The following was in today's AJC. Is this a small victory for cyclists?
Cycling in single file may end road debate
By CRAIG SCHNEIDER
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 02/07/07
Cobb County Commissioner Joe Lee Thompson said Tuesday that he may kill his controversial proposal to ban bicycle cruising on a popular road and replace it with a rule that cyclists travel in single-file lines.
Thompson said he started drafting the replacement ordinance Tuesday after a meeting Monday in which a committee of riders and residents tentatively agreed to the single-file rule.
The committee of about 20 cyclists and residents was created after a public meeting on the topic last week. Several members said they hoped the agreement signals a resolution between two groups who have blamed each other for years for the safety problems on Columns Drive in east Cobb. The 2.5-mile road is among the most popular cycling spots in metro Atlanta, but each group complains the other intrudes on their rights to the road.
Thompson said the police could be called to enforce the new ordinance against problem riders. It remains undetermined whether the new ordinance would include fines, Thompson said.
State law restricts cyclists to ride two abreast, but it lets local governments make that rule more restrictive, Thompson said. He said he expects the Cobb County Board of Commissioners to vote on the ordinance Feb. 27.
Thompson credited the residents and cyclists with coming to the negotiating table rather than digging in their heels.
"They've agreed to help bring order" to the road, Thompson said.
Cyclist Mark Gernazian, who served on the committee, said the cyclists have softened their insistence on their rights.
"Trying to drive home our rights to the road was not going to create any harmony on Columns Drive," he said.
Homeowner Sheri Hardy, who also served on the committee, praised the single-file rule.
"I think it will solve all the problems," she said. She said she is optimistic the cyclists can pressure one another to follow the rule. "I think we have to give them a chance."