City of Atlanta to Hire First Chief Bicycle Officer

May 15, 2015

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced May 14 that the city of Atlanta is hiring its first Chief Bicycle Officer (CBO), a full-time bicycle planner, engineer and advocate for the city’s ambitious bike transportation goals. The Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation is supporting the position through a five-year $250,000 challenge grant to the city through the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition.

The public-private partnership will enable Atlanta to achieve national recognition as a Bicycle Friendly Community, and achieve the city’s goals related to bicycle transportation, including doubling miles of high quality bicycle lanes and shared-use trails and becoming a top ten city in the U.S. for cycling by 2016. Specific measures include percentage of workers bike commuting (#23 in 2012) and bike safety (#17 in 2012).

“A Chief Bicycle Officer for Atlanta comes at the perfect time to leverage the progress we have made and the opportunities before the city,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “From the city’s infrastructure bond spend to the bike sharing program and Atlanta’s engagement with the ‘Mayor’s Challenge for Safer People, Safer Streets’ sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, this is an exciting time for cycling in Atlanta.”

The CBO will be responsible for a wide range of activities related to bicycle transportation in the City of Atlanta, including engineering and planning bicycle

projects to completion, public outreach, project development, grant writing, oversight of the city's bike share program and ensuring new development is consistent with bike elements of the city’s existing plans. The CBO will also work closely with the Department of Public Works and Georgia Department of Transportation to include bicycle facilities in roadway maintenance, capital projects and work through Invest Atlanta to support bike projects that advance Atlanta’s economic competiveness.

“By funding and hiring a Chief Bicycle Officer, the city and its supporters in the philanthropic community are sending a clear message that we are serious about creating a network of safe and connected bikeways designed and built thoughtfully for the benefit of all,” says Rebecca Serna, Executive Director of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition. “This position is an example of how the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition is bringing new resources to the table for a more bikeable, walkable, livable city.”

“Thanks to the successful advocacy of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition and the city of Atlanta, biking is becoming a high priority across Atlanta,” stated Penelope McPhee, President of the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation, which is an affiliated fund of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. “We are thrilled to support the momentum of this work that is benefitting residents in so many different ways and is helping make our city safer, healthier and more economically competitive.”

The Reed Administration has made significant investments in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure with a diverse range of partners including the Livable Centers Initiative, Atlanta BeltLine, PATH Foundation, Midtown Alliance, Georgia Tech, Atlanta Downtown Improvement District and the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation. During Mayor Reed’s tenure, the City has added 19 miles of new bike lanes, protected bike lanes, and multi-use trails and has an additional 40 miles of facilities in the project development pipeline.