Atlanta’s mild climate offers residents year-round outdoor recreational pursuits, and bicycling is one activity that has gained a strong following in recent years as our focus on sustainability grows. Choosing a bicycle over a car as a mode of transportation (even on occasion) promotes a healthy lifestyle and reduces pollution. Consider:
- 100 bikes can be produced with the same amount of energy and resources required by a single medium-size car.
- 10-12 bikes can fit in a single car parking space, and the price of a bike rack is a fraction of the cost of a car parking space. ($2,200-$12,500 for a single car vs. $150-$300 for a rack that can fit two bikes.)
- A 2000 American Medical Association study found that men who bike to work had a mortality rate 39% lower than their non-biking counterparts.
- Every gallon of gas consumed emits more than 25 pounds of heat-trapping pollutants, making transportation the next biggest contributor to greenhouse gasses after energy production.
- When compared to driving a car, bicycling prevents 1,385 pounds of pollution from entering our air each day (assuming the national average 24.2 mile roundtrip commute).
Source: Natural Resources Defense Council
Walkable and bikeable urbanism is a tall order in a car-oriented city, but as someone who bikes to work most days, I can tell you that alternative modes of transportation are gaining support from the city’s government and citizens alike. At Buckhead CID, we know that walkable communities reduce traffic congestion and pollution, and provide health and wellness opportunities –qualities that attract new residents and businesses to the area. Peachtree Boulevard, our $48 million three-phase improvement project featuring widened sidewalks, a bike lane and green space, is one of several projects in the works that will help achieve these benefits.
Interested in joining the movement but not sure where to start? Check out these resources, or post a comment to share others.
Atlanta Bicycle Coalition – find bike route maps, community bicycling groups, cyclist advocacy information and more. Plus, in partnership with the Buckhead Transportation Management Association, the organization offers cycling classes at special rates for those who live or work in Buckhead.
Georgia Department of Transportation – access the DOT’s guide to safe biking.
Governor’s Office of Highway Safety – know the state’s bicycle safety laws.