The Georgia Bikes Blog

Check out GDOT's new design manual

The new Design Policy Manual from GDOT features a nice chapter on Bicycle & Pedestrian Accomodations (pdf).

Highlights:

There are two general types of bicycle facilities; on-road facilities including bike lanes or shared lanes; and off-road facilities such as shared-use paths, cycle tracks, or greenway trails. On-road facilities allow cyclists to circulate with traffic, allow easier access to destinations, and help cyclists behave more predictably. Off-road facilities may allow greater separation from high-speed traffic but need careful consideration at driveways, intersections, and constrained areas. These two facility types are not interchangeable and careful examination of their application should be conducted on a case-by-case basis. (emphasis added)

Bicycle accommodations shall be considered in all planning studies and included in all reconstruction, new construction, and capacity-adding projects that are located in areas with any of the following conditions:
• where there is an existing bicycle facility in place (including bike lanes, paths, shoulders, wide curb lane, and/or signage);
• if the project is on a state, regional, or local bike route; and
where there is a demonstrated need, with bicycle travel generators and destinations (i.e. urban areas, residential neighborhoods, commercial centers, schools, colleges, public parks, etc), or areas where such generators and destinations can be expected within the projected lifespan of the project. (emphasis added)

Bicycle accommodations should be considered on projects that are located in areas with any of the following conditions:
• within close proximity (i.e. 2 miles) to any school, college or university;
where a project will provide connectivity between two or more existing bikeways;
• where a local bike route is identified by a local government through a planning study;
• along bicycle routes that connect metropolitan areas and regional destinations;
on resurfacing projects in urban areas, the Department may consider restriping the roadway and narrowing travel lanes to provide additional shoulder width or wide curb lane. Restriping will be considered where space is available and where there is no significant history of sideswipe crashes. The Office of Maintenance will coordinate with the Office of Planning and Office of Traffic Operations to define an appropriate crash threshold for determining eligibility for restriping on a project-by-project basis;
• on projects where a bridge deck is being replaced or rehabilitated with Federal financial participation, and where bicycles are permitted to operate at each end of the bridge, the bridge deck may be replaced or rehabilitated to provide safe bicycle accommodations; and
any location where engineering judgment or planning analysis determines a need. (emphasis added)

Take a look the whole document.

Many thanks to GDOT for their support of safe bicycling accomodations!

A Few (of the Many) Reasons We Need Community-Centered Schools

Having turned 50 last year, I can speak with some authority on the “good old days,” because I’m now officially good and old.  And in my childhood one of the really good things was having the freedom to walk and especially bike just about wherever I wanted to go. While I didn’t always want to go to school, I did always get there under my own power. Okay, not in sub-zero conditions – my parents showed pity for me on those mornings, if at no other time. I grew up in Iowa and every winter it got plenty cold, but the vast majority of the time I walked or biked to school, and everywhere else.

So I don’t need to be convinced that one of the absolutely beautiful things about neighborhood-centered schools is that they enable children to get daily exercise and experience the freedom that comes from walking and biking. Face it, no freedom comes from sitting in a tin box driven by parents or some stressed-out bus driver. And kids who grow up moving around under their own power are fairly likely to continue doing so as adults. If you wonder why childhood obesity rates are soaring, one clear reason is that fewer and fewer children are walking and biking to school.

Of course these days many children live too far from their schools to have options. A startling statistic is that approximately $20 billion is spent every year busing some 25 million children to school. If my math is correct that’s about $800 per child, or nearly $4.50 per school day (assuming a 180-day school year), money that would be better spent on education rather than transportation. Add in what’s spent by those parents who drive their children to school and we’re talking a tremendous amount of money.

Exercise, freedom and transportation savings -- just three reasons we need to work for community-centered schools. There are many others, all worth thinking about and convincing decision-makers to comprehend.

- John Kissane

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