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(Draft) Proposed Bicycle Master Plan Georgia Institute of Technology College of Architecture Planning Studio Daniel V Alhadeff Prof. Michael Dobbins - Spring 2013, CP8900


Draft Bicycle Master Plan – Georgia Institute of Technology -- Page 2

Draft Proposed Georgia Tech Bicycle Master Plan

Contents Proposed Georgia Tech Bicycle Master Plan ................................................................................................ 1 0 Introduction – Need and Purpose .......................................................................................................... 3 0.1 Need ................................................................................................................................................ 3 0.2 Purpose ........................................................................................................................................... 4 1.0 - Existing Conditions ............................................................................................................................ 4 1.1 City of Atlanta Framework .............................................................................................................. 4 1.2 Surrounding Land Use ..................................................................................................................... 6 1.3 Main Routes to Campus: Street Network at Main Campus Entrances ........................................... 8 1.4 Public Transportation.................................................................................................................... 27 1.5 On-campus Facilities ..................................................................................................................... 27 1.6 On-campus Resources................................................................................................................... 28 2.0 - Recommendations .......................................................................................................................... 29 2.1 Proposed Infrastructure Improvements ....................................................................................... 29 2.2 Facilities Improvements ................................................................................................................ 32 2.3 Other Recommendations .............................................................................................................. 33 3.0 Implementation and Financing ......................................................................................................... 37 4.0 Conclusion and Further Studies ........................................................................................................ 38 Works Cited ............................................................................................................................................. 39 External GIS Data Used ........................................................................................................................... 41


Draft Bicycle Master Plan – Georgia Institute of Technology -- Page 3

0 Introduction – Need and Purpose 0.1 Need

The fourth general priority of the Georgia Tech Parking and Transportation Master Plan (2009) is to “reduce the number of single occupant vehicles on and around campus”. Bicycling is an increasingly popular modal choice for commuters to campus and for City of Atlanta residents. This reflects a national trend towards recognition of the needs of multiple classes of road users and can become a driver to transform our streetscapes away from privileging a single mode. At Georgia Tech, evidence of this awareness is represented by the creation in 2010 of the Bicycle Infrastructure Improvement Committee (BIIC) by the Student Government Association and the application for and recognition as a Bicycle Friendly University by the League of American Bicyclists (2012, Silver). While the feedback lauded accomplishments like the viaCycle and Starter Bike programs, the League noted the necessity for developing a bicycle master plan and dedicated funding for bicycle projects in order to increase awareness and involvement. Attaining recognition from organizations such as the League of American Bicyclists enhances the profile of the Institute and is a further attraction for prospective student applicants, faculty, and staff. Little explicit mention of bicycle transportation is made in the most current Campus Master Plan Update (CMPU, Georgia Tech 2004) and subsequent Parking and Transportation Master Plan (2009). These documents describe an informal desire for reduction in provided parking ratio and enhanced campus accessibility, implying the need for alternative transportation strategies such as improved cycling infrastructure, this bicycle master plan attempts to formalize these desires, provide direction for future campus efforts, and coordinates these developments with those of the City of Atlanta and surrounding neighborhoods.


Draft Bicycle Master Plan – Georgia Institute of Technology -- Page 4 0.2 Purpose

The Georgia Tech Bicycle Master Plan and Policy seeks to coordinate the infrastructure desires and trends on-campus with the priorities of the City of Atlanta, other local colleges and universities, and advocacy groups such as PATH and the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition. This plan also seeks to complement the short-term goals articulated in the Georgia Tech Bicycle Infrastructure Improvement Committee (BIIC) white paper by seeking to put them into the larger Midtown Atlanta context. The process of adopting this plan should also strengthen linkages between the campus administration, BIIC committee, and local neighborhood stakeholders and create a platform for further discussion. This is in pursuit of the 2004 CMPU Goal 7, item 5 “Work with campus neighbors to create a comprehensive ‘live/work/play’ environment” (p. 20)

1.0 - Existing Conditions The 2013 BIIC White Paper on Bicycling at Tech examines the current status of bike projects at Georgia Tech and makes the case for an accessible, bikeable campus. This section is intended to provide additional figures and analysis useful to campus planners in establishing and ranking longer term priorities. 1.1 City of Atlanta Framework

The City of Atlanta has made it a priority to become a more bicycle friendly city as a whole, with at least 120 total miles of “high quality bicycle facilities” 1 by 2016 (City of Atlanta, February 2013). This commitment to alternative transportation benefits Georgia Tech given its links to major transportation corridors. Beyond infrastructure such as bike lanes, the City has programmed or funded improvements such as buffered bike lanes and cycle-tracks. Additionally, they have conducted studies on the feasibility of implementing a city-wide bike share system

1

As defined by the City of Atlanta document (p. 9), buffered bicycle lane, one-way and two-way cycle tracks, shared-use-path (contrast with sharrows and bicycle lanes)


Cycle Atlanta: Phase 1.0 A Supplement to the Connect Atlanta Plan

NW

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Upper Westside

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Spring St NW

Northside Dr NW

HowellMil l Rd

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Midtown

St NW 10th St NE

Bankhead

Peachtree St NE

W Peachtree St NW

10th St NW

Ponce de Leon

Ralph McGill Blvd NE

Joseph E Boone Blvd NW

Ma

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Downtown Atlanta

St NW

West Lake

Edgewood Ave SE

Martin L King, Jr Dr SW

SW

Moreland

Memorial Dr SE Woodward Ave SE

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Memorial Drive

West End

Moreland Ave

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Oakland City / Lakewood

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South Moreland

Legend MARTA Rail Stations Core Bicycle Connections for Study Alternatives for Study Atlanta BeltLine Corridor LCI Areas 2010-2011

