The Perimeter Community Improvement Districts are recommending a bike share plan as part of an effort to turn the Perimeter area into a bike-friendly urban center.
At Dunwoody City Council’s June 13 meeting, Yvonne Williams, president and CEO of the PCIDs, presented information about a bicycle implementation plan created by Sprinkle Consulting for the cities of Dunwoody, Brookhaven and Sandy Springs.
“We know we have to address traffic with alternative ways of transportation,” Williams said. “This bike strategy will get you ahead of the curve.”
A major recommendation of the PCIDs’ strategy includes a bike share program that allows people to rent a bicycle from stations in various locations and then return to them different stations. The city of Atlanta recently started its own bike share program.
City Councilmember Terry Nall questioned whether bike share programs actually get people out of cars. “I’ve not seen the empirical evidence that is going to do anything in massive numbers,” he said.
But City Councilman John Heneghan said the city should get involved in supporting alternatives to cars. “Doing nothing is not an option,” Heneghan said. “We need to foster a culture.”
There is no reliable data to show such a program would work in the PCIDs specifically because the infrastructure in the area does not yet fully support bikes, said Jennifer Harper, chief of programs and operations for the PCIDs. But present and future construction will provide a lot of bike lanes, she said.
Williams said she would reach out to the Atlanta Regional Commission for any numbers it may have on the success of bike share programs.
No money is required to accept the plan at this stage, Williams said, but by accepting and signing off on the plan the city and PCIDs will be able to begin seeking grants to fund initiatives that include ideas such as an employer incentive program, bike maps, safety equipment giveaways, bicycle parking, bike repair stands, bike shops, and showering and changing facilities.
Market trends point to bicycling for recreation, as a transportation option and as an important component of a competitive market for office, retail and residential development, Williams said. The idea is to connect all the participating municipalities in the Perimeter to create a safe network for cyclists and as a way to create an urban center.