To the editor,
In response to your article on Jan. 29 entitled, “Bridge widening draws cheers, complaints,” I would like our elected and government officials to consider incorporating bicycle accommodation into the planning of road work, including the bridge widening on Roswell Road and I-285.
Since the city’s inception, there have been miles of new sidewalks created. Yet not one single bike lane, path or route has been built or established by the city.
Bridges have a lifespan of several decades. How can we predict the transportation patterns 40-50 years from now? In not adding the accommodation for bicycle lanes, you will be restricting our future growth. Within the coming decades, Americans will acknowledge that motor vehicles are but one means of being transported.
The 2007 Atlanta Regional Commission Bike/Ped Plan Policy Recommendation on “Routine Accommodation” states: “Incorporate the concepts of routine accommodation and complete streets into planning, design, and construction of all future roadways and adopt development review regulations requiring developers to build bicycle and pedestrian facilities as integral components of their transportation infrastructure.”
Examples of routine accommodation in our area include Ashford Dunwoody @ I-285 Interchange Redesign – Bike Lanes are in the plan (Per Perimeter CID); Perimeter Center West – Bike Lanes added (Perimeter CID); I-285 Flyover Bridge / Perimeter Center Parkway – Bike Lanes added (Perimeter CID); 17th Street Bridge over Downtown Connector – Atlanta: added bike lanes; Roswell Rd & Dunwoody Place and Northridge Intersection Improvements: added bike lanes.
Instead of considering the present conditions along Roswell Road in Sandy Springs and restricting your options (utility relocations, road widening), I encourage you to think out of the box for this bridge widening project and to add the widths for bicycle lanes. The cost with be negligible.
Yet the flexibility you will provide to our children and grandchildren to make their own decisions on transportation planning will be immense. Consider this a very small investment in exchange for the absence of bicycle accommodation in the billions of dollars that Georgia has spent on motor vehicle transportation over the last decades of exponential growth, road and bridge building.
On March 23, you will find nearly 2,000 bicyclists converging on the state Capitol as part of the fifth annual “Georgia Rides to the Capitol,” sponsored by the Metro Atlanta Mayors Association. The riders are participating to promote bicycle accommodation into our transportation infrastructure (www.georgiaridestothecapitol.org). A few hundred of the riders will be crossing the Roswell Road bridge at I-285, including the mayors of Roswell and Dunwoody. Perhaps next year we can all celebrate and attend the new bridge opening, including bicycle lane width accommodation.