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Department of Planning & Community Development, Office of Planning, December 5, 2011


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similar to those operating in major cities such as New York and Washington, DC, and that currently operates on Georgia Tech campus (City of Atlanta, March 2013). If fully implemented, these improvements complement and parallel projects like the Atlanta Streetcar and Atlanta Beltline, as well as other initiatives intended to improve the overall pedestrian environment. Part of the study and implementation mechanisms for these projects is the CycleAtlanta program, funded by Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) Livable City Initiative (LCI) grant in partnership with Georgia Tech, Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, Midtown Alliance and others. In order to direct city programming and funding priorities, the program includes the development, deployment, and monitoring of a smart phone application that tracks users’ routes through the city, as well as summary demographic and trip purpose data. Options also exist for reporting infrastructure gaps (potholes, other unsafe conditions) to city personnel. The first generation of data from this study has resulted in the identification of a range of improvements along several important corridors near Georgia Tech. 10th Street Corridor The City of Atlanta has programmed a cycle-track along 10th Street from Monroe Drive (and the Atlanta Beltline Eastside Trail) to Juniper Street. Cyclists would continue along Juniper (or arrive from Piedmont) and continue along Eighth Street ending at Williams Street in the short term. The City also envisions the long-term possibility of building a bridge over the Connector. Other projects include a cycle-track connection along 10th Street across the Connector to State Street onto Georgia Tech campus, along a right-of-way that could also include an Atlanta Streetcar segment. Further south and parallel to this connection, a buffered bike lane is programmed for Ponce de Leon Avenue from Ponce de Leon Place (and the Eastside Trail) to


Bicycle Master Plan Studio -- Spring 2013 West/Midtown/Downtown Context Corridors and Campus Entrances

Legend Campus Transit Bus Stops ! !

MARTA Transit Stations

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Existing viaCycle Bike Share AtlStreetcar Campus Transit Cycle Atlanta Bike Corridors/Improvements

SCAD Atlanta Arts Center !

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Atlantic Station

10th Street Corridor Midtown !

!

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Georgia Tech

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` ^ ` `^ ^

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` ^ North Avenue !

! Marietta / Luckie Street Corridor

Civic Center !

! English Avenue / Vine City

Ralph McGill / Joseph E Boone Boulevard Peachtree Center !

! Ashby !

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Vine City !

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Omni !

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Five Points !

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Downtown / Georgia State

Atlanta University Center

Georgia State !

Garnett !

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King Memorial !

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0.25 Miles


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Juniper Street that would connect to bike lanes running south along Juniper Street and existing lanes running north on West Peachtree Street. Ralph McGill / Ivan Allen Jr Boulevard, Irwin Street, Edgewood Avenue The City of Atlanta and PATH have programmed bike lanes along Ralph McGill, Ivan Allen Jr, and Joseph E Boone Boulevards linking the Carter Center and west-side neighborhoods through Downtown and Centennial Park. Additionally, the streetcar project allows for lanes along Edgewood and Auburn Avenues that will also connect to Downtown and Georgia State and a West-side trail connecting Atlanta University campuses, Centennial Olympic Park, and the Washington Park neighborhood further with the Beltline. PATH further envisions Centennial Olympic Park as a possible hub for cyclists traveling through downtown. Howell Mill / James P Brawley Drive Howell Mill Road and James P Brawley Drive have been designated as north-south connections to the west of the Georgia Tech campus. These would connect with routes on Joseph E Boone / Ivan Allen Jr Boulevards and the developing west-side trail. Figure 1.1.1. CycleAtlanta Bicycle Corridors 1.2 Surrounding Land Use

The area surrounding Georgia Tech’s main campus has a variety of land uses. To the north is the Home Park neighborhood primarily composed of single-family homes, small multiple unit dwellings, and small retail. Further north is the Atlantic Station development encompassing entertainment, residential, retail, and office destinations. Many Georgia Tech students live either in Home Park or Atlantic Station and additional supported transportation options should be made available.


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East of campus is the commercial portion of Midtown, which contains many retail and cultural destinations used by Tech students. Many students also live in the single- or multifamily residential portions of Midtown. To the south is primarily multi-family residential that includes the North Avenue dormitory and dining hall, Centennial Place housing community. Further south is Centennial Olympic Park and Downtown Atlanta proper. Georgia State University buildings are located throughout downtown, and represent a robust source of trips by students of both universities (especially those in joint degree programs). To the southwest are the campuses of the Atlanta University Center that would also benefit from better mutual access from Georgia Tech. West of campus includes the Northside Drive corridor with many retail uses, including several popular multi-family developments and the English Avenue and Vine City neighborhoods. Figure 1.2.1. Existing Land Use (from City of Atlanta GIS, 2005) and current Georgia Tech boundary


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Bicycle Master Plan Studio -- Spring 2013 Figure 1.2.1 Existing Land Use (from 2005 GIS)

MARTA Transit Stations BikeShareGT AtlStreetcar

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Residential

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Industrial/Other

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Draft Bicycle Master Plan – Georgia Institute of Technology -- Page 8 1.3 Main Routes to Campus: Street Network at Main Campus Entrances

The main entrances to the main Georgia Tech campus are served by 10th (and 14th) Street, 5th Street, Marietta Street, Hemphill Avenue, and North Avenue. All of these major roads except Hemphill and 5th Street are designed as major arterials with two fast-moving travel lanes in both directions. Segments of North Avenue are designated as part of US highways 29, 78, and 278. Figure 1.3.1. Key map showing locations of maps of major entrances to main Georgia Tech campus

The following table lists important intersections between campus and the City of Atlanta, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Additional information, such as stakeholders and alternative approaches are meant as a guide to further long-term planning. Detailed analysis of these intersection improvements should be coordinated with the 2004 CMPU sections describing campus desires for an enhanced and distinctive campus entrances and streetscapes (p. 101).


