The Georgia Bikes Blog

GDOT hosting free road diet seminars in Macon, Statesboro

Announcement from GDOT:
Georgia Local Technical Assistance Program: Seminar on "Road Diets"
  • April 6, 2016, Middle Georgia College, 100 University Pkwy, Professional Science Center Room 238A  Macon, GA

  • April 7, 2016, Ogeechee Technical College, One Joseph E. Kennedy Blvd,  Natural Resource Building Room 1205, Statesboro, GA

Improved safety and congestion relief on public roadways are high-priority national goals.  Innovative reconfigurations such as Road Diets can help achieve these goals for motorists and non-motorists on mixed-use streets by reducing vehicle speeds and freeing space for alternative modes. Road diets can reduce collisions, increase mobility and access, and improve a community’s quality of life.
Road Diets can make the roadway environment safer for all users. Studies indicate a 19 to 47 percent reduction in overall crashes when a Road Diet is installed on a previously four-lane undivided facility. For pedestrians, Road Diets result in fewer lanes to cross and provide an opportunity to install refuge islands that slow vehicles in the midblock crossing area, which is where 70 percent of pedestrian fatalities occur. 
Road Diets make efficient use of the roadway cross-section. The majority are installed on existing pavement within the right-of-way. When planned in conjunction with reconstruction or simple overlay projects, the safety and operational benefits of Road Diets are achieved essentially for the cost of restriping pavement lanes. 
Road Diets can make shared spaces more livable and contribute to a community-focused, Complete Streets environment. On-street parking and bike lanes can also bring increased foot traffic to business districts. 
Six PDH’s will be awarded. Register on-line via the Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP)  or call the LTAP Office @ 404-507-3436.  
There’s no charge to attend this workshop, however class size is limited.

Strong support for Complete Streets in GA cities

Thanks to generous support from Voices for Healthy Kids, we conducted Georgia's first ever multi-city public opinion poll on people's attitudes toward Complete Streets policies and creating safer streets and neighborhoods for walking and biking

The polling focused on likely voters in five Georgia cities: Athens, Augusta, Columbus, Macon, and Savannah. Telephone interviews and data analysis were managed by Public Opinion Strategies, one of the nation’s leading public opinion research firms specializing in political, public affairs, public policy, and corporate positioning research.

So, what did we find out?

  1. Voters in these five Georgia cities overwhelmingly support (84%+) Complete Streets policies that encourage cities to create safe crosswalks, sidewalks, and protected bike lanes. The support crosses partisan and racial lines and is very strong among both men and women.
  2. There is also strong support (86%) for investing transportation dollars in street safety improvements like sidewalks and protected bike lanes.
  3. Message-wise, voters support Complete Streets policies primarily to foster safer routes for children to walk or bike to school, but other compelling messages include the need for low-income residents to have safe transportation options and the need for attractive streets and neighborhoods that allow people to walk or bike to community destinations like downtown business districts, shopping centers and parks.
  4. Notably, anti-Complete Streets messages, such as "Investing in bike lanes and sidewalks takes away from more important issues like law enforcement," do not resonate with voters, regardless of their background. 
  5. Georgians support slower motor vehicle speeds in cities to foster safer streets for people who walk and ride bicycles.

Why is this information valuable?

If you are a local elected official, advocate, or supporter of Complete Streets, this new polling data indicates, quite clearly, that Georgians are in favor of more sidewalks, crosswalks and protected bike lanes...and they are willing to dedicate public funds for them.

Complete Streets policies can guide cities - and counties - to accommodate the safety and access of all road users in every phase of transportation project planning. An integrated, Complete Streets approach to transportation will lead incrementally, and affordably, to the kinds of streets and neighborhoods that Georgians want. Many Georgia cities already recognize this and recently have approved policies. The policies adopted by Gainesville and Savannah are among sixty-three such policies adopted nationwide in 2015.

If you are interested in reviewing the polling data in depth, please see the resources below:

This message was funded in part by a grant from Voices for Healthy Kids, an initiative of the American Heart Association.