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, September 29, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

Greenways as transportation

Flagpole discusses.

More about the TIP

ABH covers the Transportation Improvement Plan:

State funding for transportation is hard to come by lately as the Department of Transportation prioritizes a backlog of projects it cannot fund with declining fuel taxes. A proposed six-year transportation plan for Clarke, Oconee and Madison counties includes only a fraction of the projects listed in years past.

Among the projects that are scheduled to move forward over the next three years:

Buying land for a new Athens Perimeter-Peter Street-Olympic Drive interchange scheduled for construction in 2014.

Extending the North Oconee River Greenway from Oconee Street to College Station Road.

Turning an abandoned East Athens railroad into a walking trail.

Buying land to eventually widen Mars Hill Road.

Completing Jennings Mill Parkway, which runs parallel to Atlanta Highway.

Rebuilding the College Station Road bridge over the North Oconee River.

Those projects mostly are federally funded, but some also include funding from state and local governments.

red = not so much
green = yes, please

BikeAthens will host a TIP review & analysis meeting on Thursday, Oct. 1st, 6 pm at Trappeze.

All are welcome!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

U.S. Trans Sec rightfully disses GA

Via Blake Aued's blog:

For decades, Athens residents have despaired of ever seeing a much-needed and much-discussed commuter train to Atlanta move forward while our leaders pay lip service to the concept.

Georgia is the largest state in the nation that does not fund mass transit. Do not expect any help from the Obama Administration – which has set aside billions for light rail – until state officials make a commitment.

“The Northeast (high-speed rail) corridor has its act together,” U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood told AJC columnist Jay Bookman. “The Midwest corridor has its act together. The governors there have set aside their own egos and their own ambitions” to work together on bringing high-speed rail to those regions.

“If the people of Atlanta think it’s OK to sit in traffic for an hour and a half on the way to a doctor’s appointment, so be it,” LaHood said (hat tip to JMac).

Come to think of it, just about every politician I’ve ever interviewed, from governor on down to county commissioner, has been in favor of the Brain Train. Yet it never gets done. Funny how that works.

Indeed. Haha.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Regional Bicycle & Pedestrian Plan

The Northeast Georgia Regional Commission (NEGRC; www.negplanning.org) has created the first in a series of two online surveys to help guide the planning process for the 2010 Northeast Georgia Regional Bicycle & Pedestrian Plan. This first survey is here .

It should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete and is available until Friday, October 30, 2009.


The Northeast Georgia region includes the following counties: Athens-Clarke, Barrow, Elbert, Greene, Jackson, Jasper, Madison, Morgan, Newton, Oconee, Oglethorpe, and Walton. Please help us gather as many responses as possible by sending the survey link to other residents in the 12-county Northeast Georgia region.


Thank you for your participation. Please pass this announcement forward to any individual or group within the 12-county region that may be interested.

Speed records

Dang.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bus study

Flagpole summarizes a recent analysis of Athens Transit.

Also, an interesting conversation on road sharing.

Athens area Transportation Improvement Program

Recently, we called for public comment on the "Long Range Transportation Plan" for the Athens area. Many thanks to all who submitted comments!

Now, we urge you to comment on the "Transportation Improvement Program."

The LRTP, as its name suggests, is a 25 year plan.

The TIP, on the other hand, is the 3-5 year "ready-to-be-constructed" list of transportation projects. The projects in the TIP come from the broader LRTP list.

Commenting on the TIP (hopefully) affects the more immediate short-term prioritization of projects.

Stay tuned to our website, this blog, and our listservs. We'll be posting info soon on a TIP review meeting as well as a convenient comment submission form through our website.

