It’s less that two weeks away! On Sunday, May 19, almost three miles of the famous Peachtree Street will be closed to cars and open to human-powered transportation for Atlanta Streets Alive. This route covers most of the street’s length through Midtown and Downtown and will run from 2pm-6pm.
Cyclists and pedestrians will enjoy musical entertainment and activities throughout the route. It’s a great event that I’ve been happy to see in Atlanta the last couple of years and I’m particularly excited for it to be on a high-profile street like this.
Saporta Report has a post about the event, tying it into the push for increased pedestrian infrastructure in Midtown. Here’s a quote:
Property owners were asked what should be the highest priority for the Midtown Improvement District to invest its money.
The No. 1 answer was pedestrian projects, such as sidewalks, streetlights and crossings with 58 percent saying it was a very high priority and 36 percent saying it was a high priority for a combined total of 94 percent.
“It seems to me as though there is widespread acceptance from everybody that walkable, urban places are where people want to be and where they want to invest,” said Kevin Green, president and CEO of the Midtown Alliance.
Oddly, the post also points to survey results that show property owners to not place nearly as much value in cycling. Maybe seeing the cyclists on Peachtree will change some minds. As I’ve posted before, cyclists are great customers for local businesses.
"Recent research out of Portland, OR, showed that cycling customers spent more per month ($75.66) than their car-driving counterparts ($68.56) at bars, restaurants and convenience stores. A 2009 study of Bloor Street in Toronto, ON, found that customers who arrive by foot and bicycle visit the most often and spend the most money per month."
— via irishboyinlondon
Poster dedwards8 shared some excellent maps of cycle routes via Reddit. According to the post, these are maps that are created from “data entered by people using the CycleAtlanta app.”
The maps are a product of the “Transit Day Hack-a-Thon at Georgia Tech last week.”
Read more about the CycleAtlanta smartphone app here. It records your bicycle routes with the goal of using data to make Atlanta a better place for cycling.
Click the images below to see large maps from the cycling data.
Large Atlanta Map:
You can see more map data here:
The answer to the post’s title question is, apparently, ‘no’ — environmental factors like weather and sprawl don’t prevent people from cycling as long as bike lanes & paths exist. This is according to a recent study published in the journal Transportation.
According to the study (as reported here):
…cities with more bike paths and lanes have significantly higher rates of bike commuting, even when factors that influence cycling rates – such as weather, cycling safety, degree of sprawl, and the price of gasoline – are taken into account.
This bodes well for growth in the percentage of commuters who cycle in Atlanta when we increase lanes. We’ve got the Beltline path coming, as well as new lanes downtown along the streetcar route. There’s a lot of room for growth with intown bike lanes and I think this study could help encourage some movement there.
h/t Kaid Benfield
Photo of Atlanta bike lane by Flickr user Manuel Beers