Bicycle Master Plan Studio -- Spring 2013 Figure 1.3.1 Campus Entrances

Legend Campus Transit Bus Stops ! !

` ^

SCAD Atlanta

Atlantic Station

MARTA Transit Stations

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Arts Center !

Campus Transit

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!

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Peachtree Center !

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!

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!

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0.125

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0.25 Mile


Draft Bicycle Master Plan – Georgia Institute of Technology -- Page 9

10th Street and Hemphill Avenue Figure 1.3.2.

Strengths

10th Street and Hemphill Avenue is controlled by a traffic light. A protected left signal is given for southbound Hemphill Ave. This creates predictable movement through the intersection important for bike and pedestrian safety. Sidewalks exist on both sides of 10th Street, providing pedestrian access.

Weaknesses

Odd intersection geometry (non-90 degree angle) and ‘additional’ intersection with McMillan Street create ambiguities with movement priority. Traffic on 10th street is either congested, encouraging cyclists to dodge in-and-out of queues, or fastmoving, creating a large speed differential with pedestrians and cyclists. Topography approaching the intersection on Hemphill creates sight distance issues for both cyclists and automobiles.

Opportunities

A cycle-track on 10th street that would intersect with the current bike lanes would create more space and an element of predictability to bike movements, increasing safety for all users. Extending a cycle-track beyond to Howell Mill Road or Northside Drive would connect residents living in nearby apartments and lofts to campus.


Draft Bicycle Master Plan – Georgia Institute of Technology -- Page 10

Threats

Stakeholders

Georgia Institute of Technology, City of Atlanta; Home Park Community Improvement Association

Short-term or Other Alternatives


Mc

mi

lla

nS t NW

Lynch Ave NW

He mp h il ve lA NW

10th St NW

10th St NW

Proposed Multi-use trail / Streetcar R.O.W.

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10th Street and Hemphill Avenue 90

45

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Proposed Bike Box

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Stop

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90 Feet

Traffic Light &

Proposed Stop

Bike Rack Location

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viaCycle Location


Draft Bicycle Master Plan – Georgia Institute of Technology -- Page 11

10th Street and State Street Figure 1.3.3.

Strengths

The 10th Street and State Street intersection is controlled by a traffic light; no protected turn arrows are given. Sidewalks exist on both sides of both streets. The streets meet at 90 degrees, providing predictable travel paths and priorities. No other streets meet, and the residential character of State Street and streetscape improvements by the Institute provide a comfortable pedestrian and bicycle environment.

Weaknesses

Oversized travel lanes on State Street encourage drivers to turn right-on-red, dodging other waiting traffic and cyclists, limiting overall cyclist comfort.

Opportunities

A cycle-track on 10th Street would connect well to the existing bicycle lane on State Street (southbound) and create opportunities for better linkages to Atlantic Station and Home Park.

Threats Stakeholders

Georgia Institute of Technology, City of Atlanta; Home Park Community Improvement Association; Atlanta Beltline Inc.

Short-term or Other Alternatives

Clear road markings on State Street, extension of painted bicycle lanes, or


Draft Bicycle Master Plan – Georgia Institute of Technology -- Page 12

bollards, or sidewalk bulb-outs could constrain automobile movements and increase overall pedestrian and cyclist safety. Protected left-turn arrows or road diet, if warranted by movement volumes might reduce congestion and improve flow for all modes.


Atlantic Dr NW

State St NW 10th St NW

10th St NW

10th St NW

10th Street and State Street 90

45

" ½ )

Proposed Bike Box

&

Stop

0

90 Feet

Traffic Light &

Proposed Stop

Bike Rack Location

` ^

viaCycle Location

Atlantic Dr NW

State St NW

¯

Dalney St NW

Proposed Multi-use trail / Streetcar R.O.W.


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10th Street and Fowler Street Figure 1.3.4.

Strengths

10th Street at Fowler is controlled by signal, with protected left-turn arrows for westbound 10th Street and a staggered signal (turns and straight movements) for Fowler and Turner Broadcasting’s exit driveway.

Weaknesses

The slope downward on Tenth Street presents a challenge for both westbound and eastbound cycling traffic. Fast-moving traffic and large confusing intersections with the Connector, Williams Street, and 10th and 14th collector-distributor create ambiguous traffic priorities and paths.

Opportunities

A 10th Street cycle track would create opportunities to rework and restripe the intersection that would more explicitly define movement priorities and enhance predictability for all vehicle types and pedestrians. The cycle track could also link to graduate student apartments located just west on 10th Street.

Threats Stakeholders

Georgia Institute of Technology, City of Atlanta; Atlanta Beltline Inc.; Turner Broadcasting Systems; Midtown Alliance

Short-term or Other Alternatives

Restriping the intersection with the


Draft Bicycle Master Plan – Georgia Institute of Technology -- Page 14

collector-distributor system and Williams Street would increase safety at this intersection. The Midtown Alliance Bicycle Master Plan shows a planned “bike box” 2 for this intersection and at W Peachtree and 10th. Dedicating part of the wide southern sidewalk (via painted stripe) to bicycle transportation, would provide flexibility for cyclists exiting campus eastbound on 10th Street.

2

“A bike box is a designated area at the head of a traffic lane at a signalized intersection that provides bicyclists with a safe and visible way to get ahead of queuing traffic during the red signal phase.” (http://nacto.org/cities-for-cycling/design-guide/intersection-treatments/bike-boxes/)


10th St NW

Cherry St NW

¯

Fowler St NW

Proposed Multi-use trail / Streetcar R.O.W.

