Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Bicycle and Pedestrian Friendly Vision for the City of Dunwoody

The Dunwoody Bicycle Taskforce has been meeting for a few months and they have just published their vision for the City of Dunwoody. It is my belief that we are working towards these goals and tonight's comprehensive land use plan discussing transportation clearly showed that fact. Things will not happen overnight but I believe that the will of people as well as that of the City Council are behind this endeavor therefore policies and practices will be put into place to affect change.

Overarching Principles

Transportation Planning should be thought of as a throughput of People, rather than exclusively motorized vehicles.
  • Dunwoody is a “Keystone” City
  • Regional Connectivity
  • Destination for live, work and play
  • We are an active, engaged and healthy community
Facts & Figures
  • In the U.S. more than 25% of all auto trips are less than a mile in length1
  • These short trips offer a terrific opportunity to take to the streets by foot or by bike instead of by car.
  • 1969 appx 50% children in the U.S got to school by walking or bicycling2
  • 2001 only 15%2
  • As much as 20 to 30% of morning traffic is often generated by parents driving their children to schools.2
  • In the US, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 3 to 14.2
  • Business leaders say traffic is the biggest hindrance to running and expanding their companies.3
Source 1: Georgia Clean Air Campaign
Source 2: US H.CON. RES 305, 2/28/08
Source 3: Sam A. Williams, President, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Joint House/Senate Study Committee on Transportation Funding 7/11/07

Vision & Direction

Prepare a separate, dedicated Bicycle Master Plan for the City

• Coordinate with adjacent jurisdictions and PCID during this process
• Account for both conventional street and “off-road / dirt” bicycle use

Formally Adopt “Complete Streets” Policy

    The safety and convenience of all users of the transportation system including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users, freight, and motor vehicle drivers shall be accommodated and balanced in all types of transportation and development projects and through all phases of a project so that even the most vulnerable – children, elderly, and persons with disabilities – can travel safely within the public right of way.” (Alliance for Biking & Walking)
Safe Routes to School (Public & Private)
  • Walking and Bicycling to school as a safe and viable alternative
Appoint a City Staff Member as the Bike/Ped Coordinator

Adopt the Recommendations from the 2007 Atlanta Regional Commission’s Bike/Ped Plan

  • Routine Accommodation
  • Bicyclists and pedestrians provided for when new roadways are constructed and for new and retrofitting existing roadways
  • Complete Streets
  • Re-stripe Candidates
  • Develop and adopt a protocol for roadway re-striping to better accommodate bicyclists on roadway segments where excess pavement width is available.
  • Performed coincidentally with resurfacing projects
  • Improve Crossings (Ped & Bike)
  • End-of-Trip Bicycle Facilities
  • Parking/Racks/Storage, Lockers, Showers
  • Work / Offices, Retail, Schools, Government, etc.
  • Neighborhood Connectivity
  • Cul-de-Sacs / Dead Ends (open up to bike/ped)
Attain Bicycle Friendly Community Status by 2014
  • Engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement and evaluation
  • Formally declare Dunwoody’s Vision & Objectives
  • Set in place now the policies, people and plans to achieve this
Economic, Environmental, Social & Health Benefits / Quality of Life
  • GA $$ spent on golfing is #2. GA $$ spent on bicycling is #1
  • Home values rise with increased bike/ped opportunities
  • Aging Population / Healthy Alternative
  • Disabled “Ability” to use the Streets, other means of transportation
  • Quality Family Recreation Time Together
Viable & Safe Alternative of Transport

Latent Demand
  • Develop the facilities and people will use them
  • Where the trip origin is near enough to the destination
Open up Opportunities to Varied Users
  • Casual, first-time
  • Commuters
  • Utility / Errands
  • Fitness
  • Social (Dinner)
  • Recreational
  • Family “Quality” Time


Rick Callihan said...

Thanks to our own Jim Redovian and the rest of the DeKalb school board nearly no kids will ride their bikes to elementary school in three of Dunwoody's four elementary schools. DeKalb School System butchered our local neighborhood schools by refusing to rezone and yanked 4th and 5th graders from three neighborhood schools and sent them to the new 4th/5th grade Dunwoody Elementary school, miles from home for many. I used to see lots of walkers and bike riders at Austin. Not this upcoming fall. DeKalb may as well come over and pick up the bike racks as no parent will let a third grader ride alone (without big brother or big sis or a neighbor in 5th grader riding along). With this new 4/5 school in Dunwoody traffic will increase a lot. Bike riding will vanish nearly 90% for Austin, Vanderlyn, and Chesnut and parents with kids in one of these schools and the new 4/5 school will not have time to walk to their local school. I like the idea of more bikes and walking, but it will take a huge effort to offset the loss we suffered at the hands of Jim Redovian and the rest of the school board.

Jeanette said...

I suggest we look to the The Netherlands which has amazing bike trails, an excellent public transit system and more to get an idea of how bike paths can be integrated to help move people from place to place safely and efficiently. Many people in this European country use bikes to get to work, school, the store and many other places and their bike paths are not just an adjunct on the side of the road, but are able to hold bicycle traffic going to and fro.

John Heneghan said...

America’s Top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities - None in Georgia

There are many important things a city can do to gain our consideration for this list: segregated bike lanes, municipal bike racks and bike boulevards, to name a few. If you have those things in your town, cyclists probably have the ear of the local government—another key factor. To make our Top 50, a city must also support a vibrant and diverse bike culture, and it must have smart, savvy bike shops.