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Overhauls, Bike Lanes Pitched on Opposite Sides of Downtown

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Potential roadway overhauls are in the works in vastly different parts of Atlanta that could appease bicycling enthusiasts (but maybe not drivers) and provide safety measures for casual riders. The projects would subtract vehicle lanes from thoroughfares on opposite sides of downtown — DeKalb Avenue to the east, and Joseph E. Boone Boulevard near the Atlanta Falcons stadium — and add dedicated lanes for bicyclists. The western initiative, at this point, appears to have a better chance of happening. The Atlanta City Council voted unanimously this week to allocate up to $387,700 — part of the project's $1.8 million total cost, most of which is funded — to transform a portion of Joseph E. Boone Boulevard between Northside Drive and Joseph E. Lowery Boulevard, according to the Saporta Report. The street would be narrowed from four to two lanes, allowing for the addition of bicycle lanes, turn lanes and a system that better handles storm-water runoff. The changes are expected to be finished by July 2016, and in some ways they echo what's brewing on the eastside.

The changes to DeKalb Avenue would strive to make it a so-called "Complete Street." This would include removing the reversible lane and adding bike lanes and turn lanes. The $2.5 million project, supported by the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, is hardly a done deal. It's part of a $250 million bond referendum that Atlantans will vote on in March that, if approved, could fund infrastructure improvements across the city, Decatur Metro reports.

As is, the plan calls for redoing DeKalb Avenue from the Inman Park-Reynoldstown MARTA Station to the city limits at Decatur. The bicycling advocates, however, are pushing for more. A recent post on the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition's website reads: "This project shouldn't stop in the middle at Inman Park — ask for it to be extended to connect with the Decatur Street bike lanes."

· Atlanta Bond Plan Includes Removing DeKalb Ave Reversible Lane, Installing Bike Lane [Decatur Metro]
· Atlanta OKs project to ease flooding, add bike lanes near Falcons stadium [Saporta Report]