Throughout May we are celebrating National Bike Month 2020 by sharing information on bicycle advocacy organizations around the state that are working to improve conditions for people who ride bikes in their communities. We’ll learn more about the cities they serve, their missions and goals, and how they are adapting their efforts during the pandemic. To learn more about bicycle advocacy groups in Georgia, visit our directory.
Bike Month Advocacy Organization Profile: Brookhaven Bike Alliance
Tell us about your organization, your mission, and your community.
The Brookhaven Bike Alliance was formed in 2017 with the goal to make bike riding safe and accessible for everyone in Brookhaven. We have a core leadership team of eight people and a closed Facebook group with 400 members. Brookhaven is a new (Incorporated in 2012) inside the perimeter Atlanta suburb straddling Peachtree Road and I-85, just north of Buckhead/Lenox. It is centered on a MARTA station, and has a mix of quiet residential roads and busy arterials. A number of well-traveled bike routes cut through the Capital City Club and Silver Lake areas of Brookhaven.
Before the pandemic, what were your major goals, events, or initiatives for 2020?
- Advocate for Complete Streets policy
- Establish metric to document bike infrastructure and connectivity and compare with surrounding cities
- Build grass root support though community activities
- Monday Night Ride
- Community bike rides (Spring tune up, Pedal the Parks, Thankful ride)
- Bike education and service (Cherry Blossom and Arts Festival Service stations)
- Educate and strengthen relationships with city staff
- Help the city achieve Bicycle Friendly Community status with the League of American Bicyclists
How have you adapted your plans to continue amid the pandemic?
We had to cancel or modify some of the already planned activities and added new activities to tap in to the community’s desire to exercise in close proximity of their homes. Spring Bike Tune up and and bike service station at Brookhaven Cherry Blossom festival were cancelled. Monday Night rides are suspended and Pedal the Parks was moved from April 28 to Oct. 4. Our Bike Parade to the farmers market was altered by using social media to encourage people to bike solo to the Farmers market, as opposed to a bike parade.
New events included Earth Day Pedal to the Parks Challenge (solo) and the Brookhaven Parks and Photo Challenge in honor of Bike Month (contest runs through the end of May). Our monthly meetings changed to Zoom meetings and our meetings with city officials and city council have been postponed to provide space for the officials to handle the pandemic.
How has your community changed during the pandemic? Do you see more people biking, walking, and rolling for recreation and transportation?
Yes, we see a lot more families biking and what I personally love is that so many children, mostly siblings, are riding their bikes by themselves, really enjoying the freedom a bike gives to children. Also based on questions on where to buy a bike, get bike tune ups etc. on our closed Facebook page, we know that people are reinventing biking. I believe the majority of what we see is for recreation.