Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Trip I Had Been Avoiding

There are a few reasons why I haven't completely gotten rid of my car...late night trips through sketchy neighborhoods, the lack of ZipCars near me, the expectation that I will drive out to the mountains to go camping frequently (not true, recently). The final reason for keeping my car is transporting my 100-pound Rottie and his giant bags of dog food.

No, I did not carry the big dog on my bicycle. It wouldn't even be possible; he would need to ride in a trailer or bakfiets-box. But I did go to the pet store and get the medium size bag of dog food (15 pounds) plus a couple of large tubs of treats and supplements. And it was no problem at all. The Takara handled it like a champ, although I felt a little top-heavy at times.
An interesting thing about this trip - from midtown to East Atlanta to my house - was how much of it was on bicycle facilities or bicycle-friendly streets. From the almost-a-bike-lane on Myrtle Street to the wide outer lane on Central Park Drive, next to the "path" on Baker Street (which replaced an on street bicycle lane, something I will rant about another time) and down the Jackson Street bicycle lane/sharrow route, along bicycle lanes on Edgewood Ave, zigzagging through Cabbagetown and ending up on the bike lanes of Bill Kennedy Way and Glenwood Ave. After stopping at the store, I returned to the Glenwood Ave. lane and then worked my way over to the bicycle lane on R.D. Abernathy Blvd. Pretty good use of the few facilities we have!

I was also intrigued to discover that Glenwood is evolving into a major bicycle commuter corridor. Several dead-ends and detours were added to Glenwood when I-20 went in, to prevent motorized traffic from bypassing the freeway on it.  So there I was, making the tricky crossing at Boulevard, where you enter the middle of a signalized intersection from an unsignalized road next to a freeway exit, and dodge some bollards to access a short path which leads back to another section of Glenwood Ave. And all of these practical-looking cyclists were heading the other way, presumably heading home from work. I wonder if something could be done to make Glenwood a more user-friendly bicycle boulevard?


  1. I just took this exact route from Midtown to Glenwood to get to the East Atlanta Farmer's Market. I had no idea there were so many bicycle lanes on random East ATL roads!

    I must give credit for discovering this route to the "Bicycling" drop-down option on Google Maps.

  2. This isn't entirely related, but you might enjoy this link to a short film on sprawl and smart growth in Atlanta:

  3. @Court - a good map makes all the difference! Also try the Trip Planner at

    @Liz - actually that is pretty closely related; Glenwood Park is right on the Glenwood Ave. bicycle lane. The video is hilarious, although I wish they had showcased other walkable Atlanta neighborhoods too, and had addressed bicycling a little more.