02

Blog

Atlanta Highway Collapse Creates More Dangers for Local Bicyclists

The recent collapse of a large chunk of interstate highway in one of the most heavily driven areas of Atlanta, Georgia has caused an unprecedented panic on our roads. The powerful images of the massive fire and bridge collapse were quickly followed by finger pointing, scapegoating and lamenting that Atlantans car-dependent lifestyles were about to be severely disrupted.

What followed was an investigation that resulted in the arrest of 3 people who allegedly set fire to some conduit and other materials that the Georgia DOT had stored under a highway overpass for years. The resulting calamity was well documented. Atlanta’s lack of a well-developed public transit system was immediately apparent as MARTA parking lots were overwhelmed and filled up before 7 am on the following Monday.

Atlanta Highway Shutdown Help Bicycle Commuting
A solution that was obvious to many yet alien to most emerged: bicycles. The closed stretch of road in the area surrounding the collapse became the best dedicated stretch of bicycle infrastructure that this city has seen. Although temporary, the closed off areas of major traffic arteries have been a boon for cyclists. People who have never before commuted to work on a bike have gotten out of their cars and taken to two wheels. How great!

New Traffic Creates Distracted Drivers

A serious problem has emerged, one that has the potential to be very dangerous to anyone who rides a bike. In the wake of the interstate collapse, many drivers who are unfamiliar with city streets and neighborhoods are leaving the highway and using cell phone apps like WAZE and Google Maps to navigate their way. In the process, drivers will have their attention locked to their phones, distracting them from the task of safe driving. Combine that with being blindly led by an app through unfamiliar neighborhoods and you have a recipe that can be toxic to bicyclists.

Bruce’s PSA of the Week

As you ride around town in the coming months, particularly in areas that are seeing an increase in car volume due to the highway closure, please be hyper vigilant and watchful for drivers who may be more distracted than usual, and who put all of us at risk by their bad behavior.

Comments

2017 US Pro Road Nationals
Arleigh Jenkins Jun 27, 2017

This past weekend my hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee, hosted the 2017 USA Cycling Professional Road Championships.

Read More
Bike Law RAAM Team
Arleigh Jenkins Jun 19, 2017

2 days ago our RAAM team’s started journey began. Make sure to track their progress!

Read More
2017 Bike Law Michigan Bicycle Tour
Bryan Waldman Jun 08, 2017

Tales and tips on doing your own self-guided tour through Michigan leaving right from your own driveway.

Read More
Bicycle Dooring Education
Brendan Kevenides Jun 01, 2017

The urban bicyclist rides in perpetual fear of having a door flung open into their path. Sadly, the number of such incidents is going in the wrong direction.

Read More
Bike Law Canada - Martin Goodman Trail Toronto
Pat Brown May 31, 2017

This may seem to be about a basic barrier on the side of a path but this fight is to ensure our children and all vulnerable road users have safe roads or paths to ride on.

Read More
Toronto Youth Biking Death
Pat Brown May 25, 2017

How many tragedies do we need in Toronto before we invest in keeping Vulnerable Road Users safe?

Read More
Cycling Law Podcast
Arleigh Jenkins May 23, 2017

Ann Groninger of Bike Law NC & Jeff Viscount of Weekly Rides have become regulars on the TotalCyclist Podcast. Click through to give a listen to their episodes!

Read More
biking on highway laws in texas
Arleigh Jenkins May 17, 2017

Charlie answers a frequently asked question whether one may legally ride a bicycle on highway Interstate 10 and other freeways in Texas.

Read More
2017 Ride of Silence
Arleigh Jenkins May 15, 2017

A guest post from Chris Phelan, founder of Ride for Silence. This ride can be found in 450+ cities across the world on May 17th to honor those who have been injured or killed, to raise awareness that we are here and to ask that we all share the road.

Read More
Charlotte Law Enforcement Bicycle Ride to DC
Ann Groninger May 10, 2017

Yesterday, Bike Law Cycle Club members Julia Engle and Garet Johnson joined the first leg of CMPD’s Annual Law Enforcement Bicycle Ride to Washington D.C.

Read More
Maine Traffic Safety Education Bill
Lauri Boxer-Macomber May 03, 2017

In Maine, proposed legislation on traffic safety education in schools for students in grades 2-12 could have tremendous long-term effects on making Maine’s roads safer.

Read More
NY Five Boro Bike Ride
Daniel Flanzig May 03, 2017

Bike Law New York is entering its 4th year of supporting the TD Five Boro Bike Tour, the world’s largest charity ride with over 32,000 riders. Riding? Stop by to say hello.

Read More
Load More