Annual event at the State Capitol informs lawmakers about issues important to bicyclists

Our mission is to improve bicycling conditions and promote bicycling throughout Georgia, a significant task in a state as large as ours. To accomplish our mission, we partner with and support bicycle advocacy organizations around the state as well as our statewide partner on pedestrian issues, PEDS. We also serve as your voice at the State Capitol, ensuring that lawmakers are aware of the issues that affect people who ride bikes in Georgia.

These two efforts came together earlier this month when we hosted the annual Biking and Walking Breakfast for legislators. We were joined at the Capitol by biking. walking, and rolling advocates from around the state, who engaged with elected officials to discuss how they can help make Georgia safer for people who bike, walk, and roll. Read all about this year’s Biking and Walking Breakfast and the legislation we are tracking for you this year here: Bike-Friendly Agenda meets legislature.

Southeast Greenways & Trails Summit set for April 1-4 in Jacksonville

Join our friends at the East Coast Greenway Alliance in Jacksonville April 1-4 for the 2020 Southeast Greenways & Trails Summit. Professionals from many fields — planning, recreation, public health, transportation and community development — will gather to share best practices, strengthen networks, and influence trail and greenway development in the Southeast region. Highlights of the Summit include a keynote from 8 80 Cities founder Gil Penalosa keynote, 30+ impactful breakout sessions, nine mobile workshops and access to Art Walk and Open Streets events. Together, let’s build a more sustainable Southeast.

The Southeast Greenways & Trail Summit is part of a busy summit season, which also includes the 2020 Youth Bike Summit (Atlanta, March, 27-29), the Georgia Walks Summit (Columbus, April 16-17), and the Georgia Trail Summit (Augusta, May 3-4).

You can keep up with conferences, rides, and all sorts of other bicycling events in Georgia on our new comprehensive events calendar. 

League Cycling Instructor seminar scheduled for Sept. 11-13 in Macon

Georgia Bikes, Bike Walk Macon, and the League of American Bicyclists are hosting a League Cycling Instructor Seminar in Macon, Sept. 11-13. After earning certification through this 3-day, League of American Bicyclists Coach-led seminar, instructors are credentialed to teach Smart Cycling classes to children and adults.

The LCI Training Seminar focuses on teaching and demonstration techniques used with future students both on the road and in the classroom. The seminar emphasis is on how to teach bicycle safety and skills so as to provide increased comfort and confidence for new and returning bicyclists and youth. The seminar does not emphasize the content or specific details of the cycling course curricula. It is primarily about teaching, and each candidate will have opportunities during the seminar to practice facilitating parts of the Smart Cycling curriculum, both in the classroom and in parking lot skills drills.  

Successful candidates will have a strong working knowledge of bikes and bike maintenance and a great deal of experience riding in high traffic scenarios. Successful candidates also have strong core values aligned with philosophies of the League, including helmet use, bicycling infrastructure, and full incorporation of the idea that all people who ride bicycles are equal cyclists, regardless of political affiliation, race, gender, age or religion, and that all students deserve respectful, polite and meaningful instruction. Completion of a Smart Cycling, Traffic Skills 101 course is a prerequisite for attending a seminar. League of American Bicyclists membership ($25-40)  is also required for insurance purposes.

The registration fee is $350. More information on the LCI seminar format and requirements can be found on the LAB website.

Scholarships, lodging assistance available

Georgia Bikes is offering financial assistance with the seminar registration fee, along with assistance with League of American Bicyclists annual membership. In addition, Bike Walk Macon will arrange lodging with local hosts for those who request it. For more details and an application for scholarship support and/or lodging assistance, email Elliott Caldwell.

Please note, cancellation and transfer requests must be sent via email to education@bikeleague.org. The cancellation policy applies to all candidates whether the registration is being paid by an individual or by an organization. Please review the full cancellation policy (Click on “What is the cancellation policy?”)

Carrollton selected to host 2020 Georgia Bike Summit

Nearly 200 bicycle advocates, industry representatives, planners and elected officials will roll into Carrollton for the 2020 Georgia Bike Summit, Sept. 18-19.

“We are very excited to bring the 11th Annual Georgia Bike Summit to Carrollton,” said Georgia Bikes Executive Director Elliott Caldwell. “With the Bicycle Ride Across Georgia (BRAG) also coming to Carrollton this summer, 2020 is shaping up to be a big year for bicycling in the area.”

Each year, Georgia Bike Summit brings together a diverse group of stakeholders to share best practices, disseminate information and collaborate in building a bicycle-friendly Georgia. A secondary purpose of the summit is to showcase the bicycle culture and amenities of communities throughout the state.

“Carrollton has really focused on being a great place to ride a bicycle,” said Caldwell. “The dedication of many community members, the local government in creating the GreenBelt, as well as better on-road infrastructure, is bearing fruit with these kinds of events coming to Carrollton.“ In 2018 Carrollton earned Bicycle Friendly Community designation from the League of American Bicyclists. The League praised the city for embarking on a “bold vision to improve cycling.”

The Bike Summit is Georgia’s only statewide gathering for bicycle advocates. This is the first time the event is being held in Carrollton after being held in larger cities and on the coast for its first 10 years. Caldwell said the 2016 Georgia Trails Summit in Carrollton, which several Bike Summit organizers attended, positively influenced the decision to award the city the 2020 event.

Smart Growth America Transportation and Health Equity study provides guidance for Georgia

Informed by 92 health and transportation experts from across the country (including Georgia Bikes), a new report from Smart Growth America identifies the best strategies to advance health equity through transportation.

This is must read material for active transportation advocates in Georgia, as health equity is central to the argument we are making (locally and statewide) to improve conditions for bicycling, walking, and rolling in our state! Read the executive summary or download the full report.

