National Bike to Work Day is Friday, May 20!

National Bike to Work Day is this Friday, May 20th!

Find out about events in your area at the League of American Bicyclists’ website, or check with your local bicycle advocacy organization.

We’re celebrating National Bike Month by offering not one, but two exciting grant opportunities for bicycle advocates in Georgia:

1) Through the end of May, we’re accepting applications for the second round of our $1,500 seed grants. These grants help fund innovative and tangible improvements to bicycling conditions in Georgia’s communities.

2) We have also just announced the availability of 50% matching grants for bicycle signage, such as sharrow pavement markings and “share the road” signs. Applications for signage funds are due by June 30th. 

Good luck in your applications, and Happy Bike Month from your friends at Georgia Bikes!

Governor Deal Signs HB 101 into law

In the midst of National Bike MonthGovernor Nathan Deal signed HB 101, the “Better Bicycling Bill,” which, among other improvements to bicycling safety, establishes a 3 foot safe passing distance in Georgia!

Gov. Deal signs HB101 into law.

The changes made by HB 101 will go into effect on July 1, 2011.

Thanks to all of you who contacted legislators to express your support for safer bicycling conditions in Georgia!

Coverage of the bill signing from the AJC WSAV in Savannah.

HB 101 Passes

May 11th – Gov Deal signed HB 101 into law. April 14th, 2011 – HB 101 was approved by the House 150-9 with a 3 Foot Safe Passing amendment from the Senate.

A sincere and heartfelt thank you to all who contacted a Rep or Senator these past few weeks, and many thanks to Rep Doug McKillip of Athens for his capable sponsorship of HB 101. Thank you to Rep. Doug Holt (112th) for co-sponsoring the bill in the House. Thanks to Senator John Albers of Roswell for his addition of the three foot passing language, and thanks also to Senator Bill Cowsert (Athens) for his sponsorship of the bill in the Senate.

For the voting record, as well as the final and previous versions of the bill, go here.

Gov. Deal to Sign HB 101

Just in time for National Bike Month, Georgia’s roads will soon be safer for its many bicyclists. On May 11th, Governor Nathan Deal will endorse efforts to improve bicycling conditions and road safety in Georgia by signing HB 101, “The Better Bicycling Bill,” into law.

At a 4:30 PM signing ceremony in his capitol building office, Governor Deal will enact HB 101, joined by Board members and staff from Georgia Bikes!, the statewide bicycling advocacy group who pushed for passage of the bill.

HB 101 modernizes a host of outdated bicycling laws in the state code and also implements a number of significant improvements for bicyclist and motorist safety. 101 makes lawful the sale and use of clipless pedals and recumbent-style bicycles, both popular and widely used in Georgia, which are technically illegal under the old code. Other changes include recognition of bicyclists’ right-of-way in dedicated bike lanes, establishing minimum design guidelines for bicycle lanes, and clarifying circumstances under which a cyclist may take the full travel lane due to unsafe conditions or obstructions.

Most significantly, however, a Senate amendment to the bill defines three feet as the minimum safe passing distance for motor vehicles overtaking cyclists. With the adoption of this law, Georgia joins sixteen other states that have made a “three foot passing” commitment to bicycling safety. Motor vehicles passing a cyclist too closely, known as “buzzing,” are a serious factor in causing bicycle crashes.

In a addition to the Governor and huge majorities of in the Senate and House,  Lt. Governor Casey Cagle strongly supported HB 101. “This legislation updates some of Georgia’s cycling laws and includes the critically important three-foot minimum passing distance requirement,” he says. “Under this new law, both cyclists and motorists will all be able to operate on Georgia’s roads more safely.”

Georgia Bikes’ Executive Director Brent Buice also applauds the enactment of bill, noting that “the three foot passing provision in HB 101 is a tremendous safety improvement for Georgia’s cyclists. HB 101 will help create the conditions that surveys show Georgians want: safer, more comfortable conditions for cycling.”

Three Georgia Cities Recognized as “Bicycle Friendly Communities”

Just in time for National Bike Month, the League of American Bicyclists unveiled its updated list of Bicycle Friendly Communities, and this year saw a tripling of Georgia cities on the list!

A resounding congratulations to Athens-Clarke County, Roswell, and Tybee Island, who were all recognized at the Bronze level for their commitments to improving bicycle facilities, safety, & enforcement! Roswell, for a time the state’s only designtaed BFC, is in good company with these recent additions.

Congratulations as well to  Peachtree City, which received an Honorable Mention for its efforts to incorporate bicycling into its transportation infrastructure, and to Emory University, recognized earlier this year as Georgia’s first (and only) Bicycle Friendly University.