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Midtown Alliance: Atlanta biking is surging, thanks to new lanes, bike share

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Bike use has skyrocketed in corridors throughout Midtown in recent years, analysis finds.

A photo of the freshly installed two-way bikeway on 10th Street, as seen in 2013.
The freshly installed two-way bikeway on 10th Street, as seen in 2013.
Curbed Atlanta

If the streets of Atlanta seem to be catering to many times more bicyclists than the days of yore—especially in hip places such as Midtown—there’s now a solid, statistical basis for that.

Like apartment construction, bike use has generally exploded across Midtown since the Great Recession, from Georgia Tech to Piedmont Park and beyond.

That’s according to the Midtown Alliance, which has employed “in-ground counters” and evidence from 24-hour video cameras in the district to illustrate significant growth in ridership as Atlantans (and especially millennials) seek alternate means of getting around town.

Midtown Alliance’s data show that ridership on the 10th Street two-way bike lanes had ballooned by 225 percent between installation in September 2013 and April this year.

In other words, the 851 cyclists who previously used the lanes connecting Midtown’s core to the Beltline has grown to an average of 2,770 daily, per the study.

Elsewhere, daily use of dedicated bike lanes on 5th Street through Tech Square went up by 95 percent. Even Peachtree Street, with no protected lanes for two-wheel pedalers, has seen a 30-percent increase.

Graphics: Midtown Alliance

“Midtown’s street grid has the potential for a premier bicycle network,” Dan Hourigan, Midtown Alliance’s Director of Transportation and Sustainability, said in the report. “We want to build off the success of our protected, buffered bike lanes and create a better connected, low-stress network to make it easier and safer to cycle throughout the district.”

For now, Midtown counts five miles of bike facilities, with projects in the works to build almost nine more miles. Those include complete-street initiatives on Juniper Street and Piedmont Avenue.

Another significant factor is bike share.

Atlanta’s Relay Bike Share system launched downtown last year and has since grown to include 500 rentable, light-blue bicycles at stations across the city.

Midtown alone lays claim to 14 of those stations.