The Georgia Bikes Blog

State of Bicycling in GA

When it comes to biking and walking, how does Georgia stack up?

A new report from the Alliance for Biking & Walking puts local and state efforts in perspective in Bicycling and Walking in the United States: 2016 Benchmarking Report.

The broad trend is clear: Walking and biking are on the rise across the United States. Active transportation has broken through into the mainstream conversation and been embraced by powerful stakeholders. But the real story is far more complex than a single trend line — or simple narrative.

Our transportation choices are significantly impacted by a wealth of different factors — from gender to income to available infrastructure — and a new report from the Alliance for Biking & Walking illuminates these often overlooked indicators that shape American mobility. 

Bicycling and Walking in the United States: 2016 Benchmarking Report collects and analyzes data from all 50 states, the 50 most populous U.S. cities, and 18 additional cities of various sizes. The report traces the rise of walking and biking and explores the intricate intersections between transportation, health, economics, equity, government funding, advocacy efforts — and so much more.

So, where does Georgia stand? See below for a quick summary, and check out the full Benchmarking Report for a complete analysis.

The bad news: Georgia's obesity crisis continues, our investment in safer places to walk and bike is fairly stagnant, and fatalities for Georgians who walk and bicycle continue to rise.

The Georgia Department of Transportation provides a daily report of fatalities - motorists, pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists- on Georgia roadways.  Bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities have risen steadily the past few years. In 2014, 19 individuals were killed on a bicycle and 22 died in 2015.  Since January 1st, two people have been killed while riding a bicycle: Larry Hardie, a 62 year old man riding in Port Wentworth, and, most recently, Alexia Hyneman, a 14 year-old girl, biking home from a school event February 12th in Midtown Atlanta.
 
While the details of any given crash or fatality are incident-specific, in general it is true that quality infrastructure leads to fewer severe crashes. We are committed to seeing more protected bike lanes and paved trails in Georgia. We are further committed to educating law enforcement officers and motor vehicle drivers about the rights of people on bikes.
 
The good news: State policies, for the most part, support more - and safer - walking and bicycling. For public health, tourism, and overall quality of life, accesible walking and bicycling are recognized by many Georgia leaders as important attributes for attractive, vibrant, and safe communities. Just yesterday, the Georgia DOT announced a multi-year contract with us to improve bicyclist safety.
 
For Georgia to thrive as a family-friendly state where walking and bicycling are safe, easy choices for short-distance trips and errands, we must commit transportation resources to creating Complete Streets that appeal broadly to all ages, backgrounds, income-levels, and physical abilities. Well-designed streets, in tandem with safer driver behaviors, will lead to a reduction in injuries and fatalities and will foster long-term and sustainable economic development throughout the state.
 
Please join us in our efforts to make Georgia a truly bicycle friendly state!
 
 

New GDOT Partnerships with PEDS and Georgia Bikes to Improve Safety in Georgia

A very happy announcement from GDOT:


Thomaston, GA – The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) is pleased to announce partnerships with Pedestrians Educating Drivers on Safety (PEDS) and Georgia Bikes. The partnerships aim to increase the safety of people who walk and ride bicycles in Georgia. GDOT recently finalized contracts with the organizations; both have been actively engaged in developing the state’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) and will now have the opportunity to implement several of the strategies included in the SHSP.

Over three years, a total of $613,710.00—90% federal and 10% state funding—will be invested to promote programs that align with the SHSP and make it safer for Georgians to walk and ride bikes.

The contracts support numerous programs including:

·        Providing training to transportation professionals and law enforcement officials

·        Developing updated state Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Action plans

·        Inventorying crosswalks that are located at intersections without traffic signals

·        Assessing crossing treatments at bus stop locations on corridors with a history of collisions
“PEDS is thrilled to be working with the Georgia Department of Transportation to spread the knowledge and commitment needed to increase safety for everyone who walks in Georgia,” said Sally Flocks, President & CEO of PEDS. “Together, we will save lives.” Brent Buice, Executive Director of Georgia Bikes, agrees: “We are thrilled to enter into this partnership. This new collaboration will help educate motorists and bicyclists on safe usage of the public roadways and will foster better road designs that safely accommodate all modes of transportation.”

The PEDS website: http://peds.org/ and Georgia Bikes website: https://www.georgiabikes.org/, provide contact information and valuable resources. PEDS will host the first annual Georgia Walks Summit on June 17th in Macon and Georgia Bikes will host its 6th annual summit this fall. Both summits have low registration fees and the public is welcome to participate. We encourage people who support increasing safety for people who walk and bike in Georgia to attend.

