The Georgia Bikes Blog

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:

GA Bikes seeks Board Treasurer

After several years of generous service, our Board Treasurer has moved on to new opportunities and challenges. To fill this vacancy, the Board is accepting inquiries from qualified individuals interested in serving as Board Treasurer. 

Per our By Laws, the Treasurer's duties are as follows:

Section 9. Treasurer: Powers and Duties. The Treasurer shall have general oversight with respect to the annual budget. The Treasurer shall also retain an independent auditor to conduct audit report, if required by law or requested by the Board of Directors. The Treasurer shall also have oversight responsibility for all financial matters (as the Board of Directors may prescribe). Until the appointment of staff*, the Treasurer shall assume the responsibilities detailed in this section.

The Treasurer shall have custody of all the funds of the Corporation, and shall keep or cause to be kept complete and accurate accounts of receipts and disbursements of the Corporation, and shall deposit or cause to be deposited all moneys, evidences of indebtedness, and other valuable documents of the Corporation in the name and to the credit of the Corporation in such banks or depositories as the Board of Directors may designate. The Treasurer shall at all reasonable times exhibit the books and accounts to any officer or Director of the Corporation, and shall perform all such other duties as the Board may from time to time prescribe. At the annual meeting of the Board of Directors, the Treasurer or staff so designated by the Board shall present a report showing in appropriate detail: (1) the assets and liabilities of the Corporation as of a twelve month fiscal period terminating not more than six months prior to the meeting; (2) the principal changes in assets and liabilities during that fiscal period; (3) the revenues or receipts of the Corporation, both general and restricted to particular purposes, the Corporation, for that fiscal period; and (4) the expenses or disbursements of the Corporation, for both general and restricted purposes, during said fiscal period. The report shall be filed with the minutes of the annual meeting of the Board.

The Board recently obtained the services of a professional CPA to manage transaction entry, payroll, and quarterly reporting, so the Treasurer will primarily be responsible for high-level budget development and oversight. The Board is seeking applicants who are:

  • Supportive of the mission, vision and goals of Georgia Bikes, Inc
  • Knowledgeable about 501c3 nonprofit organizations and their regulatory requirements
  • Experienced with budget development
  • Comfortable with common accounting software, including Quick Books, Microsoft Excel, and Google spreadsheets

Please note that the Treasurer position is non-paid. To express interest in the Treasurer position, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!

GA’s new 10 year plan for transportation – what’s in it for better bicycling?

On January 12th, Governor Deal hosted a press conference outlining a massive, decade-long plan for transportation projects in Georgia.

An overwhelming majority of the planned expenditures will be used for state highway and interstate widening, with the purported goal of “congestion relief” and allowing Georgia’s motor vehicle commuters to “arrive home quicker.”

Will it work? Only time will tell, but the evidence isn’t promising.

What does this 10-year plan propose for our cities and transportation options for short-distance trips? What vision is there for inter-city trails for transportation, tourism, and quality of life?

We looked over the proposed construction list for the next 18 months, and we found that about 8% of the projects are defined as “bicycle/pedestrian” projects. It will take a while to research each of the listed projects, but the short descriptive titles indicate that most of these are multi-use trails and downtown streetscape improvements.

8% isn’t terrible, but we have to point out that many of these projects were funded by federal Transportation Enhancement dollars years ago and simply haven’t been built yet. With no new funding, even at a modest level, dedicated for walking and bicycling, we’re not seeing a particularly bold vision for improving the safety and vitality of our state’s cities. Safety for our most vulnerable road users should be a top priority, especially considering the fatality statistics from 2015:

  • Bicyclist fatalities were up 11% from 2014
  • Pedestrian fatalities increased 17% from 2014
  • Overall, fatalities of people walking and riding bicycles represented 15.8% of total 2015 fatalities in GA.

In our 2015 Bicycle Friendly State Report Card from the League of American Bicyclists, GA ranked 25th nationally, with a low score of 2 out of 5 for bicycle infrastructure and funding. In its list of recommendations, the League advised Georgia to:

  1. Ensure that no funds from the eligible federal programs are transferred for purposes other than bicycling and walking projects.
  2. Develop a system for proactively leveraging state route resurfacing projects to improve local, regional and national bicycle routes.
  3. Dedicate additional resources towards fully implementing the state’s existing bicycle plan.
  4. Dedicate state funding for bicycle projects and programs, especially those focused on safety and eliminating gaps and increasing access for bicycle networks

In its 2014 Analysis of Georgia’s spending on bicycle & pedestrian facilities, Advocacy Advance found that 5.7% of all GDOT projects identified for 2013-2016 include accommodations for people walking and biking, but a mere .06% of the budget for identified projects are for bicycle safety and access.

With nary a mention of “active transportation” or “alternative modes,” much less “bicycling” by name, our new statewide transportation plan is not moving the needle on urban traffic congestion relief or vulnerable road user safety.

Yes, we’re investing something for active transportation, piecemeal and scattered throughout the state, but it appears we’re mostly going to double down on a philosophy of “drive everywhere, and drive fast.”

Meanwhile…

Florida is investing $25 million for a statewide trail network

Virginia created a study committee to develop & implement a statewide network of trails

Washington has pledged $200 million for bicycle and pedestrian projects through 2031

We’re not suggesting that bicycling will become a preferred – or even possible – commuting option for most Georgians, but bicycling could be a viable option for many Georgians, especially for those who live in cities and towns, but only with the right infrastructure. Furthermore, Georgia could easily position itself as the pre-eminent bicycle tourism destination in the southeast with strategic and meaningful investments in regional trails and safe state bike routes.

Thankfully, we do see hope in Georgia’s plan for transportation spending. The Governor mentioned in his address that GDOT is "quadrupling investment in resurfacing," and every resurfacing project is an opportunity to give a road a safety make-over. State routes fall under the jurisdiction of the DOT’s Complete Streets policy (Ch 9), which allows local leaders to request a modification to roadway striping while it’s being resurfaced. In some cases, this re-striping can lead to slower, safer car traffic and bike lanes where none existed before.

Check out the spreadsheet of planned projects and see if a resurfacing project near you is a good candidate for a safety upgrade through lane narrowing or a modification in travel lanes. If so, talk to your local elected officials and traffic engineers ASAP to put in a request with your regional GDOT Office. The sooner you make the request, the better your chances for affecting the outcome of the resurfacing.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you need help, or feel free to contact GDOT’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator with questions:

Georgia Department of Transportation

State Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator

935 East Confederate Avenue - Building 24, Floor 2

Atlanta, GA 30316

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(404) 635-2834

 

 

 

 

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