10th Street and Fowler Street 90

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Proposed Bike Box

&

Stop

0

90 Feet

Traffic Light &

Proposed Stop

Bike Rack Location

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viaCycle Location


Draft Bicycle Master Plan – Georgia Institute of Technology -- Page 15

5th Street, West Peachtree, and Spring Street (Tech Square); Williams Street Figure 1.3.5.

Strengths

Fifth Street has continuous bike lanes from outside of campus. West Peachtree Street also has continuous bike lanes in this area. A new cycle-track along the western side of West Peachtree (installed in 2012) allows access south to eastbound Fifth Street. A signal button is present for eastbound travelers to request a green light. A leftturn box is provided at the northern intersection with button for westbound travelers.

Weaknesses

One-way traffic on Spring/West Peachtree Street is fast-moving, light intervals are fairly lengthy at West Peachtree Street (even with call buttons), and bike traffic competes with buses, delivery trucks, and double-parked automobiles for bike lane space. The Williams Street intersection has stop signs for northbound traffic, but no control in other directions.

Opportunities

The assisted-left turn from West Peachtree


Draft Bicycle Master Plan – Georgia Institute of Technology -- Page 16

to westbound 5th street competes with opposing automobile traffic (turning left) for priority. A four-way stop at the intersection with Williams Street would make movements across it slower and more predictable, especially during afternoon rush-hour times. A cycle-track along Williams Street would provide additional space for bicycles to navigate north and south of Tech Square to access the proposed 8th Street and 10th Street bicycle facilities (City of Atlanta). Threats

The assisted-left turn from West Peachtree to westbound 5th street competes with opposing automobile traffic for priority. Williams Street functions as a collectordistributor for Downtown Connector (I75/I-85) traffic, making its use by others unsafe.

Stakeholders

Georgia Institute of Technology, City of Atlanta; Midtown Alliance; Technology Square businesses; the Biltmore Hotel


Draft Bicycle Master Plan – Georgia Institute of Technology -- Page 17

Short-term or Other Alternatives

Alternatives to a cycle-track on Williams Street include a bike lane (southbound complement to current lane on West Peachtree St) or buffered two-way cycletrack on Spring Street (or West Peachtree St).


Spring St NW 5th St NW

¯

Spring St NW

W Peachtree St NE

5th St NW

5th St NE

5th Street and West Peachtree St and Spring St 90

45

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Proposed Bike Box

&

Stop

0

90 Feet

Traffic Light &

Proposed Stop

Bike Rack Location

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viaCycle Location


Draft Bicycle Master Plan – Georgia Institute of Technology -- Page 18

5th Street and Techwood Figure 1.3.6.

Strengths

A fully signalized intersection with leftturn priority arrows for northbound and southbound traffic. A continuous bike lane extends along 5th Street. Sharrows 3 are present on Techwood in both directions.

Weaknesses

Topography challenges the stopping power of bicycles approaching from the east. Leftturning bikes from westbound 5th Street must cross from the bike lane to the leftturn lane. The cross-slope on Techwood (down towards the western sidewalk) potentially makes this turn more hazardous.

Opportunities

Painted sharrows or green paint for leftturns might increase driver awareness of possible left-turning bikes.

Threats Stakeholders

Georgia Institute of Technology

Short-term or Other Alternatives

3

Sharrow: “Shared Lane Markings” for lanes shared between automobiles and bicycles (NACTO p. 179)


Draft Bicycle Master Plan – Georgia Institute of Technology -- Page 19

North Avenue and Techwood Figure 1.3.7.

Strengths

Recent streetscape enhancements have increased pedestrian visibility and expanded sidewalks. Techwood Drive is fully signalized with protected left-turns. Crosswalks have lit beacons on street surface increasing their visibility to drivers.

Weaknesses

Like Tenth Street, traffic on North Avenue is typically moving much faster than the posted speed limit or is highly congested. The portion of North Avenue adjacent to Tech is part of the route of US-278, which potentially attracts trucks or other non-local traffic. It is also a primary route for CocaCola employees. This intersection is close to Connector off-ramp and traffic is frequently “gridlocked”, hindering access to pedestrians and cyclists.

Opportunities

Portions of the wide northern sidewalk could be marked off as a cycle-track from Techwood Drive to Tech Parkway. Due to the location of Grant Field and Bobby


Draft Bicycle Master Plan – Georgia Institute of Technology -- Page 20

Dodd Stadium and treatments from the North Avenue streetscape project, it functions as a major entrance to campus. Pedestrians also use it to access the North Avenue Apartments and surrounding neighborhood. Centennial Olympic Park Drive could be a third alternative route to Downtown parallel to Luckie Street and Marietta Streets. Threats

The off-ramp from the Connector and its use as an alley for the dormitories and Britain dining hall challenges the intersection mechanics due to its proximity to other intersections and amount of traffic handled by North Avenue. Large pedestrian volumes at Centennial Olympic Park Drive also stress this access point. Long-distance traffic through the corridor makes planning improvements difficult and requires further approval from GDOT.

Stakeholders

Georgia Institute of Technology, City of Atlanta; Georgia Department of Transportation; Coca-Cola


Draft Bicycle Master Plan – Georgia Institute of Technology -- Page 21

Short-term or Other Alternatives


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5th St NW

5th St NW

Proposed Bike Box

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Traffic Light &

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Bike Rack Location

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5th St NW

William

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5th St NW

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North Avenue, Tech Parkway, and Cherry Street; Luckie Street Figure 1.3.8.

Strengths

Recent streetscape enhancements have increased pedestrian visibility and expanded sidewalks. Tech Parkway is fully signalized with protected left-turns. Cherry Street functions as a right-in, right-out intersection controlled by a stop sign. Entry into campus is thus straightforward, while exiting onto North Avenue is difficult for all traffic types.

