Roswell Passes Resolution in support of HB 180!

Many, many thanks to the City Council of Roswell for the following Resolution in support of our “Three Foot Safe Passing” bill!



February 14, 2011


WHEREAS, the City of Roswell, Georgia is a Georgia municipal corporation; and

WHEREAS, the Mayor and Council are the governing authority of the City; and

WHEREAS, Mayor and Council are charged with the protection of the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Roswell; and

WHEREAS, the City of Roswell is the first and currently only city in the State of Georgia
officially recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as a Bicycle Friendly Community; and

WHEREAS, the City has invested in its infrastructure and seen a dramatic rise in the number of bicyclists in all areas of the City; and

WHEREAS, the increase in bicyclists and motorists using the same corridors could potentially pose a public safety concern; and

WHEREAS, Mayor and Council have reviewed proposed House Bill 180 currently before the State of Georgia General Assembly which provides for an amendment to Title 40, Chapter 6, Article 3 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to driving on the right side of the roadways, overtaking and passing and following too closely, so as to require the operator of a motor vehicle to leave a safe
distance between such motor vehicle and a bicycle when such vehicle is passing the bicycle; to provide for a definition; and to provide for related matters; and

WHEREAS, the Mayor and Council believe that House Bill 180, attached hereto and
incorporated by reference, is in the best interests of the citizens of the City of Roswell:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the City of Roswell,
Georgia, and it is hereby resolved by the authority of same, that the Mayor and Council of the City of Roswell hereby support House Bill 180 introduced in the 2011 Session of the Georgia General Assembly which provides for an amendment to amend Title 40, Chapter 6, Article 3 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, for the purpose of providing greater safety for bicyclists, motorists and pedestrians, and for
other purposes.

Let a copy of this Resolution be forwarded to all state legislators serving the City of Roswell.

The above resolution was read and approved by the Mayor and Council of the City of Roswell, Georgia on the 14th day of February, 2011.

City of Dunwoody backs HB 180

The City of Dunwoody unanimously passed a resolution supporting HB 180, the “Tony Serrano Three Feet Safe Passing Act” bill. The City of Roswell, a silver-level Bicycle Friendly Community, has also passed a resolution in support of this legislation. Let us know if your community is pursuing a similar resolution!

Many thanks to Dunwoody’s bicycle advocates and City Council for this emphatic support of safer cycling in Georgia!

The “Helping Johnny W

Georgia Bikes! is very happy to introduce the “Helping Johnny Walk to School” grant blog! The “Helping Johnny Walk to School” grant provided $6,000 to Georgia Bikes! to research the effects of minimum acreage standards and to host a forum to discuss policy recommendations with the Georgia Safe Routes to School Network.

This blog will share our progress and efforts toward improving the walkability and bikability of Georgia’s schools. To bring you up to speed on this program, I’m posting the Executive Summary of a white paper produced by our program’s lead consultant, Mr. John Kissane:

In the fall of 2009, GeorgiaBikes! and the Georgia Safe Routes to School State Network were together selected by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to participate in the grant project known as Helping Johnny Walk to School: Sustaining Communities through Smart School Policy.

The story of public education in the United States is one of the great achievements in our nation’s history. And key to educational efforts and successes have been relationships developed between our schools and our communities. All across the country, towns and cities both large and small have seen neighborhoods develop around school buildings, familiar structures that have served as community anchors and have in many ways functioned as centers of activity. What would our neighborhoods and towns be without public schools? It is impossible to comprehend.

And yet, in 2000 the National Trust for Historic Preservation placed historic neighborhood schools on that year’s list of “America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.” All across the country, plans to close or even demolish school buildings are announced regularly. The consequences of these actions go beyond the architectural losses and educational upheaval, and in many cases involve significant cultural and environmental change as well as detrimental health impacts.

During the 2007-2008 school year, no fewer than 98,916 public elementary and secondary schools were in operation across the country, attended by more than 50 million students. The U.S. Department of Education estimates that the student population will top 60 million by 2030. Less certain is how many school buildings will be open by that time, for while the number of students has risen steadily, the number of schools is dwindling. Consider that in 1930 some 262,000 schools were open in the U.S. and that today the total is not much more than one-third this number at under 95,000. Obviously the average school size has grown tremendously over the past 80 years, as have average class sizes.

Many of the disturbing national demographic, economic, and educational trends may be observed in Georgia, a state composed of towns of all sizes — some large and getting larger, some small and getting smaller. Many other communities in Georgia are barely holding their own, and all face the realities of these difficult economic times. Metropolitan Atlanta’s dramatic growth and expansion over the past several decades has overshadowed conditions elsewhere. Between 1980 and 2004, the Atlanta region virtually doubled in population, from 2.55 million to 5.03 million. While the City of Atlanta itself lost nearly one-seventh of its population during this period, the inner and outer suburbs experienced massive growth. At the same time, many parts of Georgia continue to be very rural in character and have experienced prolonged periods of economic stagnation and population decline.

Georgia is a state of contrasts when it comes to demographics and economic health. Here one finds severe inner city decline in contrast to remarkable suburban growth which is in turn contrasted by stagnating small towns and rural areas. Common to all parts of the state is the need to educate children and provide the very best school facilities possible. Decision-making about locations and uses of school facilities – known as school siting — is important not only for students but for all residents of the state.

This project aims to examine policies and practices in Georgia that are serving as barriers to community-centered schools, and to then make recommendations for change.

Stay tuned for more blog posts on this exciting project from the “Helping Johnny Walk to School” grant steering committee!

McKilip introduces bicycling bills

State Rep. Doug McKillip (R – Athens) has introduced two pieces of legislation this year concerning bicycles: a “better bicycling bill,” which will bring Georgia’s laws up to date on a range of cycling issues, and a “sidewalk cycling” bill. 

Georgia Bikes! is very appreciative of Rep McKillip’s interest in and advocacy for improved bicycle safety. Nevertheless, we must convey our reservations about the encouragement of bicycling on sidewalks. Though it may seem counter-intuitive to non-cyclists or casual riders, bicycling on the sidewalk is demonstrably less safe. For those under 12 and for the elderly, sidewalk cycling may be a safer option than on-road cycling in certain conditions, but overall, cyclists are much safer riding predictably on the road and with the flow of motor vehicle traffic.

Georgia Bikes! is also concerned that allowing communities to permit sidewalk bicycling will eliminate opportunities for creating truly safe, dedicated bicycle infrastructure. It’s easy to imagine communities adopting a “Well, they can just ride on the sidewalk” mentality when local advocates push for bicycle accommodations. At root, McKillip’s sidewalk cycling bill addresses a very real issue: in many areas, Georgia’s transportation infrastructure does not adequately or safely accommodate multiple modes of transportation, including walking and biking.

Rather than push for allowing bicycles on facilities designed for pedestrian travel, Georgia Bikes! hopes the legislature will instead adopt a more comprehensive view of transportation in the state, one which create safe and accessible facilities for a range of public road users.

More coverage from the Florida Times-Union.