The Georgia Bikes Blog

Call on GA lawmakers to enact a Vulnerable Road User law

On the heels of the latest outrageous act of violence against a bicyclist by a motorist, we are calling on Georgia citizens to join us in our demand for a Vulnerable Road User law, which will define "vulnerable road users" (e.g. bicyclists, pedestrians, emergency responders, road construction crews, etc) and will increase penalties for motorists who injure or kill those road users.

There are two ways you can add your voice:

1) Sign our Change.org petition online and share it with your friends and family.

or

2) Download and personalize this letter (also available in PDF)and send it to your state elected officials by mail or email. Better yet, call them or meet them in person to talk about this issue and express your strong support for a Vulnerable Road User law in Georgia. You can find your state senator and representative info here.

Thank you for helping us create a safer Georgia!

Custom, waterproof bike bags for sale

Our friends and neighbors at Tiny Tank Tech crafted these beautiful, rugged, 1-of-a-kind bike bags using vinyl banners we had left over from previous Georgia Bike Summits and Ride to the Capitol events. Check 'em out, and request yours by email. It's first-come-first-served, so act fast! :)

 

 

 

Safe Routes to School picks up steam at statewide forum

We were proud to be a part of this past Friday's inaugural Safe Routes to School statewide forum, held at Decatur High School.

Sponsored by GDOT and the GA Safe Routes to School Resource Center, this daylong conference featured workshops with speakers who covered a variety a topics on how our communities can be healthy, safe places for children to walk and bike to school.

Our Executive Director joined other panelists for a conversation on engaging law enforcement with SRTS programs.
 
Dr. Jim Lidstone, a Georgia Bikes board member, also spoke, sharing ideas for how colleges and universities can also promote Safe Routes to School.
 
Nearly 100 people from across Georgia travelled to Decatur for this first-time SRTS forum. We hope to see more events like this, and we look forward to sharing best practices for improving bicycle safety and access for Georgia's schoolchildren!

Hot on the heels of the forum, we received this GDOT announcement for an exciting project in Thomaston:

Safe Routes To Schools…
New Project Beginning Next Week to Improve Safety for Children Walking/Biking to School

THOMASTON – Georgia Department of Transportation announced today that work near the Chattahoochee 

County Education Center will begin Monday, June 16. Safe Routes to School projects are planned to enhance walking and bicycling opportunities; improving the health and well-being of children in grades K-8—including those with disabilities—by making it safe, convenient and fun to walk or bike to school every day.

In conjunction with the Georgia DOT and the Chattahoochee County School System, which sponsored the projects, this school will construct and improve campus-area facilities such as sidewalks and crosswalks and address safety issues by various programs – all designed to make it easier and safer for students to walk or bike to class.

This project was awarded to Robinson Paving Company of Columbus, GA for $444,096.22 and consists of adding 1700 linear feet of sidewalk along Broad Street, replacing the existing 1115 linear feet of sidewalk along Merrell Street, adding curb and gutter and storm drain pipes. This project will also add ADA ramps, resting benches, a bicycle rack at the School, School Zone flashing speed limit signage and pedestrian crossing signage.

The project is estimated to be completed by July 31, 2014; just in time for teachers to return to class on August 1. There will be minimal lane closures and advanced notice will be given when they occur.

“SRTS is a worthwhile program from many perspectives,” Thomas Howell, GDOT District Engineer commented.  “It can reduce those aggravating and pollution-generating waits to drop off or pick up children and at the same time, encourage our children to stay safe, active and physically fit.”

Safe Routes to School is a federally funded, national program to reduce congestion, improve safety and promote the health and well-being of children by enabling and encouraging them to walk and bicycle to school. With the support of parents, schools, community members and government, the program evaluates school area environments; conducts activities; and funds projects that improve safety, and reduce traffic and air pollution in the surrounding community - making walking and bicycling to school a safer and more appealing transportation option.

Planners, engineers & advocates learn benefits of RSAs

May 28-29, a team of transportation professionals and bicycle safety advocates from GA and SC convened in Athens for a 

free, Georgia Bikes-organized workshop on how to conduct Road Safety Audits. Mr. Craig Allred, and expert on RSAs from the Federal Highway Administration, led the workshop. 

Road Safety Audit (RSA) is the formal safety performance examination of an existing or future road or intersection by an independent, multidisciplinary team. It qualitatively estimates and reports on potential road safety issues and identifies opportunities for improvements in safety for ALL road users

 

The aim of an RSA is to answer the following questions:

  • What elements of the road may present a safety concern: to what extent, to which road users, and under what circumstances?
  • What opportunities exist to eliminate or mitigate identified safety concerns?

Road safety audits can be used in any phase of project development from planning and preliminary engineering, design and construction. RSAs can also be used on any sized project from minor intersection and roadway retrofits to mega-projects. GDOT has significant federal funding to conduct RSAs in Georgia and is eager to work with communities to schedule them. RSAs are coordinated by GDOT's Office of Traffic Operations, (404) 635-2828.

You can find out all about RSAs and how to conduct them here, or you can view PDFs of Mr. Allred's presentation via the links below:

Introduction to Bike-Ped Safety Issues

RSA Process Overview and Best Practices

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