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Release Date: 02.28.2012 | Location: All Metro Atlanta | Organization: Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation

AFYF and Atlanta Bicycle Coalition to Help Atlanta Earn Bicycle Friendly Community Status

Coalition Will Determine if a Bike-Share Program is doable for Atlanta and Decatur

The Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation (AFYF) has awarded a $20,000 grant to the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition (ABC) to assist Atlanta in gaining designation as a Bicycle Friendly Community from the League of American Bicyclists. ABC will use this grant to research the possibility of developing a bike-share program for Atlanta and Decatur.

Automated bike-share programs, which make it possible for users to rent bicycles day or night, have spread quickly in the U.S. over the past few years. These popular programs allow residents and tourists to travel around the city with ease, reducing traffic congestion and air pollution. U.S. cities from Denver to Minneapolis to Washington, D.C. have already implemented bike-share programs, and over 150 U.S. cities have gained designation as Bicycle Friendly Communities. The AFYF and ABC are excited to explore the possibility of adding Atlanta to this list.

"Better biking makes Atlanta a more competitive city," said Penelope McPhee, president of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, of which AFYF is an affiliated fund. "Pursuing creative approaches to biking will give Atlanta families more choices for healthy, active lifestyles and give tourists more flexibility to explore this wonderful city."

By designating Bicycle Friendly Communities, the League of American Bicyclists recognizes communities that support cycling by providing safe ways for people to bike for transportation and recreation.

"Biking is a simple, inexpensive solution to so many issues, from health to transportation to stronger communities. More and more Atlantans are hopping on bikes to get places, gain fitness, and have fun," notes ABC Executive Director Rebecca Serna. "Investment in the city’s bike network is critical to the development of bike sharing programs and other exciting opportunities. We are partnering with the city to identify new funding options and ensure our city is healthy, vibrant, and attractive to residents and visitors for years to come."

ABC is building on recent successes that include the 2011 passage of statewide bicycle safety legislation, an increase in the number of commuters biking to work, the popularity of Atlanta Streets Alive, which draws 10,000 participants to open street festivals, and the BeltLine Bike Tour. ABC is preparing to launch a Complete Streets campaign to promote transportation solutions for all residents, from people biking and walking to aging populations, children, and those in wheelchairs.

To improve bicycle safety and increase access, ABC is working closely with City of Atlanta officials and with the innovative bike-share program developed by Georgia Tech graduates for their campus (ViaCycle). Other partners include the Atlanta BeltLine, Atlanta Regional Commission, Atlanta City Council, and the Atlanta Department of Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs, which has provided ABC support to build a beginners’ mountain bike trail in Lionel Hampton Park in Southwest Atlanta.

About The Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation:
Investing across Georgia, the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation helps nonprofit organizations reduce childhood obesity and improve youth fitness. The foundation was established in 1985 to serve as the philanthropic arm of the Atlanta Falcons. Since Arthur Blank acquired the Atlanta Falcons in 2002, the foundation has grown to be the largest owner-funded foundation in the National Football League, providing more than $17 million in grants to nonprofit organizations across the state of Georgia.

Contact Info

Contact Name: John Bare

Company: Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation

Phone: 404.367.2062