Justin Bridges, a north Atlanta teen, has created an online petition calling for improvements to GA driver's education so that new drivers better understand the state's 3' safe passing law and how to drive safely around people on bikes.
In a personal appeal, Justin introduces himself and explains why better education is needed:
" I recently took the on-line training to get my Georgia Driver’s License. I was surprised to find that out of the 30+ hours of material there was only one slide on awareness of cyclists. And, even that slide was shared with information on pedestrians. As a cyclist, racer, and endurance rider, I spend a lot of time on urban and rural roads. I have seen firsthand how cyclists and drivers become involved in accidents. I invite you to join me in requesting Governor Deal and [Dept of Driver Services] Commissioner Mikell to include more information on this important issue to the new driver training program."
Way to take leadership on this important issue, Justin!
Yesterday at Roswell's City Hall, a sizable crowd of advocates and North Atlanta residents gathered for a forum on recent cyclist fatalities and how to improve bicyclist safety. Organized by Georgia Bikes, Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, Bike Alpharetta and Bike Roswell, the forum, "Remember and Ride On," allowed guests to share grief over friends and loved ones lost to preeventable traffic collisions. A lively Twitter discussion supplemented the event. To follow the online discussion, search for #RideonGA.
Many attendees expressed dismay at the light penalties for motorists who injure or kill people on bikes, while others decried the widespread ignorance of Georgia's four year-old safe passing law, which requires motorists to provide at least a 3' buffer when following or passing people on bikes.
Ready to act, many attendees signed up for action alerts. We will be contacting participants very soon with messages they can share with lawmakers and the Georgia DOT to encourage the state to adopt a Vulnerable Road User law and to increase funding for safe, high quality bicycle facilities.
More photos by Doug Fallon from the event below:
As reported by the Florida Times-Union, "a 62-year-old bicyclist was killed Sunday night in a collision with an SUV in Brunswick."
" The bicyclist, Joseph Wilson Jr. of Fortaleza Brazil, died in the crash, the state patrol said.
The state patrol said it is believed Wilson was a crewman aboard a ship that called on the Port of Brunswick.
The crash scene is in the southbound lanes just north of 4th Avenue and in a 0.7-mile gap in the concrete bicycle path along the highway. There is a paved three-foot apron outside the fog line, but it has horizontal grooves ground in it to alert motorists who run off the roadway and would be impossible to travel on a bicycle." [emphasis added]
The "apron" mentioned in the news story is the road shoulder, and the "grooves" are better known as "rumble strips." They are clearly visible in the image below from Google Streetview of this section of Highway 17. What's also clearly visible is the ample, already cleared space available for providing a bike-friendly shoulder, an off-road multi-use path or protected bike lane.
We call on GDOT to make use of the ample shoulder space to create a safe facility for people on bikes. This could be a bikable shoulder (6.5' wide with skip pattern rumbles), a protected bike lane, or a multi-use path alongside the roadway. Alternatively, bike route signage and a clear paved connection to parallel Lanier Boulevard could be implemented.
These improvements will save lives and boost Brunswick's economic development by positioning the city as a welcoming destination for outdoor activities, including bicycle tourism. With the imminent gathering of a Joint Study Committee on the Coastal Georgia Greenway, the time is now to plan for and build bicycle friendly facilities in coastal Georgia cities like Brunswick.
In a timely coincidence, we are offering a free workshop on July 15th in Brunswick. This workshop will cover roadway and intersection design for improved bicyclist - and pedestrian - safety. Space is limited, so please register now if you would like to attend.
We are accepting session proposals for the 6th annual Georgia Bike Summit, scheduled for November 7th in Milledgeville, GA. Please use the form below to submit your proposal, and contact us if you have any questions.
Coverage from the AJC on our recent advocacy win to include bike-ped accommodations as part of the billion dollar I-285/GA 400 reconstruction:
"Bicyclists and walkers will have a safe path through a mammoth new interchange soon to be constructed at the intersection of I-285 and Ga. 400, thanks to some dogged community activists.
Georgia Department of Transportation recently committed to provide a multi-use path along both Ga. 400 and I-285.
'The final design for the path will be determined by the design-build team (which is still to be selected),' said GDOT spokeswoman Natalie Dale. 'It will be a separated facility from the roadways. A person would have to scale a tall fence to get from the path to the freeway.'
But these advocates (including but not limited to Bike Walk Dunwoody, Georgia Bikes, Atlanta Bicycle Coalitionand PEDS) aren’t finished. Some of them met Wednesday with Georgia Department of Transportation planners to seek a trail extension farther north of the interchange along Ga. 400. They also want a safe path across new bridges on Mount Vernon Road and the redesigned Abernathy Road/Ga. 400 Diverging Diamond Interchange, said Joe Seconder, vice president of Georgia Bikes."