Commuter Dude: Cyclists applaud changes on Decatur Street

ATLANTA – Cyclists are coming out in force to applaud the changes on Decatur Street and other city efforts to make Atlanta a more bike friendly city.

11Alive's Commuter Dude heard from motorists who are upset about the changes. Cyclists say in the long run, it could be good for everybody.

"It makes me feel so much safer," said cyclist Jeff Delp.

There is now less room for motorists, but more space for cyclist on a section of Decatur Street just east of downtown Atlanta. Delp says he now feels safe riding down a street he used to avoid.

"This is my space too," said Delp. "I'm allowed to be here as well."

Some drivers were caught off guard by the recent changes. Where there were once two lanes into downtown Atlanta and two lanes out, there is now lane in, one lane out, a turn lane in the middle, and bike lanes on the outside.

Valerie Nowell complains it has added time to her commute from Decatur into downtown.

"It imposes a huge burden on all the motorists for no corresponding benefit," said Nowell.

Jeff Delp and other cyclists argue there is a huge benefit.

"When you're driving and it takes longer, and that's frustrating. but it's also frustrating when as a cyclist we don't have spaces to ride and we fear for our safety," said Delp.

The changes are part of a $1.2 million dollar effort to make the city of Atlanta more bike friendly.

The Department of Public Works forwarded Commuter Dude a stack of emails from cyclists applauding the change. The city says they've received only a couple of complaints.

"The more of these lanes we build, the more bikers we'll get, the less cars on the road, and the commutes will be shorter," said Delp.


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