BikeAthens' weekly newsletter highlights upcoming events, news of volunteers, and opportunities to advocate for multi-modes of transportation in Athens Clarke County, GA. Consider joining our organization and becoming active in our work or simply support us by continuing to be apprised of what we're about. Either way, you're important to us. ~BikeAthens
Tyler Dewey--BikeAthens Executive Director
Elliott Caldwell--Chair, BikeAthens Board
Richard Shoemaker--Editor, BikeAthens Newsletter
We're Grateful to You, the Athens-Clarke County Community, and to All Our BikeAthens Members for Your Support and Friendship!
BikeAthens Invites You...
...to join us for a festive evening of exercise and fun as we walk and bike in the:
Athens-Clarke County Parade of Lights,
Thursday, Dec.5, at 7PM !!
There's also a more serious purpose to your joining us: to show Athens we support transportation choices. Our walking and riding in large numbers will be an effective statement of this. Please show your support by coming out and bringing the entire family.
How to Join Us in the Parade
All you have to do is come to Dougherty St. between College Ave. and Pulaski St. ready to walk/ride around 6:30PM, Dec. 5. Look for the BikeAthens group of bicyclists and walkers gathering together. Weâ€™ll give you a few brief instructions before we step off on our casual and fun experience. If you have questions, please e-mail them to Tyler Dewey firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks and Happy Holidays! BikeAthens Parade Committee
To help celebrate The Sounds of Christmas, this year's parade theme, BikeAthens will provide free bells and horns to the first 20 parade riders to RSVP! Just drop us a line at email@example.com!
ACC Commission Places Bus Fee Hike on Hold
At last week's Mayor and Commission meeting, multiple Commissioners spoke in opposition to the proposed transit fare hike. Commissioners Kelly Girtz, Allison Wright, and Jerry NeSmith spoke furtherabout the need to boost fare box incomes by increasing ridership. The proposed fare is still on the Agenda for the Mayor and Commission meeting on Dec. 3rd, and there will be an opportunity for public comment. The Mayor and Commission also looked at the proposed transfer fare. The Commission removed the transfer fee from the consent agenda due to lack of support.
Matthew Epperson, staff director, and Joe Watkins, supervisor at Daily Groceries, display the certificate Daily Groceries was awarded by the League of American Bicyclists for being a Bicycle Friendly Business, 2013-2017.
Daily Groceries Gains Bronze 'Bike Friendly Business' Seal
The League of American Bicyclists recognized the Daily Groceries Cooperative in Athens with a Bronze Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB) award "for leading America toward a more sustainable future."
Daily Groceries was awarded the seal for its contributions to Bike to Work
Day, its installation of a public bike repair stand outside the store, and for its support of in bike advocacy efforts in Athens.
â€œBusinesses like Daily Groceries Co-op are leading the way to a healthier and more sustainable future,â€ said Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists. â€œWhile helping boost the economy in their communities, Bicycle Friendly Businesses are also investing in a happier and more productive workforce.â€ According to the awards letter from the League, "The General Manager of Daily, Andrea Malloy, is excited to see this support of cyclists grow, 'As one of the few relatively flat roads through Athens, Prince Avenue is an important route for bicycle commuters in our town. As a business on Prince Avenue, we feel a responsibility to offer respite and encouragement to cyclists. We work hard to minimize our carbon footprint, and supporting alternative transportation is a tremendously important way to do that.'"
The League said that "supporting cyclists fits into Dailyâ€™s triple bottom line of people, profit and planet. Being a responsible and sustainable member of the Athens community is a core value for Daily and encouraging cycling creates obvious benefits for the health of customers and environment."
BikeAthens Supports Athens Area Humane Society in Charity Chili Cook-Off at Terrapin
Matthew Epperson and Lindsey York represented BikeAthens in the Charity Chili Cook-Off last Saturday, Nov. 23 at Terrapin Brewery. Though they didn't take home the $300 first prize with their vegan chili, they helped support the Athens Area Humane Society. First prize went to the Oconee Regional Humane Society for serving the "best chili," according to the votes of the attendees.
Photo Above: Matthew Epperson gives two thumbs up for the quinoa and vegetable chili that he and Lindsey York served at the Chili Cookoff last Saturday night at Terrapin Brewery.
BRP's Holiday Bikes for Kids Project
Shop Volunteers Continue 'Refurbing' Bikes for Children
Photos: (Top) Marcel Yates and Jason Perry measure to determine the integrity of a bike frame before placing it on the shop's work list. (Above left, then clockwise) Ryan Hague rebuilds the hub of his project bike. Mark Schell cleans ball bearings for the bike he's working on. (Below left) Volunteer Tom Garne gives his project bike a short test ride in the shop. Marcel Yates, left, with Jason Perry measures the left side of a donated Raleigh in check of bike frame's alignment.
Please Donate Used Bicycles to Holiday Bikes For Kids 2013 Project
Please spread the word to families with children that the Bike Recycling Program (BRP) will make good use of kids' bikes that children have outgrown for its Holiday Bikes for Kids 2013 project.
Donated bikes are thoroughly cleaned to look new and thoroughly reconditioned to be solid rides for children for whom social services make requests. Schools and churches also request bikes for children in need. BRP attempts to fill all requests as time and resources allow.
BRP is located in the Chase Park Warehouse, behind the large silos of the cement plant. Open hours are Sundays 2-4:30PM, and Mon. - Wed. 6-8:30PM.
Cycling in Another Southern City: an Asheville Perspective
by Richard Shoemaker
A visitor can find any number of ways to look at a city and its people. One way is to contrast it with oneâ€™s own town, not to criticize, but to spark the imagination. So, when I spent a few days last week in Asheville, NC, I thought itâ€™d be fun to take a cursory look at how another city compares to Athens in its bike culture and infrastructure.