 

 

2020 Youth Bike Summit to be held in Atlanta, March 27-29

The Youth Bike Summit is coming to Atlanta March 27-29 2020!

The Youth Bike Summit is a three-day national conference bringing together students, educators, advocates, researchers, policy makers and community leaders to gather and share ideas, give youth a voice, and encourage civic engagement and advocacy.  Through workshops, presentations, keynote speakers, discussion, and visioning, dialogue in transformed into action.

We look forward to working with Atlanta Bicycle Coalition and the BRAG Dream Team on the event, getting youth from around the state to attend YBS, as well as play host to visitors from around the US and world.

Georgia Bikes receives grant from Governor’s Office of Highway Safety

Georgia Bikes is pleased to announce it has received a $73,755.63 grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS).

The GOHS grant will fund the organization’s outreach and educational programs, which are produced in partnership with local agencies, nonprofits, and law enforcement to reduce bicyclist injuries and fatalities.

“The loss of one life on our roads is one too many, and the fact almost all fatal traffic crashes can be prevented is one reason why we are awarding this grant,” Allen Poole, director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, said. “The target of zero traffic deaths in our nation is achievable, and we will continue to help develop and implement educational messages, enforcement campaigns, and other safety initiatives aimed at bringing us one step closer to our goal.”

“We are thankful to be once again partnering with GOHS to improve safety for people bicycling in our state. They have been stalwart supporters of our work over the years and we look forward to another year of educating residents of Georgia on bicycle safety,” said Georgia Bikes Executive Director Elliott Caldwell. “We believe that bicycling is a healthy, efficient, and enjoyable form of transportation and recreation and want everyone in our state, regardless of age, ability, location, or background, to be able to ride a bicycle to school, work, local businesses, to visit family and friends, or simply to get exercise. We hope to see a decrease in all crashes, including ones involving bicycles, in 2020 as we move towards zero traffic deaths in Georgia. 

The grant year for this award is Oct. 1, 2019 to Sept. 30, 2020. During the first month of the grant period, Georgia Bikes Safety Education Programs Manager John Bennett offered bicycle safety training programs in Savannah and Fitzgerald, and distributed bicycle education materials to scout troops, schools, cycling clubs, and bike shops throughout Georgia. Bennett is also providing support to community members in Glynn County who are organizing Bike Walk Golden Isles, a bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organization.

Georgia Bikes’ mission is to improve bicycling conditions and promote bicycling throughout the state of Georgia. Based in Macon, the nonprofit has offices in Athens and Savannah. Georgia Bikes organizes the annual Georgia Bike Summit, which has been held in cities around the state since 2009.

For more information on this grant program, contact GOHS at 404-656-6996 and for more information on GOHS and its other highway safety programs, visit www.gahighwaysafety.org

Georgia in 19th position on Bicycle Friendly State rankings for second year

Overview

A few quick thoughts about the state rankings published by the League of American Bicyclists that came out earlier in the week.

GA is ranked 19th, same place we were in 2017 the last time there was a report card. For perspective, we were 40th 8 years ago and 49th 10 years ago.

These sorts of statewide issues are very much our wheelhouse so please reach out if you are doing stories on state bike/ped funding, GDOT policy etc. We can be reached here: info@georgiabikes.org

Funding and Planning

It’s clear from our grades that funding and planning are challenges, as well as collecting data on planned/built bike and ped facilities. Yes, we live in a big state and those numbers are hard to track, but we have GDOT Districts and Regional Commissions who can help in that regard. Use of federal funds and dedicated state funds also can be improved — not every jurisdiction can pay for bike/ped projects and multi-use trails with TSPLOST/SPLOST dollars. And many small, less wealthy communities cannot afford a 10 percent match on a $1 million project.

Legislation and Enforcement 

We are going to specifically ask about the grade on laws that restrict the behavior of people biking/walking; a D+ is not a passing grade in our book. We can push for better policy at the legislature in this area, no question, with equity as a guide in our work around enforcement.

Moving Forward

We’ve already shared these rankings with our partners at GDOT and look forward to working with them on how to not just improve our grade but how to improve conditions for people biking, walking, and rolling to get to work, school, businesses, transit, or for health and fun.

While these grades are all relative to other states and seem a tad abstract, the consequences of lack of attention to crucial active transportation issues are matters of life/death, especially for vulnerable communities.

Bicycling is exciting, joyful, and brings us a sense of hope. But no one should fear not making it home to family because they walk, ride a bicycle, or roll in a wheelchair. It’s on us to help change that reality at the state level and we welcome suggestions on how to move forward.

Elliott Caldwell talks micromobility on Atlanta’s WABE-FM

Georgia Bikes Executive Director Elliott Caldwell joined a conversation about the future of micromobility on the WABE-FM program, Closer Look with Rose Scott, on Oct. 31

Panelists included Nima Daivari community affairs manager at Lime Georgia, Cathy Tyler president and CEO of PEDS, and Rebecca Serna, Executive Director of Atlanta Bicycle Coalition. Listen here.

Thanks to our 2019 Georgia Bike Summit sponsors

The 2019 Georgia Bike Summit presented by Bike Law Georgia is in the books!

A successful 10th Summit with great sessions and conversations, meaningful connections made, and a lot of hope for the future of bicycling in our state.

We will have a recap coming soon with links to presentations and photos.

Many thanks to Panther Bikes for playing host and co-organizer, as well as our presenting sponsor Bike Law Georgia.

Thanks to our other sponsors as well – please support them!

Dero
Decatur Active Living
Tony Serrano Century Ride
Law Office of Joseph J. Steffen, Jr.
Perpetual Motion Bicycles, Inc.

Keep an eye our for an evaluation as well – we would like to hear from you on how to improve the Summit next year!