Census data suggest that biking is on the rise across the country, and especially in vehicle-enslaved Atlanta. A new online tool circulated by the Census Bureau shows stark contrasts in the bicycle-communing patterns of ATLiens across 22 years — from around the time the city of Atlanta's population reached a late-20th Century low (1990) and the post-Recession year of 2012. As the folks at PeopleForBikes note, the lightest-colored regions on the map represent areas where less than 1 percent of the population gets to work by bike. In the darkest-colored regions, more than 10 percent do so. Interesting note: Only a few neighborhoods in the whole United States exceed 20 percent bike commuting. They are college towns and, of course, Portland.
Back in March, PeopleForBikes selected Atlanta as one of only six cities for the next installment of the Green Lane Project, a two-year program to build better and safer bike lanes. The six cities — us, Boston, Denver, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Seattle — were picked from more than 100 U.S. cities that submitted letters of interest for the program. The chosen cities will receive "financial, strategic and technical assistance to create low-stress streets and increase vitality in urban centers through the installation of protected bike lanes," officials said. The gifts to each city are valued at more than $250,000.
The program kicked off two weeks ago in Indianapolis with a bunch of fist pumping from federal officials. The Green Lane Project has promised to provide updates on each city's progress on its website. For ATL bike commuters and recreational riders, it's something to keep an eye on.