The Georgia Bikes Blog

Governor Deal Signs HB 101 into law

 

In the midst of National Bike Month, Governor Nathan Deal signed HB 101, the "Better Bicycling Bill," which, among other improvements to bicycling safety, establishes a 3 foot safe passing distance in Georgia!

The changes made by HB 101 will go into effect on July 1, 2011.

Thanks to all of you who contacted legislators to express your support for safer bicycling conditions in Georgia!

Coverage of the bill signing from the AJC & WSAV in Savannah.

gov_deal_signing_hb_101

Deal to Sign HB 101

Just in time for National Bike Month, Georgia’s roads will soon be safer for its many bicyclists. On May 11th, Governor Nathan Deal will endorse efforts to improve bicycling conditions and road safety in Georgia by signing HB 101, “The Better Bicycling Bill,” into law.

At a 4:30 PM signing ceremony in his capitol building office, Governor Deal will enact HB 101, joined by Board members and staff from Georgia Bikes!, the statewide bicycling advocacy group who pushed for passage of the bill.

HB 101 modernizes a host of outdated bicycling laws in the state code and also implements a number of significant improvements for bicyclist and motorist safety. 101 makes lawful the sale and use of clipless pedals and recumbent-style bicycles, both popular and widely used in Georgia, which are technically illegal under the old code. Other changes include recognition of bicyclists’ right-of-way in dedicated bike lanes, establishing minimum design guidelines for bicycle lanes, and clarifying circumstances under which a cyclist may take the full travel lane due to unsafe conditions or obstructions.

Most significantly, however, a Senate amendment to the bill defines three feet as the minimum safe passing distance for motor vehicles overtaking cyclists. With the adoption of this law, Georgia joins sixteen other states that have made a “three foot passing” commitment to bicycling safety. Motor vehicles passing a cyclist too closely, known as “buzzing,” are a serious factor in causing bicycle crashes.

In a addition to the Governor and huge majorities of in the Senate and House,  Lt. Governor Casey Cagle strongly supported HB 101. “This legislation updates some of Georgia’s cycling laws and includes the critically important three-foot minimum passing distance requirement,” he says. “Under this new law, both cyclists and motorists will all be able to operate on Georgia’s roads more safely.”

Georgia Bikes’ Executive Director Brent Buice also applauds the enactment of bill, noting that “the three foot passing provision in HB 101 is a tremendous safety improvement for Georgia’s cyclists. HB 101 will help create the conditions that surveys show Georgians want: safer, more comfortable conditions for cycling.”

FHWA announces $442 milion in grant funds

Heads up, GA bike advocates!

The Federal Highway Administration has just announced that $442 million in grant funding is now available for transportation projects. Many of their funding categories can include bike/ped projects. If you've been looking for a funding source for a project in your community, this link is well worth a look. Good luck, and let us know if you pursue these funds!

Full details and suggestions from the League of American Bicyclists here:
http://www.bikeleague.org/blog/2011/05/from-earmarks-to-applications-%E2%80%93-fhwa-announces-422-million-in-grant-opportunities/

3 GA Cities Recognized as "Bicycle Friendly Communities"

 

Just in time for National Bike Month, the League of American Bicyclists unveiled its updated list of Bicycle Friendly Communities, and this year saw a tripling of Georgia cities on the list!

A resounding congratulations to Athens-Clarke County, Roswell, and Tybee Island, who were all recognized at the Bronze level for their commitments to improving bicycle facilities, safety, & enforcement! Roswell, for a time the state's only designtaed BFC, is in good company with these recent additions.

Congratulations as well to  Peachtree City, which received an Honorable Mention for its efforts to incoporate bicycling into its transportation infrastructure, and to Emory University, recognized earlier this year as Georgia's first (and only) Bicycle Friendly University.

"Bikeconomics" series

Grist, an online magazine, has produced a series of articles on "how bicycling will save the economy - if we let it!"

Bicycle transportation is good for a lot of things—it’s healthy, it’s green, it’s quiet, it’s fun, it builds community. It also makes financial sense, and the magnitude of bicycling’s economic impact gets far less attention than it deserves. In the Bikenomics series, Elly Blue explores the scope of that impact, from personal finance to local economies to the big picture of the national budget. In the grassroots and on a policy level, the bicycle is emerging as an effective engine of economic recovery.

The whole series is a very worthwhile read! Check it out here: http://www.grist.org/article/series/bikenomics

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