the BikeAthens discussion listserve, in the ABH, and on the letters page of Flagpole. The discussion never fails to rile folks up, one way or the other. Personally, I'd love it. The pedestrian-only zones I've seen in other cities are the most pleasant places to hang out. They are full of people and full of thriving businesses. The key, of course, is to design them well.

The story also mentions that New Urbanism will be the guiding principle behind whatever future downtown development plan Athens creates. New Urbanism "espouses a return to the close-knit communities that existed before the car transformed American life... people should live near where they work and shop, and should be able to walk where they want to go."

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

States give cyclists room to ride

From USA Today- Some states have passed the 3 foot law which requires drivers to give cyclists 3 feet when passing.

"It can't always be that the fastest, heaviest vehicle wins," Amen!

See the full story:

Long Range Transportation Plan

Transportation planners are working on the regional Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). Planners started taking formal public comments on July 20th. Comments can be submitted through August 18th.

Submitting your comments on the LRTP is a huge opportunity to help direct the transportation development in Athens for the next twenty years.

If you would like to learn more about what the LRTP means, come to the BikeAthens discussion meeting at Trappeze Pub on Wednesday, August 12th, 7pm.

More information below:

MACORTS Public Comment Period

The Public Comment Period for the Draft MACORTS 2035 Long Range
Transportation Plan (LRTP) will begin Monday, July 20 and ends Tuesday,
August 18th. All of the public involvement materials and the Draft LRTP can
now be found at, or at the Planning Departments in Athens,
Watkinsville, or Danielsville. Contact Sherry F. Moore at for additional information. Please take the time to
read over the plan and give your input!

Monday, August 3, 2009

helmet improv


Reuters discusses the best way to "strike a blow against rising transit fares, costly oil, global warming and obesity at one fell swoop."