Weaknesses

Like Tenth Street, traffic on North Avenue is typically moving much faster than the posted speed limit or is highly congested. The portion of North Avenue adjacent to Tech is part of the route of US-278, which potentially attracts trucks or other non-local traffic. It is also a primary route for CocaCola employees.

Opportunities

Portions of the wide northern sidewalk could be marked off as a cycle-track from Techwood Drive to Tech Parkway. Luckie Street is programmed and funded as a route


Draft Bicycle Master Plan – Georgia Institute of Technology -- Page 23

with bike lanes from Downtown Atlanta (Centennial Olympic Park). Finally, plans for designating part of Tech Parkway as a pedestrian and bike-only boulevard would complete the north-south connections in the area. Threats

Long-distance traffic through the corridor makes planning improvements difficult and requires further approval from GDOT.

Stakeholders

Georgia Institute of Technology, City of Atlanta; Georgia Department of Transportation; Coca-Cola

Short-term or Other Alternatives


Williams St NW ood D r NW Tech w r NW od D

North Avenue and Techwood Drive 90

45

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Proposed Bike Box

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Stop

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90 Feet

Traffic Light &

Proposed Stop

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North Ave NW

Bike Rack Location

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North Ave NW


Te c

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Pk wy

NW

Cherry Cola St NW

Ferst Dr NW

Uncle Hein

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45

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Proposed Bike Box

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Stop

0

Traffic Light &

North Ave NW

90 Feet

Proposed Stop

Bike Rack Location

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viaCycle Location

Clark Howell Pl NW

90

Luckie St NW

¯

North Ave, Tech Parkway, and Cherry St; Luckie St

NW


Draft Bicycle Master Plan – Georgia Institute of Technology -- Page 24

Tech Parkway and Marietta Street; Means Street Figure 1.3.9.

Strengths

Fully signalized intersection with Means Street connects Ferst Drive across Tech Parkway to Marietta Street. Though Marietta Street is a truck route and has high-speed traffic, it is usable for confident cyclists.

Weaknesses

Four lanes of high-speed traffic, heavy truck usage, and poor pavement condition make traversing this intersection difficult.

Opportunities

Closing part of Tech Parkway to motorized traffic to create pedestrian and bike boulevard would connect Tech campus with Northside Drive, North Avenue, Luckie Street, and Marietta Street. This creates connections with Downtown Atlanta/Centennial Park. Re-using the Means Street bridge as a bike and pedestrian link would create connections to neighborhoods to the west (English Ave, Vine City, West Midtown) and southwest to Atlanta University Center institutions.


Draft Bicycle Master Plan – Georgia Institute of Technology -- Page 25

Threats Stakeholders

Georgia Institute of Technology, City of Atlanta; Georgia Department of Transportation; Coca-Cola

Short-term or Other Alternatives

Sharrows or other signage would increase driver awareness of cyclists along Marietta Street.


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Draft Bicycle Master Plan – Georgia Institute of Technology -- Page 26

Tech Parkway and Northside Drive Figure 1.3.10.

Strengths Weaknesses

This intersection with Tech Parkway is treated as a free-flowing, grade-separated interchange. This creates dangerous and unpleasant pedestrian and cycling conditions due to the high speed differential and lack of sidewalks.

Opportunities

Transforming part of Tech Parkway into a bike/pedestrian boulevard would create more direct access from west and southwest of campus (Atlanta University Center, Vine City, and English Avenue) as well as to the Marietta Street, Howell Mill, and Northside Drive corridors.

Threats

Large traffic volumes on Northside Drive and Tech Parkway make managing new intersection mechanics challenging.

Stakeholders

Georgia Institute of Technology, City of Atlanta; Georgia Department of Transportation; West Midtown businesses

Short-term or Other Alternatives


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4th St NW

Techwood and Fourth Street 90

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Proposed Bike Box

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Stop

0

90 Feet

Traffic Light &

Proposed Stop

Bike Rack Location

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viaCycle Location


Research Dr NW

3rd St NW

¯

Tech Walkway 90

45

" ½ )

Proposed Bike Box

&

Stop

Ferst

D r NW

0

90 Feet

Traffic Light &

Proposed Stop

Bike Rack Location

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viaCycle Location


Draft Bicycle Master Plan – Georgia Institute of Technology -- Page 27 1.4 Public Transportation

Georgia Tech is near two MARTA stations (Midtown Transit Station and North Avenue Transit Station) and several MARTA bus routes. Both MARTA trains and busses allow bicycles on board. The Institute-managed Stinger shuttle provides circulator service within central campus (red and blue routes) and surrounding properties (green route). The Tech Trolley route provides service to Tech Square, Publix Supermarket, and Midtown MARTA station. During overnight hours, a Midnight Rambler trolley serves the Clough Undergraduate Learning Center (CULC) and West Campus dormitories. No Georgia Tech managed transit service currently allows bicycles on board. While the LAB report (p. 4) recommends that campus transit vehicles have bicycle racks, the service area for the trolley and Stinger routes does not extend further than most users are willing to bike. Figure 1.4.1. Map of On-Campus Public Transit

1.5 On-campus Facilities

As noted by the BIIC White Paper (2013), most of Georgia Tech’s primary roads contain either sharrows or dedicated bike lanes. Most campus buildings have at least some bicycle parking near entrances. A “gutter” allows bicycles to be handled along the stairs on Tech (Skiles) walkway. A private company, viaCycle, operates several bicycle share stations on campus, allowing Tech community members and limited guests to borrow bikes for short trips. Several buildings have showers and changing facilities,


Bicycle Master Plan Studio -- Spring 2013 Figure 1.4.1 Map of Campus Public Transit

Legend Campus Transit Bus Stops ! !

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MARTA Transit Stations

Existing viaCycle Bike Share MARTA Rail

Campus Transit Yellow Green Red

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Arts Center !

