MACORTS (Athens Region) Metropolitan Transportation Plan 2050 Update in Process

Metropolitan planning organizations (MPO) are federally designated to administer transportation planning and facilitate federal and state transportation investments within the region for all urban areas with over 50,000 residents. Every five years, MPOs are required to update their Metropolitan Transportation Plan, which covers a 20-year planning horizon and provides MPOs the opportunity to assess the existing transportation network, estimate future demands, and identify needs and future investments. 

The public input process is an important part of the MTP update that provides the project team with context about on-the-ground conditions and the needs of people who regularly use the region’s transportation infrastructure. Having an MTP that accurately reflects the needs of all who use the transportation system, no matter what mode they use, is a crucial step to building more complete, accessible, and safe roadways.

Below is our letter to the project team, our responses to survey questions, and details on how to participate. 

The public input survey is open through March 31 – don’t miss your opportunity to protect people who bike, walk, or roll in your community! 

New Mission and Vision

Georgia Bikes Announces Newly Adopted Mission and Vision

 

Through our work in policy and infrastructure advocacy, education, and direct assistance to local partners, Georgia Bikes has made the state a safer and more enjoyable place for bicycling since 2005.

 

Yet Georgia’s roads remain too dangerous, and not only for those of us who ride bicycles. People traveling outside of a car are more likely than drivers to experience traffic violence, so Georgia Bikes has officially added to our areas of impact by adopting new mission and vision statements. We’ve broadened our work to include both bicycle and pedestrian travel (including people who use mobility devices) and a recognition that safe, equitable transportation is essential to human dignity and quality of life for everyone statewide. Our formally expanded mission will guide the organization to “advance safe, equitable, and sustainable transportation and recreation as vital components of a thriving, livable Georgia.” Through this updated mission, we will work to achieve our new vision: “A Georgia where everyone has access to safe and enjoyable biking, walking, rolling, and transit.” 

 

The national Governors Highway Safety Association recently highlighted an alarming trend: fatalities among people walking are rapidly increasing across America, last year reaching their highest numbers since 1981. According to the report, Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State, deaths have risen by 77% since 2010 and now account for nearly one-fifth of all roadway fatalities nationwide. Recent years have seen a sharper uptick, with fatalities of people walking rising from 6,324 in 2019 to 7,508 in 2022 – a 19% jump in just three years. 

 

Danger is growing even more rapidly for Georgia’s pedestrians: fatalities in our state rose 40% from 2019 to 2022, climbing from 239 to 335 lives lost, a rate of increase more than doubling the national figure.

 

According to Georgia Bikes Executive Director, John Devine, AICP, “Georgia Bikes’ new mission and vision statements reflect the need to address the root causes of fatalities among vulnerable road users: roadway design and transportation policies that historically have prioritized motor vehicles while endangering people who bike, walk, or roll. With this broader mission and updated vision, we look forward to transforming transportation in our state and working toward a Georgia where everyone, no matter how they get around, is confident that they can do so safely and comfortably.”

 

Georgia Bikes remains as committed to our bicycling work as ever, and we will always fight for safe and enjoyable cycling. As illustrated by the League of American Bicyclists’ 2022 report card, bicycling conditions in Georgia – ranked 46 of 50 among states in cyclist fatalities – must be improved. Our recent work shows our commitment: we won substantial improvements in state law governing how motorists pass cyclists, we successfully applied to create a major federal/state partnership to fund Georgia’s first-ever Active Transportation Plan, and we’re now offering more Safe Cycling and Bicycle-Friendly Driver programming than ever before. 

 

“The future of advocacy – and transportation, itself – is multimodal,” Devine said. “Georgia Bikes is committed to creating a safer, more equitable, and more sustainable state for all road users.”