Friday, August 8, 2014

Minutes from Meeting with Jay Pryor

Joe Seconder’s Meeting Notes with Jay Pryor
August 7, 2014

Caveat: I’m sure I’ve missed some points. But you should get the gist of the conversation.

ISSUE #1 – Don’t see any Cyclists on Chamblee Dunwoody / Not a good route for cyclists / Too busy for bikes / No room for cars to pass

Responses:

A - Showed him the Strava print out. 82 registered Strava users have ridden that segment 2,829 times since circa 2011.

B – Gave story of the original See & Be Seen Dunwoody Cycling route that was on this segment. After a couple of weeks, riders had it changed, because it’s not bike friendly (no shoulders, narrow lanes, busy, etc.). Said organized group rides all try to minimize our time on any busy roads, so we’re not that readily visible.

C – Said we make up our own Recreational routes to avoid traffic and for exercise. A completely different purpose from getting from point A to B in a utilitarian fashion to go shopping, as a commuter, etc.

D – Told him that GDOT put bike lanes last year on Ponce de Leon in Atlanta, with around 33,000 cars per day.  – Jay asked if there were bicycles on it, I said yes. I should have shown him a video of that, too.



This video was taken during evening rush hour on Monday, August 4th -- just a few days ago.

E – Played him my video of me riding on Chamblee-Dunwoody & how “uncomfortable” / “dangerous” it is. Said of course people like my wife would never choose to ride on this road in its current condition.




F – Played him the Roswell Police Department’s You Tube Public Education Video on “Sharing the Road – Georgia’s 3-feet Passing Law”.



The video clearly shows cars crossing the yellow center line & Roswell PD in the comments section clearly states it’s permissible to do such. I gave examples of a Post truck. Delivery Truck, UPS. Or in rural areas, farm tractors.

G – Described to him how nice Mt. Vernon is west of Ashford-Dunwoody with the new Bike Lanes. Before, cars were having to wait for cyclists. And we cyclists had to “squeeze” in to ride, often getting “buzzed”. Now we both have our own place, which keeps traffic moving smoothly and it’s safer.

H – Asked him to think of roads as:

Linear Strips 
of 
Publicly Owned Rights of Way 
Used for the Movement 
of 
Goods & Humans”

and that it was up to us what we did with them (-vs- strictly motor vehicles)

I  - Jay brought up Columns Drive and when he’s driving his car, he’s so “fearful” of hitting bicyclists that at times he won’t even try to pass. I replied that I do not like to ride on Columns. I said that because there’s NO SIDEWALKS, it FORCES pedestrians & runners out onto the street.

ISSUE #2 – Jay (paraphrasing) indicated that his perception is that bicycling is mostly for optional recreation / asked if there actually were people out there going from A to B, etc.

Responses:

A – Showed him the 2007 – 2017 Bike Lanes


and how it’ll be a connected network. Once it’s connected, there will be more & more people using them.

B – 40% of all trips in the US are 4 miles or less. That’s too easy to ride a bike. Discussed Jett Ferry / Williamsburg to Dunwoody Village is two miles. & Dunwoody Village to Georgetown is also only 2 miles. Not only will this open it up for weekend casual recreational riders wanting to get some basic exercise, it will allow people to ride their bikes to Starbucks, meet friends for lunch, short errands, etc.

C – Showed him the infographic of the space for 60 people in cars _vs_ bikes.


As an example, I discussed the vast numbers of parents driving their kids to school. Said if we could have SAFE Routes to School (mentioned Decatur), then a few percentage of those parents just might let their kids walk or ride their bike to school, REDUCING motor vehicle congestion in the morning.

D – Roberts Drive Bike Lanes (2011)-- Said once the bike lanes were installed, Austin Elementary had to get a THIRD bike rack, with all of the kids riding their bikes to school.



Told the city WIDENED a couple hundred feet on Roberts (for about $50k) on a particular segment to get the extra width to have the Bike Lanes. Said it was 100% within the Public Right of Way. Said that this year (2014) just now the Council has approved installing sidewalks on the west side of Roberts along the same segment, making it a “Complete Street”.

E – Spoke about legitimate commuters going to MARTA, etc.

F – Mentioned the Perimeter Community Improvement District’s Trail Plan



They are building out a network within the business district of trails to connect the office buildings to the two MARTA stations, shops, restaurants and offices.

ISSUE #3 – City has to use Eminent Domain to acquire land to build the Bike Lanes on Chamblee-Dunwoody

Response: I said I hadn’t heard that at all. Jay said he got this information from our Public Works Director, Michael Smith

[Note: I followed up with Michael & he said the project boundaries did NOT require any land acquisition. Rather, Construction Easements are being sought with adjacent property owners.]

ISSUE #4 – City will NOT install the sidewalks as part of the current “Complete Streets” project on Chamblee- Dunwoody if it’s over budget. The city will (paraphrasing) ‘First & foremost” widen the road by the required 8 feet (true) and install Bike Lanes. Then, if there’s enough budgeted money left over the city would install the sidewalks.

Response: I said I hadn’t heard that at all. Jay said he got this information from our Public Works Director, 
Michael Smith

[Note: I followed up with Michael & he said the project bid includes BOTH the road widening for Bike Lanes AND Sidewalks. Need to see what amount the returned bids come in at. ***IF*** they were over budget then the sidewalks can be installed at a later date. It’s not an “either or”. IMHO, it could be similar to Roberts Drive – Bike Lanes in 2011, Sidewalks in 2014]

Takeaways:

I just thanked Jay for his time. It was cordial, casual and very open. I didn’t ask him to change his mind. I just asked him to take a look at the information I was providing and to consider it.