Asheville is certainly no stranger to many Athenians. All it takes to arrive in this eclectic southern city is a beautiful 3-hour drive north through GA and NC mountains. A city full of pride, it seems passionate about celebrating its many diverse, talented, and progressive-minded citizens and the products of their labors from artwork and craftsmanship, farming and cuisine, to brewing beer.
It celebrates cycling, too.
Asheville has had an official Comprehensive Bicycle Plan since 2008. Its primary goal, as written, is to â€œprovide transportation alternatives and to enhance quality of life by creating continuous linear bicycle connections, providing bicycle facilities for the full range of users, and increasing safety and mobility of bicyclists in Asheville.â€
Photos: (Above left) Link to Asheville's Comprehensive Bicycle Plan that has help foster pro-bicycling growth for the city since 2008. Part of the Plan was to install standardized bike parking racks which are seen all over the city.
Five additional primary goals were listed, two of which sparkle with progressivity: â€œto promote the benefits of bicyclingâ€ and to â€œpursue bicycle-friendly policies and maintenance procedures to continuously improve bicycling in the City.â€ This shows a city with vision.
In walking around Asheville, it becomes apparent the city has cyclists on its mind. One short-term goal of the Comprehensive Bicycle Plan that has been met is providing â€œstandard designsâ€ for bike parking. Asheville has multiple black wrought iron bike racks with a penny farthing bicycle logo at the top on their downtown sidewalks. The smallest size rack takes up 2 square feet. Larger ones of similar design take up 4-5 square feet. Certainly, this is a personal observation, but none appeared to impede walk flow even with bicycles locked to them. (See Photos)
By comparison, the city of Athens points out no â€œofficialâ€ bike racks in its downtown area as seen in thismap provided by the Athens Downtown Development Authority (ADDA). UGA, on the other hand, boasts dozens on campus that are adjacent to classrooms, dorms, and cafeterias. UGA provides a map to help locate these bike racks, including a few on Athens city property downtown (See map).
Another short-term goal that has been met is the installation of 10 bike lockers between 2009-2010. For $10/month cyclists may rent a locker to secure their bikes. A serious commuter cyclist will have invested a lot of money and a lot of care into his/her vehicle. Removing the fear of losing oneâ€™s mode of transport certainly fosters a cycling commitment for daily commutes. Each of the 10 lockers holds two bicycles and equipment. The lockers were installed in the cityâ€™s parking decks and beside the Office of Economic Development. They can be coin-operated for non-monthly renters. Ashevilleâ€™s city parking services manage the lockers and reported the total cost at less than $20,000.
Photos: (From above left) Typical sidewalk bike parking scenes in downtown Asheville. Little to no pedestrian blockage on sidewalks with Asheville's standard artistic bike racks. For Asheville's Holiday Parade cycling parade marshals kept lanes clear for 102 units.
Athens has a new parking deck behind the Georgia Theater that can be accessed from Washington Street. Tucked within the first floor are free sheltered bike racks (See photo below). There is no signage from the outside of the parking deck to indicate that these racks are available. Thereâ€™s no mention of bike parking in any of the cityâ€™s webpages and no mention of bike parking in any of the ADDAâ€™s webpages. This contrast with Asheville is telling. Ashevilleâ€™s Holiday Parade took place last Saturday while I visited for a weekend. Instead of police motorcycles clearing the roads of people who might venture a bit too far into the streets, cycling parade marshals did all the work for the 102 units in the parade. Back and forth the energetic cyclists traveled along sloping streets to guarantee clear, safe passage for floats, bands, and Santa with his reindeer. While Athens is the city for me for many, many reasons, I wonder if Ashevilleâ€™s not on to something important in its obvious concern for the wellbeing of cyclists and its promotion of bicycling as a serious means of transportation. Asheville did have one thing that discouraged cycling, however. It was seriously cold and windy last weekend, with temperatures into the low 20â€™s. Brrrr.
Photos: (From below left) Three red-clad cycling parade marshals begin work before Asheville's Holiday Parade last Saturday. UGA map of bike racks available on campus and within several blocks across from the Arch on Broad St. ADDA map of available parking in Downtown Athens. While spaces are delineated for motorcycles, nothing for bicyclists is depicted. Seemingly hidden because no signage indicates their presence, multiple sheltered bike racks exist for Athens cyclists' use on the first floor of the new Washington St. Parking Garage. Security cameras capture entrances and exits.
Down the Road and Elsewhere
12/18 - Webinar: Integrating Equity in Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning
Online Webinar: 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET. Hosted by: Association of
Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals. This webinar session considers equity in the context of three pillars of sustainability: economic, environmental, social. Learn how to define equity and integrate it as a planning factor; what are the standards and requirements of transportation equity?
3/3-5/14 - National Bike Summit, Washington, DC
The Highway Trust Fund is scheduled to run out of funds in October 2014, leaving Congress with the choice of cutting transportation funding, raising the gas tax or other revenue, or choosing to increase the deficit for transportation funding. The 2014 National Bike Summit will be our opportunity to promote our agenda and ensure that the next generation of transportation policy learns from your experience in MAP -21 â€” and push for the best possible outcomes for bicycling in transportation policy.
4/11-12 - Georgia Trail Summit in Athens
The inaugural Georgia Trail Summit will be held at the Classic Center in Athens, GA on April 11-12, 2014. This event will be the first in 15 years. (See More)
"When you first visit Copenhagen, the first thing you'll notice after being mesmerized by the sheer number of cyclists on the roads is the eclectic kinds of bikes, especially ones that carry groceries, baggage, furniture or other people & children. As Copenhagenize's Mikael Colville-Andersen happily points out: for many in his city, the cargo bike is equivalent to the SUV." (Full Story)