Macon Connects Receives International Award for Pop-up Bike Lanes

Staff Report From Middle Georgia CEO

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

As a winner of the Knight Cities Challenge grant program, Macon Connects brought five miles worth of pop-up bike lanes to Macon, GA for a week-long period during November 2016, all in an effort to change how residents travelled around town for the better. Macon Connects was a collaborative project led by NewTown Macon in partnership with Macon-Bibb County, 8 80 Cities, and the Better Block Foundation. Prior to implementation, only 45 Macon residents, or .0003% of the population, reported commuting to work or school by bike. A true exhibition of “if you build it, they will come,” during Macon Connects, this number was 9.5 times higher, with 88% of those who had an opportunity to test out the lanes agreeing that the pop-up network inspired them to bike more.

This initiative engaged community members every step of the way, beginning with the more than 1,100 attendees who participated in an ideas festival, and made it extremely clear that Macon needed to boost mobility options for residents. For those unable to try out the bike lanes, the team also hosted a two-day block party to help increase reach and engagement. Based on the success of this initiative, Macon has already installed the city’s first mile-long bike lane, and is aiming to complete a second multi-neighborhood connection later this summer.