Midnight Rambler

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!

Georgia Tech

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` ^ North Avenue !

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!

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including the Campus Recreation Center, CULC, 85 Fifth Street, and Management Buildings. Figure 1.5.1. Map of on-campus facilities (showers, racks, sharrows, lanes, repair) 1.6 On-campus Resources

The scope of resources available on or around campus has grown considerably since the last revision of the Campus Parking and Transportation Master Plan in 2009. Most significantly, provisions for bicycle parking exists at most Institute buildings and primary campus roadways have either sharrows or striped bicycle lanes. The Bicycle Infrastructure Improvement Committee (BIIC) is composed of interested students and representatives from diverse campus departments including Parking and Transportation and Capital Planning and Space Management. They also form an important link between campus organizations and off-campus organizations, such as the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition. Other available resources and programs include Starter Bikes, Bike Week, a bicycle incident reporting form, and registration with the Georgia Tech Police Department: Starter Bikes (Atlanta Bicycle Coalition + Students Organizing for Sustainability) is an initiative that provides on-campus access to tools and space to effect minor repairs. A smaller ‘repair’ station is present next to the Skiles Classroom Building and campus transportation ‘center’. Incident Reporting Form: http://bike.gatech.edu/resources/incident-report-form/ Georgia Tech Police Department (GTPD) Bicycle Registration is free and voluntary registration of bikes in case of theft that assists investigating officers in tracking down stolen bikes.


Legend

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Type

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Bicycle Master Plan Studio -- Spring 2013 Figure 1.5.1 Existing Bicycle Infrastructure Midtown

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2.0 - Recommendations 2.1 Proposed Infrastructure Improvements

The projects currently funded or programmed by the City of Atlanta, either through the 1999 Quality of Life Bond initiative or CycleAtlanta project will greatly improve access to Tech from many parts of Downtown and Midtown. These begin to create an interconnected network of bicycle infrastructure that will hopefully influence more people to switch from other forms of transportation. 2.1.1 Trips to/from Campus

Refer to tables and figures in section 1.3 for proposals and recommendations at the appropriate intersection 2.1.2 On Campus

The BIIC committee and other campus stakeholders acknowledge the great work that has been done already on campus to support cycling. The primary immediate concern of the BIIC committee is to structure previously ad-hoc funding and desires into this master plan and guidelines for further on-campus planning. General

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All new campus buildings should be served by bicycle racks coordinated with anticipated demand.

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Private fraternities, sororities, and organizations located on campus should be encouraged to install bike racks to handle their demand

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Selection and creation of new infrastructure or facilities should refer to the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) Urban Bikeway Design Guide. This guide is also used by the City of


Draft Bicycle Master Plan – Georgia Institute of Technology -- Page 30

Atlanta’s transportation planner and should be followed for consistency between campus and the city. -

Update long-term bicycle plan every 2-3 years and in concert with the Campus Parking and Transportation Master Plan

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The BIIC committee should maintain its role as a primary driver of bicycle policy. Planned transitions of members and leaders should be made to ensure that members are replaced and offices filled as others graduate or leave campus.

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Roadways and bike paths should be maintained in order to ensure safe access for both cars and bikes and kept clear of debris and doubleparked vehicles. Georgia Tech has made efforts to provide marked and recessed bus stops/areas on proper for Stingers and Trolleys to reduce conflicts with cyclists and pedestrians.

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Consistent with similar approaches by the City of Atlanta and Midtown Alliance, most on-campus slip lanes should angled to provide slower automobile movement speeds, controlled by stop signs, or be eliminated.

Ferst Drive

Ferst Drive has bike lanes on most of its length from Fifth Street until the Campus Recreation Center (CRC) with brief interruptions painted with sharrows. From the CRC to its terminus at North Avenue, it is painted with sharrows in both directions. Due to the amount of campus traffic carried by Ferst, it should have painted bike lanes in both directions along its entire length. Additionally the four-way intersections at Hemphill


Draft Bicycle Master Plan – Georgia Institute of Technology -- Page 31

Avenue and State Street present priority challenges to the pedestrian, car, and bike traffic the handle. The slip-lanes at Hemphill should be eliminated in favor of a fully-controlled intersection or mini-roundabout. The intersection with State Street should be studied for conversion to roundabout or similar intersection type that would coordinate with the proposed bike boulevard. Finally, the stinger/trolley stop and parking garage entrance from the Klaus Advanced Computing building should be studied in order to improve pedestrian crossing safety and comfort; sightlines from exiting and entering parking deck traffic (vegetation and topography) should be re-evaluated and improved. Figure 2.1.1 Hemphill Avenue intersection Figure 2.1.2 State Street intersection 4th Street

Fourth Street has been identified as a possible conflict point with drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. Due to its topography and somewhat ambiguously controlled intersections, some improvements might be made to clarify right-of-way priorities, including the alignment of the intersection with Techwood, elimination of slip-lanes, and a complete

four-way stop at Fowler. Figure 2.1.3 Techwood Street intersection 5th Street

Fifth Street has continuous bike lanes extending west from Juniper to Fowler at its intersection with Ferst Drive. At the ‘jog’ at West Peachtree


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Street a cycle-track and left-turn guideway assist crossing bikers. However, the intersection on-campus at Fowler Street has been found to be a common place for bicycle-motor vehicle accidents. The BIIC committee white paper recommends this location as a priority intersection for bike boxes and other signage. Figure 2.1.4 Fowler Street intersection 2.2 Facilities Improvements

Georgia Tech has vastly increased the supply of on-campus bicycle parking in order to address Parking and Transportation’s goals for modal split between bikes, cars, and pedestrians. Urban design projects by Midtown Alliance and the City of Atlanta have added parking to the streetscape of 5th Street and other locations. The viaCycle bicycle share program begun by students operates several locations around campus and is a popular alternative to using one’s own bike. As the City of Atlanta is pursuing its own bike share system – currently at the RFP state – on-campus locations should be upgraded to coordinate with the final vendor in order to facilitate continued on-campus usage. The Student Center, Clough Commons, College of Computing, Campus Recreation Center, and other campus units all have fairly large concentrations of bike parking that are consistently full. The Scheller College of Business and Tech Square also have high utilizations. While this is a sign of a vibrant campus bicycle culture, for example, because campus users take up most available street bicycle spaces, visitors to campus have less opportunity to legally and safely park their bikes. Such uses include attaching bikes to rails, trees, or other street furniture, frustrating efforts to provide streetscape features usable by everyone.


