02

Blog

Slow Roll for Better Biking in Atlanta

Bike Law crew demands that Renew Atlanta actually RENEW Atlanta!

Bike Law Ambassador Niklas Volmer and Bike Law Georgia client Jordan Streiff have had enough of the City of Atlanta’s lip service and hypocrisy when it comes to building out meaningful bike infrastructure and decided it was time to do something about it.

For some context, the City of Atlanta has promised to invest $250,000,000 into the City’s infrastructure through the Renew Atlanta bond investment.  Voters in the City of Atlanta overwhelmingly approved the bond in a 2015 election.  In the 2016 election, voters approved a special tax that would generate approximately $300,000,000 over a 5 year period to fund transportation projects around the city

One of the projects that was approved initially by Renew Atlanta was the Dekalb Avenue Complete Streets project, which would revise this highly traveled corridor to make it safer for all users, particularly pedestrians and bicyclists, while also improving the flow of traffic by adding turn lanes and eliminating the reversible “suicide lane” in the middle of the road.   For many years, Dekalb Avenue had been a race track that sped cars past light industrial and commercial spaces.  However, with the success of the Atlanta Beltline, the area is in the heart of a development boom that has brought thousands of new residents to the vicinity of Dekalb Avenue.  The need to make the archaic road design friendly for people who are outside their cars is overwhelming.

Renew Atlanta had preliminarily approved a Complete Streets design for Dekalb Avenue that would include, among other things, protected and dedicated  bike lanes.  However, the implementation was delayed and 3 years went by.  At a meeting on April 10, 2019, however, Renew Atlanta announced that it was not going to install bike lanes, and would simply be repaving Dekalb Avenue.

At that point, Niklas and Jordan jumped into action.  They had previously helped to organize a walking/biking protest along the busy commuter route a few weeks prior.  But this time, they had a bigger vision, which was to have a completely legal bike ride at 8am on a Friday, with people riding lawfully 2 abreast on Dekalb Avenue, stopping at all red lights and stop signs.   They spread the word through social media, and on a rainy Friday morning, more than 100 people showed up on their bikes to lend support to the effort.  The results were spectacular and immediate.

And their pedal revolution was televised!

Bicycle adovcate Niklas Volmer

The slow roll was a huge success and got a lot of attention.  In fact, the same day, representatives from Renew Atlanta reached out to representatives from Atlanta Bicycle Coalition to see if some compromise plan could be proposed for Dekalb Avenue that would include tactically positioned bike lanes.   While not truly a “Complete Street” design, bike lanes would be a huge help.   More importantly, the fact that the City responded shows the power that we have a community to make meaningful change.

Bike accident attorney Bruce Hagen

We shall see if the City implements the bike lane plan or not.  After all, they have reneged on previous promises.   However, the eyes of the community are keenly focused on the City, and we  will not sit idly if there’s no action.   If the City does not heed the will of the people, look for additional protests in the future, and significant voter turnout in the next election.

Comments

Rick Bernardi Sep 13, 2019

Stop as Yield. It was the legislative Holy Grail for Oregon cyclists. Idaho had pioneered the Stop As Yield concept—allowing cyclists to treat a stop sign as if it’s a yield sign—in 1982, and for decades, Idaho remained the only state where Stop as Yield was legal for cyclists, despite the actual practice being widespread, […]

Read More
Peter Wilborn Aug 20, 2019

A camera is necessary kit for every ride. But finding the right camera has been a challenge, until now. My rebuttable presumption: the Ricoh GR III is the best cycling camera of all time. Read on, and if you can prove there’s a better one, let me know. The Ideal Cycling Camera To find the […]

Read More
Human Shield Bike Lane
Bruce Hagen Jul 29, 2019

If you ride bikes around Atlanta, chances are that you know Niklas Vollmer and Andreas Wolfe.  They’re some of the many people in town who seem to live on their bikes and can be seen riding everywhere.  While they both have their “day jobs,” folks in the cycling world know them for their place in […]

Read More
Bruce Hagen Jul 19, 2019

This is a time when advocacy efforts are crucial to making our streets safer for everyone. Within 24 hours from the Two Wheel Tuesday gathering we suffered two more casualties.  On Wednesday morning, Marten Bijvank was on his way to work on his bicycle when he was struck and killed by an unlicensed DUI driver […]

Read More
AJ's Bicycle Shop in Iowa
Jim Freeman Jul 15, 2019

Bicycling Magazine recently published an article titled, “Hey, Bike Shops; Stop Treating Customers Like Garbage.”  The story follows a heavy-set 59 year old’s sad tale of how he was treated poorly from a number of local bike shops.   First and foremost, I would be clear that bikes are for almost everyone.  If you are big, […]

Read More
Bike accident scene
Rick Bernardi Jul 12, 2019

The big bike news out of the Oregon legislature this year was the passage of a Stop as Yield law. This was an enormous legislative victory for Oregon cyclists, the culmination of over a decade of advocacy. But it wasn’t the only legislative victory for Oregon cyclists this legislative session. A less glamorous but equally […]

Read More
Uber Biking Escort
Charlie Thomas Jul 11, 2019

I often find myself wanting to ride on a roadway corridor that doesn’t want me there. At best, I could make it across alive with some close calls and a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. At worst, I wouldn’t be around to write this blog post.  Of course, a safer, alternate route […]

Read More
Cycling Without Age Bike Law
Brian Weiss Jul 11, 2019

The founder of the Lakewood Bicycle Advisory Team loves his life on two wheels. Gary Harty was born in Bellows Falls, Vermont, and raised in Colorado – Denver Metro area, and now makes bicycling in Lakewood, Colorado safe and fun.  Gary is part of the baby boomer generation. He attended Colorado State University (CSU) and […]

Read More
Rachael Maney Bike Law
Rachael Maney Jul 10, 2019

Outrage.  It is what drives action and engagement on the interwebs these days. If it’s not outrageous, it’s boring. The Election of 2018 proved that outrage increases TOS (“time on site”) more than friendship, sympathy, desire, or anything else.  Judgment. By definition it is necessary to reach any conclusion about anything. But passing it on […]

Read More
Stop as Yield for Cyclists
Rick Bernardi Jul 09, 2019

The Oregon Legislature made national news this past week, for all the wrong reasons. The State Senate, with a super-majority of Democrats in control, had been working on climate legislation which would have Oregon join a cap-and-trade market with California and Quebec. Unable to stop the legislation, Republican Senators fled the state en masse, preventing […]

Read More
Bike Law Alps
Charlie Thomas Jul 07, 2019

It’s Tour de France time. I follow the racing daily through the footage on TV feed and still photos. But I hadn’t ever considered what’s happening on the other side of the camera lens. Like, what actually goes into snapping these pictures that we see documenting the Tour’s happenings? I started to care more about […]

Read More
E Bike and insurance
Lauri Boxer-Macomber Jul 01, 2019

Prologue  Last month, I rode across the Casco Bay Bridge to talk e-bikes and insurance with Bob O’Brien, the Vice President of Noyes, Hall and Allen Insurance in South Portland, Maine.  Although I have yet to invest in an e-bike for myself, I have been captivated by e-bikes and their potential to get and keep […]

Read More
Load More