The Georgia Bikes Blog

Bicycling Thomasville, GA - Past & Future

In the Spring 2016 issue of Georgia Backroads magazine, authors William Warren Rogers and Robert Holladay describe a "bicycle craze" that swept through Thomasville, GA in the 1890's, prompting construction of "wide pathways, trails and circular tracks linked to the town’s network of existing roads" for people riding bikes.

Like many cities in the US at the time, residents and visitors to Thomasville "enthusiastically embraced a new mode of transportation called the bicycle." Bicycles seemed to find an especially receptive audience in Thomasville, a south Georgia city popular with tourists who believed its "pine-scented air held the promise of physical improvement."

The article goes on to describe a vibrant, bike-friendly atmosphere in Thomasville:

Men and women contributed to bicycling’s phenomenal popularity in Thomas County. For any number of reasons — utilitarian, sport, or simple pleasure — bicycles immediately became popular. It was a natural fit for guests searching for relaxation, restoration, and pleasure in a warm and varied setting. In l886 a local resident wrote in the Thomasville Times, “This mode of transportation is growing in popularity everywhere.”

Today, a new generation of bicyclists in Thomasville is looking to revive this healthy, enjoyable form of transportation and recreation. I Bike Thomasville, an emerging advocacy organization, just started an online petition calling for a Complete Streets conversion of a local street to make it safer for families who want to walk and bike.

For the full, fascinating story on bicycling's heyday in south Georgia, check out the full article here.

State grants available for bicycle safety programs

The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety offers annual grants for Pedestrian and Bicycle safety programs. For more information on applying for the GOHS Grant for Bicycle and Pedestrian Programs, visit http://www.gahighwaysafety.org/grants/2017-rfp/

Work your way through all the headings under the “Grant” tab:

  • Grantee Information
  • Application Process
  • Become a Partner
  • Best Practices
  • Georgia Highway Safety Plan

Applicants are required to attend a mandatory training for Potential Grantees. The RFP for the program, training, and proposal deadline is early Spring. For updates, keep an eye on GOHS’s website, http://www.gahighwaysafety.org/grants/2017-rfp/

Here is an outline of the key areas that are included in the application. As you begin to make considerations about the various aspects of your program and offerings, consider only numerically measurable objectives and activities as anecdotal assessments are not eligible.

  • Identify the problem you plan to address in clear, concise, and descriptive fashion.
  • Identify community resources and provide an assessment of their impact and effectiveness.
  • Identify the Objective- what you plan to do), Activit(ies)- steps to accomplish each objective, and Evaluation- comprehensive evaluation of each activity.
  • Describe your Media Plan for announcing your receipt of the award and throughout the project period.
  • Provide a list of the resources required to accomplish the objectives of your project. Include personnel, equipment, supplies, training, public information education materials, etc. Describe how resources will be used and who will use them.
  • Provide a roadmap of how your program will become self-sufficient.
  • Develop a budget that will cover program costs.
  • Develop a Milestone Chart of monthly activities to accomplish project Objectives and Activities that will be evaluated.

GOHS acknowledges that each applicant is unique and will address a variety of safety issues and concerns. As a result there is not one way to conduct programs or one methodology. However they dedicated part of their website to provide guidance so that applicants do not “reinvent the wheel” but can take note of successful practices.

If you have specific questions as you begin to think through your program and application, contact Jessica Driver, Bicycle and Pedestrian Planner at GOHS with your inquiry:, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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