E-scooter riders make their way down 10th Street in the lane that was restricted to bikes and scooters for a week in October. The temporary bike lane was a part of the mayor’s $5 million plan to triple the city’s network of protected lanes for bicycles and scooters by the end of 2021. BOB ANDRES / ROBERT.ANDRES@AJC.COM

Midtown pop-up bike lane praised for safety, criticized for traffic

A weeklong pop-up bike lane in Midtown was praised for its safety and criticized for causing more traffic congestion, city officials said, citing results from a survey they conducted.

About 73% of those surveyed said they felt safer taking the temporary bike lane, a westbound lane on 10th Street, said Cary Bearn, the city’s chief bicycle officer.

“You just don’t feel as safe if you’re sharing a lane with a big car, ” she said. “They’re big, heavy, and scary, and you’re just going to have to trust that they’re going to follow the law.”

The city created a bike lane pop-up back in October as part of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ $5 million plan to triple Atlanta’s network of protected lanes for bicycles and scooters by the end of 2021.

The plan, which was unveiled in September, will add eight miles of newly protected lanes and make other safety improvements to an additional 12 miles of roads.

Overall, the city wants safety improvements on 20 city corridors for people who walk, drive, take transit and ride a bike or scooter.

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Bearn said while some felt safer with the pop-up lane, drivers complained it further congested the area. To alleviate that, Bearn said traffic signals were adjusted to accommodate the increased traffic flow.

There haven’t been any more pop-up bike lanes, but Bearn said the city is moving forward with the mayor’s plan. The city will hold two public meetings for four projects underway in downtown and southeast Atlanta.

A meeting for the Cherokee Avenue resurfacing project will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Georgia Hill Neighborhood Center at 250 Georgia Ave.

There will also be a joint meeting for projects along Piedmont Avenue, Spring Street and West Peachtree Street on Monday, Feb. 3, from 6 to 8 p.m. at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church at 435 Peachtree St.

A timeline and costs for the projects have not been announced.

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