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ARC Board Approves Regional Bicycle-Pedestrian Plan to Help Increase Active Transportation Options

Posted on: May 26, 2016

Contact: Jim Jaquish
Phone: (404)-463-3194

(Atlanta – May 26, 2016)

Today, the board of the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) approved a bicycle and pedestrian plan designed to foster a more bike-friendly and walk-friendly region.

The plan, Walk. Bike. Thrive!, introduces a new framework for prioritizing regional investments in walking and biking. It also provides tools to help local jurisdictions offer residents safer, more comfortable places to walk and bike. This will lead to a healthier, more competitive region that provides greater access to active transportation.

“Metro Atlanta residents, from Millennials to Baby Boomers, want more opportunities to travel without hopping in a car,” said Mike Alexander, director of ARC’s Center for Livable Communities. “This plan provides a roadmap to help our region meet this demand and create healthier, more livable communities.”

ARC’s bicycle-pedestrian plan envisions the completion of community-scale walking and bicycling networks, a regional-scale trail network and first- and last-mile connections to regional transit systems.

ARC’s long-range plan, the Atlanta Region’s Plan, includes more than $1 billion in funding through 2040 for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure such as sidewalks, bikeways and trails. The bicycle-pedestrian plan will ensure that these funds are allocated in a strategic fashion that helps connect popular destinations such as parks, schools, shops and transit stops.

Meanwhile, ARC and several of its planning partners will begin closing the gaps in the regional trail network. Connecting major trails, such as the Silver Comet Trail, Big Creek Greenway, Arabia Mountain Path and the Atlanta Beltline, would create one of the most comprehensive regional networks in the nation.

Roughly 42 percent of metro Atlantans live within a five-minute bike ride of a trail, while 33 percent live within a five-minute ride of a transit stop. But today, fewer than 5 percent of all trips taken in the region are on bike or on foot.

The key to increasing this number is creating safer, more comfortable places to walk and bike. The bicycle-pedestrian plan encourages local communities to become designated walk-friendly and/ or bike-friendly communities. These programs provide a roadmap to help communities improve conditions for walking and bicycling.

The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is the official planning agency for the 10-county Atlanta Region, including Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties as well as the City of Atlanta and 70 other cities. The Atlanta Regional Commission serves as a catalyst for regional progress by focusing leadership, attention and planning resources on key regional issues.