Tech creates Bicycle Master Plan

Photo by John Nakano

In response to a greater number of bikers on campus, Capital Planning and Space Management (CPSM) has come up with a Bicycle Master Plan that will aim to address all of these growing issues.

One of the main goals is to revamp the bicycle lanes to make it easier for bikers. This will involve improving existing bike lanes adding new ones on major roads such as Ferst Drive and at key intersections such as at Ferst and Fowler.

“When going down Fifth Street, students on bikes will sometimes go faster than cars and this can lead to some serious accidents if the cars aren’t aware of their presence,” said CPSM Senior Educational Facilities Planner and Landscape Architect, Jason K. Gregory.

The plan will also add more bike racks near campus buildings.

“We just finished adding some bike racks at Towers and are currently adding them at Glenn,” said Howard Wertheimer, Director of Capital Planning and Space Management.

In addition to the physical improvements, there will also be some institutional improvements such as educational pieces on proper biking regulations and the introduction of dismount zones.

“Students will try to weave through high density of pedestrians and this may sometimes lead to accidents,” Gregory said. “Therefore, we will introduce dismount zones in certain places to avoid this, such as along Tech Walkway from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.”

According to Wertheimer, many bikers are unaware of the biking regulations that they must adhere to and this can lead to accidents. Among the safety violations that CPSM is worried about are students failing to wear helmets when biking, not using locks when they park their bikes. Another rule is that bikers must follow the same rules as vehicles on the road such as coming to a complete stop at red lights and stop signs and staying within the bike lane.

Over the past few years, there has been an increase in the number of bike users at Tech.

“It may have been when gas prices went up to four dollars a gallon,” Wertheimer said. “Suddenly, we had a situation that had never really been addressed. It had never been on anybody’s radar before.”

The goal of the plan is multipurpose. The aim is to make people in cars aware of cyclists and make cyclists aware of cars and pedestrians that they share their path with. Furthermore, the plan will aim to improve the facilities not only on campus but also in the wider campus area such as places reaching up to Atlantic Station, Marietta Street, etc.

The Plan is currently in its final draft review phase. CPSM will be collaborating with Facilities Management, Parking and Transportation and the Georgia Tech Police Department (GTPD).