About the GDOT’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Program
GDOT’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Program was formally established in 1991 with the passage of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act. The act called for state bicycle and pedestrian coordinators and incorporates a broad range of programs and initiatives throughout the state. These include technical assistance, engineering and planning guidance, public information, and educational materials and programs for bicyclists, walkers, and visitors in Georgia. More information can be found at: http://www.dot.ga.gov/DS/Travel/BikePed.

For additional local information about the partnerships, please contact State Bicycle and Pedestrian Engineer, Katelyn DiGioia at 404.635.2834.

RVRC in Columbus GA's newest Bike Friendly Business

Congratulations to the River Valley Regional Commission, Georgia's newest Bicycle Friendly Business awardee! 

As with the Bicycle Friendly Community designation, the BFB recognition is awarded by the League of American Bicyclists. The Regional Commission is one of 12 multi-county planning agencies in the state. The RVRC serves 35 municipalities and county governments in the following 16 counties: Chattahoochee, Clay, Crisp, Dooly, Harris, Macon, Marion, Muscogee, Quitman, Randolph, Schley, Stewart, Sumter, Talbot, Taylor, and Webster. RVRC has long been a champion of better bicycling, particularly in Americus/Sumter County and the city of Columbus. Congrats on your well-deserved recognition!

See TV coverage of the award from WTVM in Columbus, and read newspaper coverage here.

 

Schedule a bike safety class or law enforcement training with Georgia Bikes

We are halfway through the winter months and moving towards warmer biking days!  In preparation for more people on bikes in your area, there are several workshops that Georgia Bikes is pleased to offer to communities throughout the state:

1.      Bicycle safety and education ride

This class is developed by Nedra Deadwyler, Safety Education Program Manager, and is an abridged version of Traffic Skills 101. During this two-hour class, participants will actively learn safe riding practices on a bike ride.

In this class you will learn:

  • Bike Basics
  • Rules of the Road
  • Bike Safety

Requirement(s):  For this class, participants are required to know how to ride a bike and must bring their own bicycle.

Cost:  Free

 

2.      Law Enforcement Training

Bicycle Basics for Law Enforcement is designed by Georgia Bikes and follows the guidelines of Georgia State Law, best practices and is 1.5 hours long.  This is a POST certified course: ID# NTE04G.

In this class you will learn:

  • Georgia Bicycle Laws
  • Common violations of Motorists or Bicyclists
  • Crash Data/ What to be aware of in a crash
  • Important Legislation
  • Important things to be aware of about bicyclists
  • Safety issues

Cost:  FREE

3.      Traffic Skills 101 (Smart Cycling)

This class is designed by The League of American Bicyclists. TS 101 was developed to increase your knowledge and expertise in the art and science of bicycling.  This class is also the first step to becoming a League Certified Instructor (LCI).  TS 101 is designed to enhance one’s ability to “use a bicycle with confidence and competence” anywhere and in any conditions.  The class is a total of 9 hours, with 4 hours of classroom instruction and 5 hours of hands-on and on-bike instruction. 

In this class you will learn:

  • Bicycle Basics
  • Rules of the Road
  • Bicycle handling and safety skills and maneuvers

Requirement(s):  For this class, participants are required to know how to ride a bike and must bring their own bicycle.

Cost:  $30/ $20

Our goal is to set up two types of workshops in a given area. If you are interested in a class, please go to this form to schedule: http://goo.gl/forms/eSaoGYyWbv

We will respond ASAP to establish a date for the workshop(s).


Mark your calendars!  We are also organizing two League Cycling Instructors (LCI) trainings this year:

1)     May 20-22, Georgia Southern University

2)     October 7-9, metro- Atlanta

If you have or know a group of regular bike riders who are interested in becoming certified, they will need to schedule to take the pre-requisite, Traffic Skills/ Safe Cycling 101.  See contact details below to schedule the pre-requisite class.

Please contact u sat any point with questions around safety and education, 404-323-8754 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

GA Senate passes Bike Month resolution

On February 3rd, the State Senate of Georgia passed a resolution, SR 895, recognizing the economic, health, and quality of life benefits of bicycling for the state. The resolution, drafted by Georgia Bikes, also recognizes May 2016 as National Bike Month and acknowledges the positive work of local advocacy organizations and riding clubs across Georgia.

The full text of the resolution is available here.

Many thanks to the bi-partisan sponsors of SR 895! Watch for a House version later this month. If you are a constituent of one of the Senate sponsors, please take a moment to thank them:

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