Honestly, Whatever at This Point

I think perhaps I post these emails here now just so folks can know there was a background of trying to make things safer (and, of course, everyone’s always asking about BikeNoodle). I don’t expect any positive outcome from this anymore, although we never know when the tipping point is. If nothing else, perhaps it may be helpful to someone else.

Good morning, Mayor Deutsch, City Councilors, Sustainability Committee members and fellow bike-riding survivors. I’ve also added City Manager Eric Linton to this email, as I have seen others communicate directly with him with successful outcomes and I have been relying on my city councilors for positive action and it has been slow to come on the issue of pop-up protected bike lanes*. I’ve also added Brent Walker, our Parks and Rec Director. 

I enjoyed the large turn-out at the dedication of the gorgeous new bike racks** this past Thursday in Brook Run Park. I was not surprised that Jason Metzger and I were the only two people to ride bikes there. I have never seen anyone from city hall riding a bike with a loved one in a bike lane in the City of Dunwoody except for Councilor Seconder and his wife Kathleen, with whom I rode years ago when Georgetown Park was dedicated — I believe she has refused to do so ever since due to the dangers. All “bike lanes” leading to the park do not meet standards for access-for-all and are thus dangerous-by-design and should be considered temporary. 

FYI, the “class of cyclists” designations listed in some Dunwoody plans is elitist, ableist, discriminatory and unacceptable, and the reference to those who refuse to assume the known unreasonable risks to occupy this paint-on-the-road as “beginners” is gendered, ageist and point-blank inaccurate. There is a great deal of research on that, if you are so inclined to pursue. I respectfully request that you retire that antiquated terminology. I am a League of American Bicyclists Cycling Instructor (one of only five women in the State of Georgia) who often rides on the sidewalk in Dunwoody (which is not necessary where I ride in Atlanta, Decatur, Clarkston, NYC, Boston, Pittsburgh, or other truly bike-friendly places) because of the constant near-death conditions on our “family friendly” roads and streets. 

The deadline for the Community Sparks grant from the League of American Bicyclists is July 15th. This would fund a small pop-up temporary bike lane leading to the park so that the general public could see what it feels like to have basic dignity while riding a bike and could be inspired to check out the new bike racks and other bike offerings in the park (bike fix-it station, multiuse trail, etc.). Thank you to Councilor Price for asking staff to pursue this two weeks ago (I had offered to write the grant a week or so before that due to the short time-frame but was not taken up on that professional offer). 

Please take this virtual bike tour of the City of Decatur (number 7 on this list —there are also others from all over Metro Atlanta at that link). I have lots of rubber-hits-the-road TikToks to share, if anyone is interested. I just posted this little one from the bike rack dedication  — I refer to it as the most beautiful bike rack in the USA, which I currently believe to be true!

If anyone would like to see actual, usable bike infrastructure in person, I ride from Decatur to Clarkston almost every Saturday to tend a refugee garden and you are welcome to join me. It will knock your socks off. I also created a Sustainability-in-Action Tour with Bicycle Tours of Atlanta (one of only three in the world) that is offered occasionally. (Some of you have been on that stunning 10-mile ride with me already and know how special it is.) 

With all due respect, please provide an update on the Community Sparks grant. Thank you.

Trust the journey,

Pattie Baker


* 13 years and counting