Report: GA 45th in US for Bike Safety

Georgia Ranked 45th in Nation for Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety, Report Shows

Georgia ranks 45th among states for bicycling and pedestrian safety, according to a report released today by theReport: GA 45th in US for Bike Safety Alliance for Biking & WalkingBicycling and Walking in the U.S.: 2012 Benchmarking Report shows that while 0.2% of work trips in Georgia are by bicycle or foot, bicyclists and pedestrians account for over 10% of traffic fatalities in the state.

Lack of investment in bicycling and walking could be to blame. While 12 percent of trips in the U.S. are by bike or foot, 14 percent of traffic fatalities are bicyclists and pedestrians, and pedestrian and bicycle projects receive less than 2 percent of federal transportation dollars.

“A much greater investment is needed in biking and walking to increase active transportation,” says Jeffrey Miller, Alliance President/CEO. “The Benchmarking Report shows that biking and walking are smart and cost-effective solutions that will pay for themselves many times over in healthcare savings and impact on local economies.”

Georgia spends just 1.75% of its federal transportation dollars on biking and walking. This amounts to just $2.50 per person.

“Since 1990, Georgia has witnessed a 111% increase in the popularity of cycling, for both recreation and transportation, but, as a state, we fail to capitalize on available funding for bicycle and pedestrian facilities, which create jobs, improve property values, and promote physical activity,” said Brent Buice, Executive Director of Georgia Bikes.

Last year, Georgia Bikes and the University of Georgia conducted a statewide survey, which found overwhelming support for better bicycling accommodations and conditions among adult Georgians. This March, Georgia Bikes will co-host the 7th annual Ride to the Capitol event, bringing thousands of riders to the gold dome in Atlanta to rally for more funding and a top-down commitment to safe and accessible active transportation options.

While lack of investment in bicycling and walking has caused thousands of preventable deaths across the U.S., many Georgia communities are waking up to the many benefits of encouraging walking and bicycling.

Recent headlines out of Atlanta demonstrate a strong push toward sustainability and safer streets for all users. Gainesville recently announced a new bicycle and pedestrian path that will link Gainesville State to the rest of the community, while Columbus, Savannah, and Augusta are also making headway to improving safety and access for walkers and cyclists. In 2011, Athens-Clarke County and Tybee Island joined Roswell as Georgia’s newest official “Bicycle Friendly Communities.” Several other cities, including Conyers and Peachtree City, are pursuing this designation as well.

“The benefits to Georgia of increased biking and walking are clear: better quality of life, sustainable economic activity, and improved public health, an important consideration for a state with almost a third of its adult population considered obese,” says Buice. “We know what we need to do and how to do it. We just need leadership that places a higher priority on walking and biking in Georgia.”

“Bicycling and Walking in the U.S.: 2012 Benchmarking Report” was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and made possible through additional support from AARP and Planet Bike. For more information and to download the report visit

Thanks in part to Georgia’s “Share the Road” specialty license plate revenue, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) is once again supporting statewide bicycle safety initiatives in Georgia. GOHS has awarded over $164,000 for bicycle safety programs and awareness campaigns in 2012. This grant represents a second year of program funding to Georgia Bikes and partner nonprofits across the state.

Programs enabled by the Share the Road Tag Grant include:

  • Organizational support for the statewide bicycle safety organization, Georgia Bikes, as well as for outreach and educational activities in Atlanta (Atlanta Bicycle Coalition), Athens (BikeAthens), and Savannah (Savannah Bicycle Campaign).
  • Professional video broadcast PSAs to encourage safe road sharing through lawful, respectful driving and bicycling behaviors
  • Seed grants for new and emerging local bicycle advocacy organizations in Georgia
  • Funding for Share the Road signs and “sharrow” lane markings in Georgia communities

Support from last year’s Share the Road grant allowed Georgia Bikes to

  • Conduct the first ever statewide survey on Georgians’ attitudes towards bicycling issues
  • Distribute $15,000 to new and emerging local bicycle advocacy organizations in the state
  • Award $14,000 in matching funds to six Georgia communities for the installation of Share the Road signs and “sharrow” lane markings

Great Events In Store for Winter 2012

Georgia Bikes hopes you enjoyed your holiday season and are looking forward to prime spring riding weather. In the meantime, we have several exciting events lined up to carry you through the rest of winter:

1) Film Screening: Bicycle Dreams
February 22nd, 7 PM at the Plaza Theatre in Atlanta

Bicycle Dreams, the award-winning feature-length documentary about the Race Across America (RAAM), will premiere in Atlanta at the Plaza Theatre on Wednesday, February 22 at 7 p.m. as part of the film’s ongoing nationwide winter tour. The screening is presented as a benefit for the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition and Georgia Bikes and is co-sponsored by the Southern Bicycle League and Free-Flite Bicycles.

The film, which has won numerous awards at film festivals all over the world, “is an up-close look at what RAAM riders go through,” says Stephen Auerbach, the director and producer of Bicycle Dreams.

Tickets will be $11 in advance and $15 at the door the night of the show. To purchase advance tickets, order online at The Plaza Theatre is located at 1049 Ponce De Leon Ave, Atlanta, GA.

2) Ride Across America for Safe Routes Comes to Georgia!
February 23-26, Augusta/Athens/Atlanta

Four ambitious women are undertaking a cross country endurance ride to raise $50,000 for the League’s Bike Friendly America program and for Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs in local communities. In addition, the RASR Team will advocate the critical need for bike safety and promote the public health benefits of bicycling through events with local bicycle groups and SRTS programs in communities along their route.
These intrepid ladies plan to ride from Augusta to Athens on February 23rd and then to Atlanta the next day. They will roll out from Atlanta to Birmingham soon after. Anyone supportive of their efforts is invited to ride along for as much of the route as they like. See the RASR website at or contact for more information on the Ride and to support a future of bike-friendly communities.

3) 7th Annual Georgia Rides to the Capitol
Tuesday, March 27, 2012, 8:00 AM – Noon
Groups rides to Atlanta from Decatur, Roswell, and other metro locations

Join over a thousand fellow cyclists of all ages for relaxed, police-escorted rides to the state capitol building in downtown Atlanta. At the gold dome, we will host an energizing rally to show state leaders that better bicycling conditions and “Complete Streets” are vital for Georgia! Mark your calendar and check here for details and registration.

4) 2012 Spring Riding Season Kick-Off & Social at the Silver Comet Trail
Saturday, March 31, 2012, Noon- 3 PM
Frankie’s Restaurant, 108 W Church St,  Rockmart, GA 30153

Georgia Bikes, BRAG, the Southern Bicycle League, Bike Roswell, Frankie’s Italian Restaurant, and New Belgium’s Fat Tire Beer are sponsoring a bicycling social event and ride to kick off the 2012 cycling season. Frankie’s is offering free bread sticks to all attendees, and New Belgium will provide free Fat Tire beer to participating adults. BRAG will provide free PowerAde.We hope you will join us for one or more of these exciting events!