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Bicycle project, new app enhance Midtown bike safety

Bicycle initiatives demonstrate City’s commitment to key partnerships and investments with new bicycle improvements aimed at safety

Last week, Mayor Kasim Reed and various bicycle transportation partners, including the Atlanta City Council, Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, Midtown Alliance and the Georgia Institute of Technology, announced a pair of new initiatives to boost rider safety, sustainability and access.

During a news conference at Tech Square near the intersection of 5th and West Peachtree streets, there was a celebration of the completion of a bicycle improvement project. Alterations to the intersection have resulted in the City’s first raised bicycle track, green bicycle lane, two-stage left-turn box and bicycle signal at the intersection.

These alterations will enable cyclists to safely cross a busy intersection and be guided by a dedicated bicycle lane and traffic signal. The project was jointly funded by the Midtown Alliance, Bikes Belong Foundation and Georgia Tech, in cooperation with the City of Atlanta and the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition.

“Thanks to a dynamic partnership, two segments of on-street bicycle lanes along 5th Street at West Peachtree Street are now connected, allowing cyclists to safely ride to work, home and campus,” said Reed at the news conference. “Connecting communities to regional job and activity centers, Atlanta Streetcar and MARTA rail stations, city parks and the Atlanta BeltLine corridor is a priority for my administration.”

As part of a planning effort between the City of Atlanta and Georgia Tech,
a new smartphone app was also unveiled at the news conference. The iPhone and Android version of the app called Cycle Atlanta is available for download and designed specifically for City of Atlanta bicyclists to provide direct feedback to the City’s Department of Planning and Community Development transportation planning staff.

“We want to know what bicyclists who use routes across the city consider to be barriers and obstacles to riding, said Commissioner James Shelby of the Department of Planning and Community Development. “This new app will give us good information and greater insight about areas that need improvement like the one here at Tech Square.”

The Cycle Atlanta app will allow bicyclists to participate in the Cycle Atlanta Study: Phase I.0 planning effort. Once the free app is launched, cyclists tap “Start” to begin recording their ride. When the ride is over, they hit "Save" and add details such as trip purpose and optional comments. Cyclists are able to see a map of their ride, distance travelled and average speed. The route is also uploaded to data servers, where city transportation planners have access to it.

Over the next three years, the City of Atlanta is poised to construct 34 miles of high-quality bicycle routes, paths and other facilities. These projects include:

  • New bicycle lanes along Auburn Avenue and Edgewood Avenue linking the Old Fourth Ward to Georgia State University.
  • Georgia’s first protected one-way cycle track along Juniper Street connecting Piedmont Park to downtown Atlanta.
  • Buffered bicycle lanes along Ponce de Leon Avenue providing a direct link from the Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail and Ponce City Market to the heart of Midtown.
  • Two-way cycle track between Centennial Olympic Park and Freedom Park.
  • Bicycle lanes and cycle track connection between Brownwood Park and Grant Park.
  • Direct connection between the Atlanta University Center, Castleberry Hill and downtown Atlanta.
  • Over nine miles of shared-use path connections in northeast, northwest, southeast and southwest Atlanta connecting various business districts, parks and schools.

City planners are also working toward doubling the rate of bicycle commuting by city residents from 1.1 percent to 2.2 percent by the year 2016. City partners such as Atlanta BeltLine Inc., Atlanta Regional Commission, Georgia Department of Transportation, Community Improvement Districts, the PATH Foundation and private funding partners continue to support bicycle plans city-wide.

- The City of Atlanta and Georgia Tech contributed to this story

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