I provided Jay with hard copies of the following:

Strava Printout of Bicycle Riders on Chamblee-Dunwoody

2007 – 2017 Bike Lanes. Legal sized paper, color print

5” x 7” Color Glossy of our “Family” Photo PSA with Linda, her husband & two children



The photo was taken on the under construction Dunwoody Village Parkway. (I said we had handed out over 1,000 of these in the 4th of July Parade.)

6-page color print out of 12 of the other Bike Walk Dunwoody PSA photos (2 photos per page).

Extract from the Dunwoody 2013 Community Survey showing highest demand for Trails & Bike Lanes




Extract from 2011 UGA / Georgia Bikes Survey on Citizen Input on Bicycling Issues. Physically highlighted the statement:
·         81% of respondents either strongly agreed (37.0%) or agreed (43.9%) that they would ride a bicycle more frequently if their community had better bicycle facilities such as bike lanes or multi-use paths.

[Joe point: Build it & they will come]

My Article on “Complete Streets Makes Sense for Businesses and Homeowners” published in the Georgia Municipal Association Blog

Copy of City of Dunwoody Resolution on” City of Dunwoody - Action Plan for Bicycle Friendly Community - Resolution 2009-11-63Passed unanimously & signed my Mayor Ken Wright in November, 2009.

1-page extract from page 2 of the May 2014 Budget Report showing the Pie Chart of City Expenditures. Used this just to put things in perspective of where we are spending our money. Jay said it’s a shame we don’t have active Parks & Recreation system such as in Roswell.


Provided him a hard copy of the following original & unedited 2-page “Vision” document. Told him that I used this doc in 2009 & met with each Councilmember, the Mayor and other city leaders to discuss. (I did not go over the items in the doc.)



A Bicycle and Pedestrian Friendly Vision for the City of Dunwoody
Prepared by the Dunwoody Bicycle Taskforce
June 24, 2009
www.BikeDunwoody.org (coming soon)

Overarching Principles

Transportation Planning should be thought of as a
Throughput of People, rather than exclusively motorized vehicles
Dunwoody is a “Keystone” City
Regional Connectivity
Destination for live, work and play
We are an active, engaged and healthy community

Facts & Figures

·         In the U.S. more than 25% of all auto trips are less than a mile in length1
These short trips offer a terrific opportunity to take to the streets by foot or by bike instead of by car.
·         1969 appx 50% children in the U.S got to school by walking or bicycling2
2001 only 15%2
·         As much as 20 to 30% of morning traffic is often generated by parents driving their children to schools.2
·          In the US, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 3 to 14.2
·         Business leaders say traffic is the biggest hindrance to running and expanding their companies.3
·         GA Adults: 36% overweight;  29% obese = 65%4
·         GA Youth (9th–12th grades): 18% overweight, 14% obese =  32%4

Source 1: Georgia Clean Air Campaign
Source 2: US H.CON. RES 305, 2/28/08
Source 3: Sam A. Williams, President, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Joint House/Senate Study Cmttee on Trans Funding 7/11/07
Source 4: CDC, 2007

Vision & Direction

Prepare a separate, dedicated Bicycle Master Plan for the City

·         Coordinate with adjacent jurisdictions and PCID during this process
·         Account for  both conventional street and “off-road / dirt”  bicycle use

Formally Adopt “Complete Streets” Policy

“CHICAGO’S COMPLETE STREETS POLICY
The safety and convenience of all users of the transportation system including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users, freight, and motor vehicle drivers shall be accommodated and balanced in all types of transportation and development projects and through all phases of a project so that even the most vulnerable – children, elderly, and persons with disabilities – can travel safely within the public right of way.” (Alliance for Biking & Walking)

Safe Routes to School (Public & Private)

·         Walking and Bicycling to school as a safe and viable alternative

Appoint a City Staff Member as the Bike/Ped Coordinator

Adopt the Recommendations from the 2007 Atlanta Regional Commission’s Bike/Ped Plan

·         Routine Accommodation
Bicyclists and pedestrians provided for when new roadways are constructed and for new and retrofitting existing roadways
·         Complete Streets
·         Re-stripe Candidates
Develop and adopt a protocol for roadway re-striping to better accommodate bicyclists on roadway segments where excess pavement width is available.
Performed coincidentally with resurfacing projects
·         Improve Crossings (Ped & Bike)
·         End-of-Trip Bicycle Facilities
Parking/Racks/Storage, Lockers, Showers
Work / Offices, Retail, Schools, Government, etc.
·         Neighborhood Connectivity
Cul-de-Sacs / Dead Ends (open up to bike/ped)

Attain Bicycle Friendly Community Status by 2014
·         Engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement and evaluation
·         Formally declare Dunwoody’s  Vision & Objectives
·         Set in place now the policies, people and plans to achieve this

Conclusions

Economic, Environmental, Social & Health Benefits  / Quality of Life

·         GA $$ spent on golfing is #2. GA $$ spent on bicycling is #1
·         Home values rise with increased bike/ped opportunities
·         Aging Population / Healthy Alternative
·         Disabled “Ability” to use the Streets, other means of transportation
·         Quality Family Recreation Time Together

Viable & Safe Alternative of Transport

Latent Demand
·         Develop the facilities and people will use them
·         Where the trip origin is near enough to the destination

Open up Opportunities to Varied Users
·         Casual, first-time
·         Commuters
·         Utility / Errands
·         Fitness
·         Social (Dinner)
·         Recreational

·         Family “Quality” Time

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2 comments:

  1. Awesome! I see Mr Pryor's frequent letters to the editor in The Dunwoody Crier and always feel compelled to respond. Glad to see that you were able to engage thoughtfully with him

    ReplyDelete
  2. Awesome! I see Mr Pryor's frequent letters to the editor in The Dunwoody Crier and always feel compelled to respond. Glad to see that you were able to engage thoughtfully with him

    ReplyDelete