Add a $2.5 million line item to the City’s General Fund annually to connect gaps in the bikeway network and enhance safety of existing projects
The City of Atlanta should add a line item for building and maintaining bicycle infrastructure in the City’s General Fund. Building bicycle infrastructure requires a variety of funding sources. Access to capital through the City’s General Fund would improve the efficiency of moving projects forward and potentially create ways to extend projects through matching funds from federal, state, and private grants. The City of Chicago used local funds to successfully improve bike infrastructure in order to meet its ambitious goal to install 100 miles of protected bike lanes. Chicago provided funding for the first few miles of projects while waiting for subsequent funding mechanisms (e.g. federal funds) to become available. The City of Chicago now mainly uses local funds for spot improvements.
Image Credit: Chicago Bicycle Program
In addition to funding incremental improvements to connect gaps in the bicycle network where bike lanes end abruptly, the fund should be directed to maintaining and cleaning bike lanes and cycle tracks. It needs to be done much more often and better.
The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition recommends that elected officials:
Add $2.5 million line item to the City’s General Fund annually for bikeway network improvement. This funding could build 24 miles of simple bike lanes projects -- with the estimate of $200,000 per mile for bike lanes that don’t require street resurfacing -- in two years.
Use the funds for bikeway maintenance as needed, ensuring existing bike lanes and trails are functioning well to safely accommodate riders.