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Could ATL Finally Launch A True Bike-Share Program?

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From Buckhead to Reynoldstown to West End, Atlanta's gaining momentum as a bicyclist-friendly place, and the two-wheel movement could be getting a significant boost in the form of a bike-share program. Last week, City Hall officials released a Request For Proposals (RFP) for a program that would make at least 500 seven-speed bicycles available for short-term rental at corner kiosks, Creative Loafing reports. Should the plans materialize, Atlanta would join European cities with established bike-share programs and cities like Chicago (brrr) and Los Angeles with newer initiatives. Again, though, this raises the time-dishonored question: Will Atlantans, or visitors to the city, ditch automobiles to employ their legs?

CL has posted the RFP, a document for which bike enthusiasts and city boosters have long been hankering. A cursory glance at — and dogged keyword search of — the 106-page document did not reveal specifics such as how much bike rental would cost, or what special measures will aim to deter theft (drop a line if you know). Safe to say the bikes are meant for college students, tourists and office workers looking for an alternate to walking for a few hours, and with hundreds of those folks on the streets, CL notes the program could have aesthetic implications for the city:

"The potential impact a successful bike-share program could have on the city is interesting to ponder. Not just in terms of getting people out of their cars (and those same cars off the road), but in how it could change the way the city looks."

A recent study found the program could be most successful in vibrant neighborhoods from Buckhead, to Old Fourth Ward, to the West End and Atlanta University Center

— areas already served by Beltline segments or where substantial trail projects are planned in coming years. Note to relevant companies: Proposals for the bike-share program are due by June 24. A pre-proposal conference is scheduled at City Hall on June 6.
· City releases RFP for bike-share program in Atlanta [Creative Loafing]
· $2.5M Could Enhance ATL Bicycling Experience [Curbed Atlanta]
[Image via LAstreetsblog.com]