What is Old is New and What is New is Old

by Brad Davis, Senior Planner, Alta Planning + Design

During our work on planning projects in Atlanta, such as Cycle Atlanta, we dusted off some great old plans from Atlanta transportation planning history. It wasn’t all highways back in the day. With so much cycling growth in recent years tied to projects like the Atlanta BeltLine, Peachtree cycle track and the City’s designation as a Green Lane Project city, you’d think all the recent development of trails and cycle tracks is a new phenomenon.

However, as the images from the Atlanta Regional Commission 1973 bicycle master plan (titled The Bicycle: A Plan and Program for its use as a Mode of Transportation and Recreation) illustrate, many of the “modern” and “innovative” bikeways we are designing in Atlanta aren’t quite so new.

Below are a few great samples from the plan. What is old is new and what is new is old. Enjoy.

Local bike historians can’t confirm if any cycle tracks were built as a result of this plan. As far as they can determine, the 10th Street Cycle Track constructed a year ago was the first.

Bike network design diagrams. This was back when the majority of kids still walked and biked to school….

bikeway network design diagram_10172014_0000

Cost per mile for bikeways. Remember when bike lanes only cost $1,000 per mile? Those were the days….

bikeway costs_10172014_0000

Bikeway types. Some things have stayed the same, others have changed a little.

bikeway types_10172014_0000

Access to transit. Diagram still holds true today.

transit access diagram_10172014_0000

Speed and Volume. Like the transit diagram, these numbers still hold true today.

volume and speed chart_10172014_0000

Sample cycle track. Location unknown (but definitely not in Atlanta).


Sample cycle track with curb and on-street parking protection. Location unknown (but definitely not in Atlanta).


Sample cycle track with curb and post protection. Location unknown (but definitely not in Atlanta).