A 2012 study of Prince Avenue by the Athens-Clarke County Planning Department found that over 10% of the workers in the Boulevard area primarily commuted by bicycle and that increasing traffic congestion was a concern for cyclists and pedestrians.
Prince Avenue is scheduled for a pilot project by the end of September, so Athens-Clarke county officials can test out changes aimed at slowing down traffic on the fast-moving corridor, making it safer for cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers.
Two years later, a road safety audit by the Georgia Department of Transportation found that Prince Avenue is a main thoroughfare for cyclists, pedestrians, and bus riders, especially for those living in the surrounding neighborhoods. Due to the high, fast motor traffic along the road, however, cyclists are often forced onto the sidewalk or against traffic.
348 car crashes, 8 involving bikes and 5 involving pedestrians, are documented between 2009 and 2014. The total number of injuries during this time period was 153, with two fatalities. The communities along the corridor reported that they believe many crashes or near-crashes involving pedestrians and bicycles go unreported and that Prince Avenue is perceived as an unsafe and unwelcoming corridor.
The safety audit recommended life-saving traffic calming and bike lanes… back in 2014!
The Georgia Bicycle Safety Action Plan in 2018 discovered 412 collisions in Athens between the years of 2005 and 2015, 5 of which were fatal. The report names Prince Avenue specifically as a priority corridor for safety improvements while highlighting the popularity of bike lanes and the economic benefits to businesses in Athens.
Get ready for the new bike lanes!
Need to get your bike ready so that you can try out the new protected lanes? Bring your bike to Fix Your Own Bike Night (FYOB) each Thursday from 6:00p to 8:30p! This weekly event open to all experience levels. Bring your bike and use all the handy tools at BikeAthens for a tune-up. Staff and volunteers will be available to assist you. We have music and snacks too. The suggested donation is $10 per hour.
While you have your calendar out, check out our pre-PorchFest biking events: HOW TO BIKE PORCHFEST 2022!
Athens-Clarke County, with the input of local businesses
Reconfiguring a section of Prince Avenue into 2 travel lanes, a center turn lane and 2 bike lanes protected from car traffic
Road repair and re-striping of the road has already begun, the project will run mid-September through mid-November
Temporary re-striping and the installation of removable safety barriers
To transform Prince Avenue into a safer road for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians while encouraging bike riding!
“It’s not just that facilities like separated bike lanes will make things safer, it’s that it will also increase the perception of safety, which is really just as important. … If you want them to come out, people have to feel comfortable and safe, not just for themselves, but for their family and friends.”
– Lauren Blais, chair of the Athens in Motion Commission, in “Interactive map shows big changes for Prince Ave coming soon,” published in Athens Politics Nerd
“Hopefully, this will get us to a point where more people will readily and happily hop on their bikes and not get into a car and spew more greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere […] On another note, this will improve safety and very likely save lives.”
– Commissioner Melissa Link in “Commission Approves Road Diet Pilot Project for Prince Avenue,” published in Flagpole
“Without protection, we won’t see children, we won’t see commuters using bicycle lanes. The bike is the answer and we need to be putting down these [protections] on every single bike lane that we possibly can, because a stripe of paint on a road is not a bike lane.”
– Commissioner Russell Edwards in “Commissioners pass marijuana ordinance, abortion rights resolution,” published on WUGA