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Posts from the "Georgia" Category

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Cycling So Popular in Georgia That Lawmaker Carl Rogers Wants to Ban It

Responding to a cycling boom in northern Georgia, a bill introduced in the state house would require bicyclists to purchase license plates and limit how and where they ride.

Cycling is booming in north Georgia, says lawmaker Carl Rogers -- and that's a problem. Photo: Southeast Discovery

House Bill 689 was purportedly introduced in response to complaints from north Georgia drivers, whose chief grievance seems to be that it is inconvenient to encounter cyclists on the road at all. Rep. Carl Rogers, R-Gainesville, who introduced the bill, believes cycling is so popular in the area that things are getting out of hand. Said Rogers to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “On these narrow mountain roads and on state roads, the traffic can be heavy. The mountain roads have become especially a problem because the (bike) clubs are moving up there.”

The legislation would require cyclists to purchase a $15 annual registration, to be displayed on a license, or face a misdemeanor offense and a $100 fine. The law would prohibit cyclists from riding more than four in a row single file, and would allow the state and localities to “restrict when and where cycling is allowed.”

“It looks like the purpose of the bill is to allow motorists to drive as quickly as possible and prioritizes eliminating a moment’s delay or ‘inconvenience’ over another person’s fundamental safety,” said statewide advocacy group Georgia Bikes! in a statement.

The group added that the law would discourage a healthy and inexpensive form of transportation:

The reason we tax, register, and require licenses for motorists is because cars are inherently dangerous and create negative externalities and social impacts (congestion, sprawl, physical inactivity, air pollution, crashes, fatalities, road wear & tear, etc, etc). A bicycle does none of these things, and in fact is a common sense solution to many of these problems.

In a bit of unintended hilarity, Rogers says funds from his bike ban law could be used to make cycling safer — which, of course, tends to encourage cycling.

A public hearing on the bill was scheduled for today in Gainesville. Any bill has a two-year period in which it can be taken up by the general assembly. However, the AJC called the bill a “long shot,” and noted that when lawmakers return from recess in January it will be an election year, which will make instituting new fees less politically palatable. In addition, the head of the Georgia Senate, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, is an “avid cyclist,” according to the AJC.

Georgia Bikes! Executive Director Brent Buice said the group doubts the bill will ever become law or even come up for a vote, but it is watching the case closely.

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The Votes Are In: Omaha Abomination Voted Worst Intersection in the U.S.

Well, it was a tough competition for America’s Worst Intersection, with a lot of worthy contenders — the kind of intersections that would make an Olympic sprinter nervous. But the people have spoken — 468 of them — and in the end it wasn’t even close. Our winner is Omaha, Nebraska’s intersection of 132nd Street, Industrial Road, Millard Avenue, and L Street.

#1. Omaha, Nebraska: 132nd Street, Industrial Road, Millard Avenue, and L Street

Take one final look at this sad excuse for a public space, featuring no crosswalks and only the faintest traces of a sidewalk. Special thanks again to John Amdor for the submission. Fully 29 percent of voters, or 136 people, voted for this intersection.

In Transportation for America’s 2011 “Dangerous by Design” report on pedestrian fatalities, Nebraska actually ranked 48th, making it one of the “safest.” But we suspect that’s mostly because walking is unusual in this state. Looking at this picture you can understand why.

#2. St. Louis, Missouri: 141 and Gravois Road

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Poll: The Hunt for the Worst Intersection in America Continues

Earlier this week we looked at the intersection of Route 355 and Shady Grove Road near Rockville, Maryland, flagged by Ben Ross at Greater Greater Washington for being especially hostile to pedestrians, even though it’s the site of a bus stop. We asked if it might be the worst intersection in the country and put out a call for readers to send their nominations for the title.

As some readers pointed out, the Rockville intersection at least has sidewalks on all four corners and some refuges for pedestrians caught mid-crossing, so it certainly can’t be nation’s worst. Several other submissions landed in our inbox where the engineers let the sheer car-centricity of the roads overwhelm the meager provisions for pedestrians even more.

Wouldn’t you know it: We received three nominations from Florida, which Transportation for America has singled out as the most dangerous state for pedestrians. One reader sent us this stunner: State Route 7 and Forest Hill Boulevard in Wellington, Florida. From this satellite picture, it looks like a walk around this intersection would cross 45 lanes, plus — is that a bike lane? Wouldn’t want to be in the middle of that on a Cannondale:

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