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Motorists who park in Atlanta bike lanes can avoid tickets with new diversion program

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Officials liken it to a defensive driving course for fined drivers

A bike lane is blocked by not one, but two automobiles.
Edgewood Avenue is notorious for having impeded bike lanes.
Atlanta Bicycle Coalition

Back in March, the Atlanta City Council passed legislation imposing harsher punishments for motorists who clog bike lanes.

The new law allowed officers to ticket folks who’d parked in the city’s bike paths and pin them with $100 fines—or $1,000 for people driving commercial trucks, such as tractor-trailers and semis.

Many a mobility advocate celebrated the minor win, which, they hoped, would keep cyclists’ designated lanes clear and, thus, safe.

Now, though, violators of the new law have a way to circumvent the fines.

Starting today, the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition and the City of Atlanta are hosting a ticket diversion program.

Officials have likened the new initiative to defensive driving courses offered through the Pre-Trial Intervention Traffic (PTIT) program, calling it “a means to maintain driving privileges and receive financial relief and legal amnesty,” according to a city press release.

“With policy now providing an alternative to the fee, we will raise awareness about this safety issue through education,” said Atlanta Bicycle Coalition’s education program manager, Stephen Spring, in a prepared statement.

The two-hour class, focused on teaching people how to safely share the road, is scheduled every other month on a Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m.

In other mobility-related news, the City of Atlanta last month tested a pop-up protected bike lane near Piedmont Park.

It’s not yet clear what the city learned during the week-long experiment, but officials recently released a video spotlighting how the temporary route was safely used.