Atlanta's Bike Czar

Two-wheelers, you have an advocate.  Becky Katz.  Atlanta's Chief Bicycle Officer.  She pedals to work at City Hall every day. 

"You arrive alert. You are lighter on the Earth. You don't have to deal with parking," Katz says. 

Katz wants those who call Atlanta home to consider bicycling as a form of transportation.  Not just exercise or recreation.  It's a challenge with this city's love of cars.  But she says, not impossible. 

"Right now it's about 1% of the Atlanta population that bikes to work. We're looking to double that."

Her position is funded by a grant from the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation and Atlanta Bicycle Coalition.
Duties include grant writing, ensuring new development is cycling friendly, and educating motorists. 

"If there's no infrastructure, a person on a bike is allowed to take the full lane," Katz explains.
"Make sure when you pass the cyclist to give them 3 feet. And just be aware they have a right to the road too. We need to have compassion and empathy for each other," she adds.

There are protected bike lanes in several spots already.  On 10th Street, Peachtree Center and Park Place.  Future plans to reallocate space on existing roads are in the works. 

"The city by 2017 wants to double the amount of bike lanes - for bike lanes at least 60 miles - right now we have 32.  We have a long way to go to be truly bikeable. But there's a lot of opportunities here to make our communities more walk-friendly. More bike-friendly And just better places to live."


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