Ferst Dr NW

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5th Street and Fowler Street 90

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4th St NW


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To strengthen the goal expressed by the 2009 Parking and Transportation Master Plan for hub and spoke (pedestrian and) bicycle systems (p. 45), the added provision of showering facilities and locked or indoor storage close to their class or office locations should be provided. Though many cyclists might travel between classes or campus locations via bike, therefore parking in multiple campus locations over the course of the day, others prefer to park once at a central location and walk or take campus transit to other locations. A proposal by the Georgia Tech NW Sector Plan envisions the creation of a “pedestrian and bike boulevard” along State Street that would replace large portions of the current surface parking lot. A “bicycle center” could be built near the Ferst Theater that would provide indoor bicycle parking, area for minor repairs, and space for commuter showers. This facility could be an addition to an existing building or stand-alone, and accessed via Buzz-Card for security. Another alternative to developing fully indoor facilities is to use space in existing or future parking garages. Bike centers could also be developed near Tech Square, CULC, and the Campus Recreation Center (using part of the existing Starter Bikes facility), in addition to the one in central campus. Figure 2.1.5 Proposed Locations of Bike Facilities Figure 2.1.6 Generic floor plan for Bike Locker/Shower facility 2.3 Other Recommendations

Beyond recommended physical improvements there are recommendations in several policy areas: outreach, assessment and data gathering, and regulations.


30' - 0" 10' - 0"

Shower/Restroom with BuzzCard access

20' - 0"

Storage/shelves for repair equipment (secured with BuzzCard)

Bicycle parking

60' - 0"

CMU walls to underside of structure


Draft Bicycle Master Plan – Georgia Institute of Technology -- Page 34 Outreach with City of Atlanta, Midtown Alliance, Central Atlanta Progress, PATH, ABC, Emory / GA State / SCAD / AUC Bicycle Groups

Members of the BIIC committee and Institute staff should maintain regular contact with counterparts at neighboring universities and neighborhood stakeholders to coordinate future needs and desires. Data Development and Dissemination

Campus Planning and Space Development currently has a loose partnership with the GIS Center to develop and maintain on-campus bicycle-related data. These existing resources (bicycle-rack locations, building access points, edge-ofpavement) should form the basis for a campus-accessible GIS portal for bicycle infrastructure. Grid-based periodic bicycle parking counts, bicycle count data from the Atlanta Bicycle Campaign, and GPS data from the CycleAtlanta app could supplement the other data and provide a reference guide for campus planners and stakeholders. Other students, faculty, and staff could use this as a basic route planning tool to, from, and around campus. Finally, such a portal would also enhance the awareness of Georgia Tech’s commitment to bicycling and provide a way to show tangible progress Education and Professional

Consonant with the Institute’s education and research missions, the League of American Bicyclists report recommends offering courses that integrate alternative transportation into traffic planning and design and memberships for faculty and research staff in professional organizations (such as Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals) that offer training, research, and other academic benefits.


Draft Bicycle Master Plan – Georgia Institute of Technology -- Page 35 Policies and Regulations

Recommendation for dismount zone (during peak times) at ‘Tech Green’/Campanile Area Many cyclists use internal sidewalks and the Tech Green/Campanile area to ride between classes, the CULC, and the Student Center. Due to the high volume of pedestrian traffic, concerns regarding possible conflicts have been raised by Parking and Transportation. The 2006 UCLA bicycle master plan recommended a ‘dismount zone’ on a popular campus quad during peak mid-day hours (UCLA, p. 50). Georgia Tech Police and Parking and Transportation and the BIIC committee should continue to assess the feasibility of such a zone and such hours to reduce the risk and chances of pedestrian bike conflicts. An alternative to such zones is a striped cycle-track on a portion of the sidewalk designating a through route for cyclists to use for travel in the middle of campus. While creating a perceived ‘high-speed’ zone for bikes conflicting with the pedestrian character of the central campus areas, limiting such activity to a small portion of the sidewalk will increase comfort for all users while preserving connectivity across campus. Figure 2.3.1 Alternative to dismount zone: Cycle-track network through central campus

Bicycle registration The Georgia Tech Police Department (GTPD) administers a voluntary and free bicycle registration process that assists in locating and restoring stolen bicycles on GT campus.


Draft Bicycle Master Plan – Georgia Institute of Technology -- Page 36

Helmet/signal/headlight/bell use Consistent with state law and practices, helmet use is encouraged but not mandatory. All bikes should, however, be equipped with lights and reflectors. The use of bells, turn signals, and other auditory and visual signals should be encouraged to notify other road users of a cyclists’ intentions. Parking at Railings / Trees / Abandonment The BIIC Committee, Parking and Transportation and the GTPD actively patrol the way in which bikes are locked to ensure they do not interfere with accessibility infrastructure such as stair or ramp railings, disturb natural streetscape components, nor are abandoned by their riders. The Campus Recreation Center has recently conducted such a crackdown on abandoned bikes (June 2013).

