Advocacy: Your Voice Matters
Atlanta, Georgia is a city with unique challenges for both the aspiring and committed bicyclist. It is also a place full of devoted advocates working hard to make the city and state a better place for those who bike or want to bike for either recreation or transportation. The best place to start for any bicycling questions around Atlanta is the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition or the City of Atlanta’s Chief Bicycle Officer. On campus, please get in touch with BikeGT at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can make a difference! If you want to get involved or find out more, email us and we’ll happily point you in the right direction to suit your interests.
On the local level are organizations like the ABC, BikeRoswell, BikeCobb, Decatur Bikes, Bike Emory and the PATH Foundation. Georgia also has a statewide advocacy group, Georgia Bikes, which does an excellent job of coordinating local groups for larger efforts, including state legislation, and organizing the newly developed annual Georgia Bike Summit (held every fall in a different city in Georgia).
On the national level, advocacy has exploded in the past two decades, fueled by national transportation funding bills like ISTEA, and SAFETEA-LU, and supported programs like Transportation Enhancements, and Safe Routes to School. To better take advantage of these funding programs, individuals have banded together and created groups such as Bikes Belong, and the Alliance for Biking and Walking; some groups, such as the League of American Bicyclists (once known as the League of American Wheelmen), have existed for over a century! Along with numerous other organizations, these are the people devoted to making bicycling easier, safer, more familliar, and better integrated.
High-quality, effective infrastructure is an integral part of safe, enjoyable cycling. Many best practices are documented in the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide. On campus, efforts are guided by the Bicycle Master Plan, the counterpart to Atlanta’s . Your comments are always welcome on our infrastructure suggestion form.
For a general overview of Bicycle Advocacy, refer to the attached Bikes Belong Advocacy Guide from BikesBelong. In addition, the League of American Bicyclists provides a searchable database of elected officials, voting records, and state legislation. For more information, see the links below.
2011 Georgia Bike Summit – Athens, GA (October 8th, 2011).
Current budget issues have not been completely kind to bicycling, but local commitments have increased in recent years, and your active involvement really does make a difference! HB101, the recent “Better Bicycling Bill” passed overwhelmingly thanks to the hardwork of advocates who wrote to their legislators.
We’re also always looking for bicyclists who want to get involved at the neighborhood level, whether it be their Neighborhood Association, Neighborhood Planning Unit (NPU), or county. You might be surprised at how much of a difference you can make!