To the editor:

I read your article in the Buckhead Reporter [“New battles revving up over bicycle lanes,” Buckhead Reporter, Sept. 4-17] with great interest because I have been driving the affected stretch of Peachtree for 25 years. Everything the bicycle advocates and the state planning engineers claim is wrong.

Nobody cycles to and from work regularly on Peachtree, so we won’t reduce the number of cars on the road. We will have the same number, but they will move slower and extend rush hours considerably.

The bike lanes on Pharr Road are not inducing cyclists to use that road. Pharr is flatter and straighter than Peachtree, thus it is much more bike friendly. But no surge in bike use. So the theory “if you build it, they will come” is nothing more than a childish dream.

Atlanta is not a bikeable city. It’s hilly and hot, and the rain is torrential. The two cyclists we see in an average week on Peachtree are back in their cars when the summer squalls soak the streets each afternoon. Bike lanes for October and April is an extravagance Atlanta cannot afford.

Atlanta was built by people who drive cars for people who drive cars, and no amount of wishing we were Portland, Ore., will make it so.

If urban planners want bicycle lanes in Atlanta, they should take it from the land that lines our streets not from the lanes that are our streets.

Brad Young

To the editor:

I come from Portland, Ore., the land of bike lanes, bike boxes, bike accidents…. people killed on a regular basis due to bike riding. The entire population of the state is half of our metro population. The weather is totally different. The mindset of the people is different!

If Atlanta really wants to spend its money wisely, it will standardize Peachtree’s turn signals and turn lanes in order to have a consistent flow up and down the overly traveled street. It will pay attention to the horrible and rapidly deteriorating road conditions.

Bike lanes are not the end-all solution.

If a greener city is desired, there are many fine programs that have their origins in Oregon. Biking lanes are not one of them.

Jaci Johnson

3 replies on “Letters to the editor on bike lanes: ‘Atlanta is not a bikeable city’”

  1. I lived in Buckhead for 20 years and commuted by car down Peachtree. My experience driving on Peachtree knows that to drive in the far left travel lane is not the fastest, you will inevitably get stuck behind someone turning left. I don’t think Peachtree would be losing a travel lane; it would be combining two turn lanes into one.

    One reason that Buckhead does not have as many commuter cyclists is that the main artery (and least hilly route) is Peachtree, which has some fading bike lanes only in one section.

    I have moved intown from Buckhead and now have no car, using my bicycle as primary transportation. As I see housing density increase it makes lots of sense to make the city, even the Buckhead part, friendlier to all type of cyclists. It is one of the solutions we need to support so that we can all get to where we need to go.

  2. I live in Buckhead, on Peachtree Rd. I see many, many people every day riding their bikes on the road, and even more on the sidewalks.

    I have almost been hit several times while walking on the sidewalks, by people on bikes, fearful of riding on the street. I saw a person on a stretcher, after he had been hit by a person piloting a car, turning into a driveway, not expecting to see him on the sidewalk on a bike. That was around 6 pm on July 27th at 2460 Peachtree Rd.

    When driving, I stay in the center lane as much as possible so that I don’t have to merge left to pass a person pedaling (we have a 3 ft passing law in GA, FYI). The center lane is most congested, by far, both because of people avoiding bike riders, and those avoiding being stuck behind left turning drivers.

    Bike lanes will clear the sidewalks and the right lane, allowing those of us driving, a clear right lane, and those of us walking a safer sidewalk. Those who bike, and those numbers are increasing every year in Atlanta, will have a safer time of it as well.

    No one wants to send another person to the hospital, and no one wants to be sent to the hospital because of poor road designs. Let GDOT correct this road, and we will all benefit from it.

  3. This bike issue is interesting. I drive my car behind a biker who rides in car lanes and uses turn signals but when it is not convenient to wait on a light or sit and wait their turn in traffic they decide to stop acting like a car and do whatever they want to do. If bikers want to be respected on the road……..respect the road. Don’t think that those of us in cars should have to watch out for every move that you make on a whim. Either you drive like a car or get out of the lanes. Also, please remember that everyone can’t ride bikes to and from work but they do need to get to work. Don’t penalize the many people in cars to accommodate the few people on bikes.

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