New standards

I see on the latest paving schedule for my metro-Atlanta suburb-city (which is kind of my city hall’s local Bible) that a significant part of this main road (which leads to a shopping center and a church and serves as a major connector to the rest of the city — it’s also my only way home) won’t be repaved until 2021 (it had been on previous schedule to repave in 2016). That most likely means no improvements for bike access before then.

Therefore, if you have a 13-year-old child right now who can no longer legally ride a bike on the sidewalk or if mixing it up with distracted, speeding drivers isn’t your idea of a good time (and don’t think you’re above the law and can ride on the sidewalk — if so, your privilege is showing), that child will be in college and you may be dead or doing time in a secluded senior living village by the time any possible safety enhancements are added. So pretty much sh*t-outta-luck in a self-proclaimed family-friendly city that’s right smack part of the largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the southeastern USA (including possibly the new Amazon headquarters?) and just a 15-mile train ride from what is soon to become one of the top ten cities in the USA for bike riding (you go, Atlanta!). (Here’s the media release I’d like to see.)

The good news? The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO)  just came out with objective standards for how to decide what kind of bike lane to put in, so my fingers are crossed that this miles-long stretch of road doesn’t end up with the narrow, unprotected bike lane the rest of the road has (see here) but, due to its 35 mph speed (which drivers typically exceed by up to 10 miles per hour) and its volume of motor vehicle traffic (including trucks and buses) actually has an accessible-by-all protected or separated bike lane .

Note: If your city is still using American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) standards for street design, you are operating back in the dinosaur age, according to Janette Sadik-Khan (the former commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation; an advisor on transportation and urban issues; and the author of the informative book, Street Fight). See here for the best little chart since the Mesozoic Era. And make sure your city officials see it, too.

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