The largest bicycling advocacy group in the country has anointed a Westside Atlanta bike-lane project as the top new bikeway in the land for 2017.
Positioned at No. 1 on PeopleForBikes’ annual list of “Best New Bikeways” is PATH Parkway, a 1.5-mile cycle track and pedestrian corridor that stretches between Centennial Olympic Park and Marietta Street, skirting Georgia Tech’s campus.
The Atlanta project bested others from New York City to Austin and Berkeley in the eyes of PeopleForBikes, which counts 1.2-million members nationwide.
The north-south corridor project, jointly funded by the PATH Foundation and Georgia Tech, has been usable for months but officially opened in recent weeks.
“Good bikeways are designed so all sorts of people will find them comfortable, and the PATH Parkway excels on that count,” said Kyle Wagenschutz, Director of Local Innovation at PeopleForBikes, in a press release. “But what put it atop our list is that it’s also a convenient route where lots of people want to go. That’s the combination, comfort, and convenience, that’ll pay off for Atlanta in health, happiness, and congestion-proof mobility.”
Other aspects working in the parkway’s favor were its “low-stress biking” aspect, its “physical beauty,” the “graceful way it repurposed the roadway divider as a separator for bike/car traffic,” along with its multimodal benefits in boosting an important walking route for GT students.
The “full-throated support” of the project by the school and Coca-Cola didn’t hurt, either, per PeopleForBikes.
Elsewhere in the announcement, Atlanta planning commissioner Tim Keane called the parkway “the final gem in [Mayor Kasim Reed’s] administration,” which also counted the city’s first bike-share system and various other biking facilities, he said.
The rest of PeopleForBikes’ top 10 new projects are as follows:
2) Mopac Mobility Bridges, Austin
3) Jackson Street/Capital City Bikeway, St. Paul
4) 3rd Street, Austin
5) Williamsburg Bridge approaches, NYC
6) Bancroft Way, Berkeley CA
7) Jay Street, NYC
8) 7th Avenue bicycle boulevard, Ellensburg WA
9) Washington Avenue, Minneapolis
10) New York Avenue/Michigan Avenue couplet, Indianapolis