In-Building Parking / Use Many academic departments have specific policies prohibiting the use or storage of bikes within their facilities. Cyclists might bring their bikes inside for several reasons, including inclement weather, lack of proper locks or space on racks, or expense. As this


Draft Bicycle Master Plan – Georgia Institute of Technology -- Page 37

plan actively addresses these issues (covered exterior bicycle lockers, mandate for appropriate installation of racks at Institute facilities, and GTPD registration), campus departments should continue to limit interior storage. If bikes are allowed within common work areas, they should be free from excess dirt and mud and not obstruct egress paths or proper facility use. Commute Incentives / Confident Cycling Classes The Clean Air Campaign currently administers a commuter-rewards program for residents and workers in Metro Atlanta counties. Faculty and staff may earn incentives for biking or using other alternative to driving alone. A similar program targeting students is recommended by the League of American Bicyclist report and would further increase awareness, especially among students living off-campus. The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition offers “Confident Cycling Classes” and sponsors other events and incentives that encourage more campus stakeholders to bike. More formalized campus engagement with ABC and other similar organizations would further raise the profile, safety, and comfort of bicycling to and around campus.

3.0 Implementation and Financing 3.1 Short Term (2-3 years)

The Georgia Tech BIIC Committee, Capital Planning and Space Management (CPSM), and Parking and Transportation should organize a series of continuous on-campus stakeholder


Draft Bicycle Master Plan – Georgia Institute of Technology -- Page 38

involvement meetings, as well as with adjacent off-campus organizations and agencies, to gather further input and information prior to adoption by the Institute. These meetings should continue periodically past adoption to ensure that the plan is kept up-to-date (at least every 3 years) and coordinated with other campus planning instruments, especially further planning done by Parking and Transportation. Short-term programming, financing, and implementation for most of the off-campus recommendations are provided by partnerships or grants to the City of Atlanta, Midtown Alliance, PATH, and other organizations. The BIIC committee white paper begins to detail dedicated on-campus funding sources that could be arranged. 3.2 Long Term (5+ years)

Longer term planning and implementation should be coordinated by the BIIC committee, CPSM, and Parking and Transportation. The City of Atlanta’s implementation of currently programmed facilities will create generous amounts of high quality infrastructure throughout the eastern and central portions of the city adjacent to Georgia Tech. Further studies for connections on the western and northern edges (English Avenue, Vine City, Atlanta University Center, Home Park, Atlantic Station, Loring Heights) would further increase campus accessibility.

4.0 Conclusion and Further Studies Stakeholders within and surrounding the Georgia Tech campus are moving in positive directions to comprehensively support infrastructure that encourages non-single-occupancyvehicle usage. There is commitment from the City of Atlanta and PATH to aggressively program and fund projects that create a usable network of high quality bicycle facilities. The BIIC committee and campus departments have shown great initiative and have accomplished many things without a comprehensive framework. This bicycle master plan and BIIC white paper seek


Draft Bicycle Master Plan – Georgia Institute of Technology -- Page 39

to create this framework, within which stakeholder conversations and design work can happen. Further study should be done periodically to establish and tweak appropriate design and policy interventions that accommodate a variety of transportation modes, including bicycling.

Works Cited Atlanta Regional Commission (2006-2009) Atlanta Regional Information System datasets http://www.atlantaregional.com/info-center/gis-data-maps/gis-data

American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (2012). Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities Fourth Edition. City of Atlanta, Atlanta Bicycle Coalition “Presentation on City of Atlanta Bicycle Transportation Initiatives” http://issuu.com/atlantabike/docs/city_of_atlanta_bike_transportation_updates_to_cit February 2013. Accessed 15 May 2013. Cycle Atlanta. “Cycle Atlanta Phase 1.0: A supplement to the Connect Atlanta Plan” http://cycleatlanta.org/Documents/CycleAtlantaMap.pdf March 2013. Accessed 15 May 2013. City of Atlanta, Atlanta Bicycle Coalition “Atlanta-Decatur Bike Share Feasibility Study” http://issuu.com/atlantabike/docs/atl-dec_bikeshare_book_lowres Accessed 15 May 2013. Accessed 15 May 2013. Georgia Institute of Technology Parking and Transportation (2009). “Georgia Tech Parking and Transportation Master Plan 2009” http://space.gatech.edu/masterplan/assets/PT_Master_Plan_July_2009.pdf Accessed 15 May 2013.


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Georgia Tech Bicycle Infrastructure Improvement Committee (2013). White Paper (draft) League of American Bicyclists (2012). Feedback: Bicycle Friendly University Application, Georgia Institute of Technology, Spring 2012 Midtown Alliance. “Midtown Capital Improvements”. (2013) http://www.midtownatl.com/about/programs-and-projects/capital-improvements/fundedcapital-projects “Midtown Alliance Bicycle Route Masterplan” http://www.midtownatl.com/_files/docs/midtownbike_map_feb2013_v1.jpg February 2013; Accessed 3 June 2013. National Association of City Transportation Officials (2012). Urban Bikeway Design Guide http://nacto.org/cities-for-cycling/design-guide/


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External GIS Data Used Unless noted otherwise, the maps and figures were produced by the author using GIS data available from the Atlanta Regional Commission (http://www.atlantaregional.com/info-center/gis-data-maps/gisdata) from the Atlanta Regional Information System (ARIS), the City of Atlanta, and Georgia Institute of Technology Center for Geographic Information Systems (CGIS). Other datasets were produced by the author for the included figures. ARIS City of Atlanta CGIS

road network (2006), Census 2000 block groups, MARTA rail stations and lines tax parcels, smoothed contour lines edge of pavement of Georgia Tech campus, campus building footprints, campus bike rack locations, campus bus stops


Georgia Tech - Draft Bicycle Master Plan Studio - Spring 2013