ATLANTA - Cyclists are riding through parts of metro Atlanta with a purpose.
They are doing a “slow roll” ride in hopes of creating safer road conditions for cyclists.
Community members gathered on DeKalb Avenue to bike with Friday morning car commuters as a means to demonstrate the need for fully-funded safety improvements in the area.
Channel 2’s Steve Gehlbach was there when dozens of cyclists slowed drivers in a line of cars behind them.
This was rush hour backup on DeKalb Avenue westbound behind rolling slow bicycle ride to protest plans not to add dedicated bike lane in resurfacing project. Live report at noon pic.twitter.com/fzRSSxGhpg— Steve Gehlbach (@SteveGWSB) April 12, 2019
The area of DeKalb Avenue is near Fox Brothers Barbeque, not far from the Candler Park MARTA station in East Atlanta.
There are reversible lanes and no sidewalk or bike lanes.
Atlanta Bicycle Coalition spokesman Bennett Foster said he thought DeKalb Avenue was getting protected bike lanes and improved sidewalks.
Some were supportive, others right in the middle of morning rush hour when both the westbound lanes are full of cars, were angry.
Gehlbach heard some honking and one rider said a driver gave them a rude gesture with his finger.
The slow rolling protest went from Kirkwood to Inman Park.
The group took up one lane of DeKalb Avenue with one lane getting by.
The more than 100 riders’ message the city and “Renew Atlanta” was that they are not living up to the promise of adding a dedicated bike lane during the current re-surfacing project.
It will remove the center reversible lane, but the city says there is not enough money in the budget, or enough room in the current footprint, to add a bicycle lane.
However, one advocate said there is room, if you take the road from three down to two lanes in spots, getting rid of parts of the center turn lane.
“There is a less expensive way to fit in the right of way, and they’re just not making extra effort to really try and deliver what they promised, year after year, since 2015," Bennett Foster said.
A rendering of what the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition thought they would get with the passing of the T-SPOLST shows what is called a “complete street,” but now they will just settle for re-striping.
To make a two-way bike lane on the north side of DeKalb Avenue, they say all it would require is the cost of some paint and little plastic posts.
The city says there is just not enough room to safely do it.
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