The Georgia Bikes Blog

GA Gives Day

November 17th is Georgia Gives Day, a statewide celebration of nonprofits and charities that do important work to make Georgia a safer, healthier, more just state. If you support our mission to promote and improve bicycling throughout Georgia, please make a tax-deductible gift. Thank you for your generous support!

South GA Regional Commission Receives National Award for Transportation Planning

Congrats to our friends at SGRC!

Exciting news via press release:

The Southern Georgia Regional Commission, as the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Valdosta and Lowndes County, received the National Award for Outstanding Overall Achievement in Metropolitan Transportation Planning for cities under 200,000 population last week in Fort Worth, Texas at the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations Annual Conference.

The award recognizes the work of local governments to develop an innovative planning process and coordinate local and regional planning efforts for the benefit of the greater community. In 2013, the SGRC started a nearly 30 month process to update our long-range transportation plan. Local leaders saw the opportunity to combine the efforts of a socioeconomic data study and developing a vision and goals with other planning efforts underway in the community, including a comprehensive plan and a housing plan. The staff of the SGRC led the efforts for the development of a Common Community Vision for Lowndes County alongside the 2040 Transportation Vision Plan.

The 2040 Transportation Vision Plan includes 18 goals that relate to the ways in which transportation can positively impact education, workforce development, public health and safety, natural resources, tourism, and utility infrastructure. Building on the successful public and stakeholder involvement that took place during the development of the Common Community Vision, the input for the Transportation Vision Plan for the Valdosta-Lowndes County MPO included sessions where the public could vote on transportation projects, prioritize the transportation goals, and vote on the allocation of more than $1 Billion in transportation funds over the next 25 years. This input helped our local leaders prioritize and develop a Transportation Vision Plan. This Plan includes a Complete Streets Strategy, an Intersection Improvement Strategy that prioritizes safety, and an Active, Healthy Lifestyles Strategy that encourages each local government to spend at least $500,000 annually on bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and safety education programs such as Safe Routes to School.

Bicycling Thomasville, GA - Past & Future

In the Spring 2016 issue of Georgia Backroads magazine, authors William Warren Rogers and Robert Holladay describe a "bicycle craze" that swept through Thomasville, GA in the 1890's, prompting construction of "wide pathways, trails and circular tracks linked to the town’s network of existing roads" for people riding bikes.

Like many cities in the US at the time, residents and visitors to Thomasville "enthusiastically embraced a new mode of transportation called the bicycle." Bicycles seemed to find an especially receptive audience in Thomasville, a south Georgia city popular with tourists who believed its "pine-scented air held the promise of physical improvement."

The article goes on to describe a vibrant, bike-friendly atmosphere in Thomasville:

Men and women contributed to bicycling’s phenomenal popularity in Thomas County. For any number of reasons — utilitarian, sport, or simple pleasure — bicycles immediately became popular. It was a natural fit for guests searching for relaxation, restoration, and pleasure in a warm and varied setting. In l886 a local resident wrote in the Thomasville Times, “This mode of transportation is growing in popularity everywhere.”

Today, a new generation of bicyclists in Thomasville is looking to revive this healthy, enjoyable form of transportation and recreation. I Bike Thomasville, an emerging advocacy organization, just started an online petition calling for a Complete Streets conversion of a local street to make it safer for families who want to walk and bike.

For the full, fascinating story on bicycling's heyday in south Georgia, check out the full article here.

State grants available for bicycle safety programs

The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety offers annual grants for Pedestrian and Bicycle safety programs. For more information on applying for the GOHS Grant for Bicycle and Pedestrian Programs, visit http://www.gahighwaysafety.org/grants/2017-rfp/

Work your way through all the headings under the “Grant” tab:

  • Grantee Information
  • Application Process
  • Become a Partner
  • Best Practices
  • Georgia Highway Safety Plan

Applicants are required to attend a mandatory training for Potential Grantees. The RFP for the program, training, and proposal deadline is early Spring. For updates, keep an eye on GOHS’s website, http://www.gahighwaysafety.org/grants/2017-rfp/

Here is an outline of the key areas that are included in the application. As you begin to make considerations about the various aspects of your program and offerings, consider only numerically measurable objectives and activities as anecdotal assessments are not eligible.

