To the editor:

The vast majority of our main roads in residential metro Atlanta are narrow, two-lane roads with 12-foot-wide lanes without sidewalks.

It was obvious that private property, privacy and security were hallmarks of these residential developments. When on-street bike lanes were announced, we were shocked. There was no room for them. We were, and still are, in an economic depression, and fully expected that local government would need to stick to the basics and hold down expenses for amenities. The opposite occurred.

With 10- to 11-foot car lanes and 4-foot bike lanes being installed by our new urban planners, drivers cannot avoid violating the traffic rules requiring that they stay three feet away from the biker without pulling in to an on-coming lane.

Bikes are for recreation, not transportation. They take large portions of our main roads and present a driving hazard. Now we feel like we may be invaded by Tour de France. The city has declared a war on cars.

On-street bike lanes cost $50,000 per lane mile to construct, if curbs and storm sewer lines need to be moved, and they are planned to span the entire lengths of Mount Vernon Road and Chamblee-Dunwoody Road.

The Transportation Plan Appendix H shows about 15 miles of on-street bike lanes. With lanes on both sides of the road, this amounts to 30-lane miles of solid-striped, on-street bike lanes planned.

On-street bike share lanes are planned for an additional 30 miles of road where roads will be shared between auto drivers and bikers. These run vertically and horizontally throughout the city.

In addition to these 60 miles of bike lanes, there are 40 more miles of multi- use trails, at a cost of $500,000 per mile, to be located on stream buffers and easements in the back yards of privately- owned residential homes.

Sidewalks are useful to enable school children to walk or ride their bikes to school, and should be added to sections of our roads for this purpose.

Since 2009, strings attached to excessive federal stimulus grants are requiring recreational mal-investment to crowd out our transportation infrastructure, and remove our privacy and private property rights.

We are allowing government to spend printed money on boondoggles we don’t need while they allow our roads to rot.

Norb Leahy

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