Saturday, November 5, 2011

Research conducted at the University of Wisconsin about the potential for bicycling to improve air pollution, increase physical activity, and improve health has been attracting a considerable amount of articles in the media, including newspapers, public radio, and magazines. The team looked at the benefits of using bicycling to make short trips, instead of driving a car (the same strategy that GSU Bikes advocates). Their study calculated the effect on 11 midwestern cities.

The positive effects included a reduction in pollution and billions of dollars saved from health care costs as a result of increased physical activity and reduced exposure to fine particles in the air.

Georgia State and downtown Atlanta can learn from this study. If we work together to make Atlanta friendly to bicycling and walker and move away from a car-centered environment, we can make positive impacts on the air and our health. We can make Atlanta a more livable and desirable place.

You can read the published study in the online journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, our most important partner at GSU Bikes, is celebrating its 20th year. See a short video about Rebecca Serna, Director and ABC's work.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

An Article Worth Reading on Improving Bicycling in our Community

Georgia has a new law that allows citizens to vote on whether to add a 1-penny sales tax that would go to fund transportation improvements. Voters can decide to add the tax and provide regional funding for transportation projects, including roads, transit, and WE HOPE bicycle and pedestrian improvements. The Atlanta area will have such a vote next year.

The planning process for the proposed projects is quite involved. The process includes considerable opportunity for citizen input. Much of this process is in the concluding stages. Many spoke out and much support for better bicycling was heard.

Rebecca Serna, GSU alum and Executive Director of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, has written a great story outlining the process and explaining how bicycling improvements are getting short shrift. Rebecca makes a great case for why additional money needs to be provided for bicycling infrastructure.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Bikes Blossom at Georgia State

On the first day of the semester, I drove to campus from my northeast Atlanta home. I exited from the freeway, and my first sight was a student riding on Jesse Hill near the Commons. It was a preview of things to come.

Several of us were really surprised at the increased number of bicycles that appeared at the beginning of the fall semester. Suddenly, it seemed like Georgia State really was a bicycling campus. Bicycle racks have been full each day, and bicycles could be found everywhere!

Georgia State bicyclists face many challenges, in addition to limited bike racks. Several of the streets on campus- Courtland, Piedmont, and Peachtree Center in particular- have heavy traffic, multi-laned streets, and fast-moving vehicles trying to get on the freeway or to their parking lot as quickly as possible. No bicycle lanes are provided. Although the sidewalks are often wide, riding on the sidewalk is not legal in Georgia (at least for those over 12 years old) and not as safe as streets, according to statistics.

Be safe out there. A good starting point is a helmet. Get one that you like and use it! Second, read up! The web have some good information on safety in traffic. Finally, consider a training course if you haven't ridden in a city environment. The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition regularly offers a good course called Confident City Cycling.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Atlanta Streets Alive Returns to GSU June 11

Did you know that the Atlanta Streets Alive event returns to GSU and downtown Atlanta on June 11 and on June 25? Atlanta Streets Alive had two events last year that brought thousands out into the streets of Atlanta to walk, run, bike, or do whatever activities moved them. Edgewood, Auburn and other streets will be closed during the event for activity. Woodruff and Hurt Parks will be filled with activity.

GSU Bikes, in conjunction with Touch the Earth from the Rec Center, will be providing bikes to loan during the event. Anyone with a Panther Card or other University System of Georgia ID can borrow a bike for a short spin around the ASA route. We will also be sharing information about bicycling at Georgia State, our plans, and how to get involved.

See the Atlanta Streets Alive! web page for a map of the route and for more information.

Event: Atlanta Streets Alive!
Dates/times: June 11, 10 am- 2 pm
June 25, 4 pm- 8 pm
Where: Downtown Atlanta, near Woodruff and Hurt Parks and eastward along Auburn and Edgewood Avenues

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood discusses bike sharing programs in cities and other important transportation topics.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Ride to the Condesa Coffee Shop

The students and I were to meet a couple of people at the Condesa Coffee Shop on Friday. It was a beautiful early Spring day and I have a BFO*: let's check out GSU Bikes and enjoy a bike ride to the meeting!

The GSU Bike Shop at Touch the Earth, located in the Student Recreation Center, was happy to oblige. We did the necessary checkout in quick fashion and off we went. North to Edgewood, east to Jackson, north again to the Freedom Park Trail, and down a long block to the corner of JW Dobbs and Boulevard. Our ride was a bit more than a mile.

I could have driven everyone, but in less time than we would have walked to the parking lot, started the car, traversed the streets, and found a parking spot at the destination, we completed our ride. We all arrived alert and mentally refreshed thanks to the brief exercise. We helped decrease the air pollution burden. and we helped to relieve congestion.

It was a short, healthy trip and a productive meeting, and one that each of us is likely to remember. Why don't we step out of our normal routine and take the opportunity to practice what we preach more often?

*BFO= blinding flash of the obvious