  • Identify the problem you plan to address in clear, concise, and descriptive fashion.
  • Identify community resources and provide an assessment of their impact and effectiveness.
  • Identify the Objective- what you plan to do), Activit(ies)- steps to accomplish each objective, and Evaluation- comprehensive evaluation of each activity.
  • Describe your Media Plan for announcing your receipt of the award and throughout the project period.
  • Provide a list of the resources required to accomplish the objectives of your project. Include personnel, equipment, supplies, training, public information education materials, etc. Describe how resources will be used and who will use them.
  • Provide a roadmap of how your program will become self-sufficient.
  • Develop a budget that will cover program costs.
  • Develop a Milestone Chart of monthly activities to accomplish project Objectives and Activities that will be evaluated.

GOHS acknowledges that each applicant is unique and will address a variety of safety issues and concerns. As a result there is not one way to conduct programs or one methodology. However they dedicated part of their website to provide guidance so that applicants do not “reinvent the wheel” but can take note of successful practices.

If you have specific questions as you begin to think through your program and application, contact Jessica Driver, Bicycle and Pedestrian Planner at GOHS with your inquiry:, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Macon, GA to coordinate largest ever pop-up bike network

A thrilling press release from our friends at NewTown Macon:

Macon Connects Street Makeover Will Bring Temporary Bike Network and Public Space Improvements to Downtown Macon 

On September 16 and 17, 2016, Macon will launch the largest network of temporary bike lanes ever constructed. The connected and accessible grid of bike lanes are coming to Downtown Macon as part of the Macon Connects Street Makeover. The Street Makeover route covers more than six miles and runs along eight corridors in Downtown Macon. A complete map of the route is available athttp://tinyurl.com/maconconnectsconcept.

The Macon Connects Street Makeover is a massive undertaking, requiring the help of hundreds of volunteers. Community members interested in volunteering to help build the bike network or host street activities can sign up online at http://tinyurl.com/streetmakeover.  

The Macon Connects Street Makeover will enhance connectivity and mobility in Macon through creative street activations in addition to the temporary bike lanes. Residents are invited to come and experience what it would be like to have safer and more vibrant streets for walking and biking. The ribbon cutting will be held Friday, September 16 at 5:30PM on the corner of Poplar and Third Streets. A bike tour of the infrastructure will leave at 6:00PM, with a family-friendly bike parade following at 6:30PM.  

“The Macon Connects Street Makeover is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for people to make their ideas to improve our city come to life,” says Josh Rogers, President and CEO of NewTown Macon. “With these temporary prototypes, we can experiment with new and creative ideas to improve safety, livability, and connectivity in Macon. This is an exciting chance to show that small, inexpensive changes can dramatically improve conditions for walking and cycling in our community.” 

The on-street experiments will be evaluated based on reactions and feedback from community members, which will be recorded in a final report along with recommendations for next steps that local leaders can take to make permanent improvements to urban mobility and street life. This initiative builds on the data and directives that came out of the 2015 Macon Action Plan (MAP), funded by the Peyton Anderson Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. MAP set out four overarching goals for Macon’s Urban Core, one of which is to Cultivate Connectivity.   

The Macon Connects Street Makeover is the second phase of the Macon Connects initiative, which is designed to improve connectivity and civic engagement in the city. Macon Connects began with an Ideas Festival in June 2016. The Ideas Festival invited residents to provide ideas to improve mobility and connectivity in Macon. More than 1,100 people attended events during Ideas Festival, and contributed 430 creative ideas to improve mobility.  

For updates on the Macon Connects Street Makeover schedule and to access the community engagement report, visit the Macon Connects website at: newtownmacon.com/macon-connects 

ABOUT MACON CONNECTS 

The Macon Connects team is led by NewTown Macon and Macon-Bibb County (Macon-Bibb County Urban Development Authority, Main Street Macon, Department of Parks and Beautification), with support from Bike Walk Macon. Rapid urban prototyping and community engagement services are being provided by Better Block Foundation and 8 80 Cities, respectively. The project is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation through their Knight Cities Challenge. Macon Connects was selected from a pool of more than 4,500 entries into the nation-wide competition.  

MEDIA CONTACT 

Josh Rogers, President & CEO, NewTown Macon 

e: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | p: 478-722-9909 

Subcategories

Subscribe to the Blog