Here's the official announcement from MACORTS planners:
The public comment period for the MACORTS FY 2010 - 2013 Transportation
Improvement Program begins on Monday, Sept. 21st and ends on October 21,
2009. The full Draft TIP and supporting materials are now posted on the
MACORTS website (www.macorts.org) along with a comment form that can be
submitted directly from the website. If you would prefer materials in
hardcopy or on CD, please contact:

Sherry F. Moore
Transportation Planner
Madison Athens-Clarke Oconee Regional Transportation Study
Athens-Clarke County Planning Dept.
macorts@co.clarke.ga.us
(706) 613-3515

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

International Walk to School Day @ Timothy Elem

From our friends at Timothy Road Elementary School:
Roadrunners from Timothy Road Elementary School in Athens will join students from schools around the world to celebrate International Walk to School Day on Wednesday, October 7, 2009.

Students will gather in their neighborhoods and at three central locations and walk, bike or scoot, accompanied by parents and teachers.

Walkers and bikers will gather at Academy Sports on Atlanta Highway, Chestnut Grove Baptist Church on Epps Bridge Parkway and in the Kingswood Neighborhood, and arrive at school by 7:30 a.m. when a Safe Routes rally will be held. While students are encouraged to walk together frequently during the school year, future organized walks to school will be held monthly in coordination with Parent/Principal coffee hours.

“Since we have become a neighborhood school, now is the perfect time to kick off a Safe Routes initiative at Timothy,” said Timothy Principal Angela Nowell. “In the interest of student safety, it’s important to do all we can to reduce the number of cars on Timothy Road and provide a safe environment for our families. Even better, everyone will have so much fun participating!”

In the U.S., International Walk to School Day is expected to include 5,000 schools from all 50 states. Walkers from the U.S. will join children and adults in 40 countries around the world. Two other schools in the Clarke County School District, Barrow Elementary School and Chase Street Elementary School, have active Safe Routes programs.

“Walk to school events like this not only make getting to school safer,” said Amy Heesacker, Timothy Safe Routes Coordinator. “They provide another opportunity for children to be active, practice pedestrian safety, engender concern for the environment and build connections between families, schools and the broader community. “

The event is being organized by the Safe Routes to School Committee of the Timothy Road Elementary School PTA.

Media are invited to cover the event beginning at 7:00 a.m. on October 7 at Academy Sports on Atlanta Highway and accompany families and local officials to the rally at Timothy Elementary School, 1900 Timothy Road, Athens, GA. For additional local information, please contact Jim Hilliard at (860) 798-0657 or jim@hilliards.org.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Parallel universes

AJC journalist Jay Bookman deconstructs Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine's plans to solve metro Atlanta traffic problems by building more multi-lane, interstate-style highways:

The highway "would run about two miles east of the existing [I-285] connector. It would start at the intersection of Ga. 400 and I-85 and travel south to connect with I-20 and then I-285, a 15-mile route."

But,

Even the chairman of the state Transportation Board, Bill Kuhlke, has acknowledged that the era of major road-building is over in the metro area.

“Transit is going to be the biggest part of the answer for this particular region, “ Kuhlke said earlier this year.
Unfortunately, that realization is not widely held among the state’s elected political leadership.

Far more common is Oxendine’s claim that “we got to build a lot of roads around metro Atlanta,” a mind-set that blinds people to other possibilities.

For example, the so-called “Brain Train” — a proposed commuter rail line linking Athens, Gwinnett County and a downtown Atlanta multimodal station — would provide a more efficient and less destructive means of moving passengers from the northeast suburbs to the airport than the parallel connector, and at a fraction of the cost. But that kind of solution just can’t get a serious hearing from the state’s current leadership.

Given that reality, one of three things has to happen to address metro Atlanta’s transportation crisis:
We have to change the mind-set of state leaders; failing that, we have to change state leadership, period; and failing that, the region has to demand the authority to plan and finance its own transportation solution.

In other words, instead of a parallel connector, we need a parallel universe.




Saturday, September 12, 2009

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

UGA Campus Transit

The Red & Black features a story about campus buses and pedestrian safety. As a central campus employee, I see dozens of hair-raising near misses between pedestrians and buses on Sanford Dr & Baldwin St.
Folks, the physics are pretty simple:

Watch where you're going, and take a rest on the texting while you're mobile.

R&B editors also call for bike racks on Campus Transit.