The Rise of Cycling in Atlanta

There are some signs that clearly tell me cycling - specifically, bike commuting - is on the rise in Atlanta. It has steadily been rising, and in the face of naysayers claiming "Atlanta was built for cars, and that cannot be changed."

For example the other day I pulled into the Trader Joes parking lot and had difficulty finding a parking spot for my bike on the rack. This has rarely happened before, but is now becoming a more regular occurrence. That day, bikes were attached to the shopping cart returns, light posts, any other number of places because there wasn't enough space.

The bike valet was completely full this day at Ponce City Market, and they began stacking bikes.

The bike valet was completely full this day at Ponce City Market, and they began stacking bikes.

Another example is the rise of bike valet. I have often strolled over to Ponce City Market and seen a full bike valet. This is relatively new.

What's driving this increase of cycling? I think it's pretty simple: there's starting to be a connected infrastructure that makes cycling a faster and more pleasant way to get where you want to go than driving. If you live in any of the neighborhoods along the Beltline or Piedmont Park (Midtown, VAHI, Old 4th Ward, Inman Park, Cabbage Town, etc) it's likely faster to get to Ponce City Market by bike than by driving. And I dare say much more fun.

We're still a long way off from really being able to get around via bike, just because "Atlanta" can mean the city of Sandy Springs, and getting from Sandy Springs to downtown via bike in a commuter-friendly manner would be some time away, as well as a long ride for many people. But I believe that we'll get there.