Cycling Improvements Come to Nearby Neighborhoods

Last week, the Atlanta City Council approved $2.5 million in funding for bicycle projects during the next two years – many of which will directly border or feed into Georgia Tech’s campus.

City of Atlanta Funded Bicycle Projects
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On Monday, Feb. 4, the City of Atlanta approved $2.5 million for bicycle projects.

“The Institute has gone to great lengths to improve our bike facilities on campus, installing hundreds of new bike racks, safer intersection treatments, and miles of new lanes and sharrows,” said Aaron Fowler, campus transportation planner in Parking & Transportation Services. “But with this allocation of $2.5 million in bike improvements by the City of Atlanta, we get to take a major step in improving our bike connections into campus.” 

In Midtown, bike lanes will be added to the 10th Street bridge refurbishment, between Fowler and Williams Streets, and from Piedmont Avenue to Monroe Drive, connecting to the BeltLine Eastside Trail. Lanes will also be added to Hemphill Avenue in Home Park between 10th and 14th Streets. Improvements will be made to bike lanes already present on West Peachtree, running from 10th Street to North Avenue, and Fifth Street, from Williams Street to Piedmont Avenue. 

Further southwest, the city’s first bike boulevard will be created near Atlanta University Center on James P. Brawley Drive, from Jefferson Street to Greensferry Avenue. Downtown, improvements will be made to the Peachtree Street corridor, from Pine Street to Peachtree Center Avenue. Other projects will improve connectivity in Inman Park, Castleberry Hill, Grant Park and other eastside areas. Some projects will use cycle tracks instead of bike lanes, providing more separation from motor vehicle traffic than just a painted lane.

According to a 2012 commuter survey conducted by Parking & Transportation Services, 8 percent of the campus community commutes by bike; however, another 24 percent voiced an interest in biking if there were safer, more convenient bike paths available. Some of the slated city projects coincide with items in a proposed Campus Bike Master Plan and work with existing lanes and sharrows on campus.

“These projects will only further our mission in promoting sustainability on campus and will give people the commute alternatives they desire,” said Fowler, who believes this is only the beginning of improved bicycle connectivity for Atlanta in the next few years.

The five City of Atlanta projects closest to campus include:

  1. Fifth Street Bike Lanes ($65,715): This project will upgrade the existing bicycle lanes along Fifth Street that connect the Georgia Tech campus to the Peachtree Street corridor and Midtown residential district, one of the busiest cycling corridors in the city. Scope includes pavement patching, long-lasting thermoplastic pavement marking installation, addition of green pavement markings at key conflict points, installation of enhanced parking/regulatory signage and bicycle wayfinding signs and the construction of new bicycle treatments at intersections with other designated bicycle connections.
  2. Hemphill Avenue Bike Lanes ($55,019): This project will install bicycle lanes along the northern section of Hemphill Avenue from 10th to 14th Streets. An on-street parking modification study will be conducted to determine the feasibility of reducing the roadway to two travel lanes and a single on-street parking lane. Scope includes pavement patching, long-lasting thermoplastic pavement marking installation, addition of green pavement markings at key conflict points, installation of enhanced parking/regulatory signage and bicycle wayfinding signs and the construction of new bicycle treatments at intersections with other designated bicycle connections.
  3. West Peachtree Street Bike Lanes ($62,500): This project will upgrade the existing bicycle lane along West Peachtree Street that connects the MARTA North Avenue Station to the Georgia Tech Campus and points north. Scope includes pavement patching, railroad crossing improvements, long-lasting thermoplastic pavement marking installation, addition of green pavement markings at key conflict points, installation of enhanced parking/regulatory signage and bicycle wayfinding signs and the construction of new bicycle treatments at intersections with other designated bicycle connections.
  4. 10th Street Bridge Refurbishment with Bike Facilities ($125,000): This funding will serve as the City of Atlanta's contribution toward the bicycle component of the Midtown Alliance 10th Street Bridge Improvement Project. This project will improve bicycle and pedestrian facilities, add lights, landscaping and decorative fencing.
  5. 10th Street Cycle Track @ Atlanta BeltLine Intersection ($122,159): This project will construct a two-way cycle track along the 10th Street corridor, from Charles Allen Drive to Piedmont Avenue to tie into the planned two-way cycle track between Charles Allen Drive and Monroe Drive, connecting the Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail to Piedmont Park and Midtown. Due to right-of-way constraints, the section between Myrtle Street and Piedmont Avenue will likely consist of bicycle lanes. The project will be designed to meet the standards of the National Association of City Transportation Officials.