Controlling the narrative, a look back the Peachtree Road bike lane fiasco.

GDOT was always going to remove a travel lane to add a center turn lane. Knowing this was going to be an extremely unpopular choice and most likely would get extreme public backlash they added bike lanes to the proposal as a magnet for criticism. It worked very well, a lot of people got excited about being able to ride a major transportation corridor to work, the grocery store, neighborhood bar, or shopping mall. A lot of other people got seriously pissed about losing a travel lane “for bicycles” and completely missed the fact that they were losing a travel lane with or without the bike lanes.

What’s really shitty is that the striping for bike lanes was going to use existing roadway and not take anything away from cars. So now, when GDOT re-stripes the road, instead of a bike lane there will just be slightly wider outside lanes.

It’s this sort of short-sightedness that is so silly. I still ride Peachtree often and since the lanes are already so narrow there’s really no choice but to take the whole lane in most sections, integrating with automobile traffic and lowering the overall speed of that lane significantly. Which is obviously less convenient for drivers than a bike lane would be. Some of the choice quotes from the opposition were hilarious

Tuxedo Park Civic Association president Mercy Sandberg-Wright: 



You know exactly what these two people are going to say:

I drive this stretch of road daily and have yet to see a single bicyclist.

Which means “I spend between 1 and 3 minutes on this road (it’s less than 0.5 miles long) every day and never see any bicyclists.”

Same as “I never see any sexual harassment at work, must not happen.”

Same as “I never have any problems with cops, must not be an issue”

“GDOT claims that if Peachtree’s lanes for motorized vehicles is reduced from six to four between Pharr and Deering roads — the Buckhead corridor — and a turn lane is added in the middle along with two bicycle lanes, the reconfiguring will “create a much more uniform traffic flow, which will improve the efficiency of the roadway and allow Peachtree Road to handle more vehicles per day.

They’re doing this anyway, just without the bike lanes. Obviously no one read the proposal, they saw “bike lanes” and fired up the old Selectric.

“Peachtree Road between Pharr and Deering is way too dangerous for bikers.”

We’re riding there anyway, we’re just taking the whole lane and slowing you down. So, good job?

This was a major story (in the Atlanta bike scene anyway) for several months and was done a real disservice by the local news outlets who did their best to relay only the planned items having to do with bike lanes or streetcar items. I’m convinced a better proposal could have sold the bike lanes and added a world-class amenity to this city but I know that was never the point anyway.

Bike lanes were never really coming to Peachtree Road, they were just there to make sure a travel lane could be removed.

Tags: Dumb shit that makes you mad.


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