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Atlanta’s New Bike Network Takes Shape

The Green Lane Project promotes freedom of choice in mobility for urban environments across the US. The Green Lane Project recently selected Atlanta as one of six cities to activate more development of protected bike lanes and increase safe biking. It focused on expansion of bicycling facilities in the core of the city of Atlanta.

The Beltline trail is full of life and community with a vast grid of protected lanes. Presently, the Beltline trail already has 7,000 daily users on a 2.5-mile section of trail a day. The plans for expansion of the Beltline are more than rails to trails — they include light rail, bus transit, affordable housing, parks, and greenways.

Atlanta plans to expand the Beltline and connect the trail system to key urban destinations. But this is simultaneously a redevelopment project. The project is poised to remake the face of Atlanta as it remakes transportation in the city. With the increases of low-stress connected networks through the Beltline, the city  wants to double the percentage of people biking to work and double the miles of bike lanes.

Atlanta beltline

Screenshot of video above.


Streetsblog USA reports on Mayor Kasim Reed’s supportive attitude towards bike growth. The mayor wants to make Atlanta into a top 10 biking city. Let’s hope the city also improves mass transit systems so that travelers do not need cars at all, but that is a big challenge in the sprawling city. Atlanta citizens, however, have shown their numbers and enthusiasm, combining for a spirited celebration of 95,000 to 106,000 people at the open-streets event “Atlanta Streets Alive” on September 28. That exceeded the previous record by at least 12,000 people.

As the Beltline and the Green Lane projects are altering Atlanta, they are shifting how people think about living in the city of Atlanta. Atlanta’s latest “highway” network is going to be quieter.

Enjoying a seamless exchange between bikes and cars, with the humans behind each mode of transportation considering the other on the road and providing room to share, is the message of programs such as the Green Lane Project. Americans say they would bike more often if they had a safe place, like a protected bike lane, to ride. But in spite of adverse situations coast to coast, bicyclists are becoming more visible on city streets, country roads, and even highways. They are a part of everyday traffic, in spite of being squeezed into tight spaces and vying for space as they merge into automobile traffic.

Urban changes in favor of bikes are showing up. Having been in New York City many times in the past few years, I have watched in appreciation as many New York cyclists adept as any trained athlete sport perfect timing as they weave in heavy traffic. Things are changing in New York as well — NYC’s next car-free zone, a Central Park loop, is in the works to offer a respite from dangerous congestion.

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Written By

Cynthia Shahan started writing after previously doing research and publishing work on natural birth practices. (Several unrelated publications) She is a licensed health care provider. She studied and practiced both Waldorf education, and Montessori education, mother of four unconditionally loving spirits.


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