Executive Director, Atlanta Bicycle Coalition
Dexter M. Chambers
Council Communications Director
Annual ABC Blinkie Awards honors Atlanta City Councilmember Keisha Lance Bottoms and other community leaders, cycling supporters
ATLANTA – The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition (ABC) honored Atlanta City Councilmember Keisha Lance Bottoms and others community leaders who have contributed greatly to Atlanta’s ongoing progress towards becoming a bicycle-friendly community.
During a special ceremony on Friday, February 14, 2014, Bottoms received the coveted ABC Blinkie Award for the year 2013 for her work in bringing about the Southwest Atlanta Beltline Connector Trail.
“I have a great deal of respect and admiration for the work the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition does throughout our city, and it is truly an honor to be recognized by them,” Councilmember Bottoms said. “I am committed to doing all I can to continue to promote connectivity and further options for our residents to lead healthy and active lives.”
Officially opened in January 2013, the 4.5-mile trail runs along the Eastside, the West End, and the Northside trails. The Southwest portion in District 11 will bring the total permanent trails to almost seven miles throughout the Metro Atlanta Perimeter. In addition, she was honored for her work promoting a healthy, active lifestyle, in keeping with the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition’s goal of creating a healthier, more livable Atlanta by making it safe, convenient, and attractive to ride a bicycle.
The event, held at Trees Atlanta’s Kendeda Center, drew some 300 attendees.
The Blinkie Awards are a celebration of all things biking in Atlanta. This event recognizes Atlanta Bicycle Coalition supporters, members, and advocates, paying tribute to those making strides towards a bicycle-friendly Atlanta. Awards handmade by a local sculptor will be awarded to winners in categories including bicycle-friendly elected official, partner of the year, favorite bike shop, most bike-friendly neighborhood and bike-friendly business.
The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition also recently launched its spring membership drive, in which members earn a chance to win a bicycle adventure tour for two courtesy of REI Adventures, just by referring a friend.
The Coalition’s mission is to create a healthier, more sustainable Atlanta by making it safer, easier, and more attractive to bicycle for fun, fitness, and transportation.
Other Blinkie Award Categories and Recipients
The Inaugural Fred Boykin Lifetime Achievement Award:
Recipient: Fred Boykin, Decatur City Commissioner and owner, Bicycle South. Commissioner Boykin has been a dedicated public servant committed to making it safe for kids to bike and walk through the Safe Routes to School initiative. Through his leadership, Decatur schools now support higher rates of biking and walking to school than any other metro Atlanta school system, attracting new residents while helping children stay healthy and active. He is also the owner of Bicycle South, Inc., a Decatur-area business since 1972.
ABC Partner of the Year:
Recipient: Midtown Alliance, for taking a leading role in developing high quality bicycle infrastructure in Midtown, support for active transportation including bicycling, and creative approach to branding Midtown as a place for active and engaged living.
Bike-Friendly Agency Staff:
Recipients: Kathy Zahul (shared with Keith Golden), Georgia Department of Transportation, for building buffered bicycle lanes into the Ponce de Leon safety project following ABC’s Roadway Safety Audit recommending separated bicycle facilities for the corridor. This decision required great vision due to the high volume of cars on the street, and will have even greater impact once access to the Eastside Atlanta BeltLine Trail is complete. In addition, this award recognizes Ms. Zahul’s thoughtful approach to targeting state safety funds or the benefit of all, including the upcoming road safety and Complete Streets project on Moreland Ave in Little Five Points.
Recipient: Email marketing service provider MailChimp, who has an unusually high percentage of employees who commute by bicycle, and for their dedication to employee volunteerism and support for Atlanta initiatives such as ABC’s Atlanta Streets Alive, of which they have been the largest sponsor for two years running.
Best Media Coverage:
Recipient: Thomas Wheatley, Creative Loafing (Runner up Curbed Atlanta), for continued excellence in tackling urban issues including bicycling.
Recipient: Mathilde Piard, for her sustained involvement in nearly every aspect of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, expert advice on social media, and ongoing event planning and coordination. Ms. Piard has demonstrated her commitment, passion, and enjoyment of volunteering time and again, and has been instrumental in drawing others to the cause.
Favorite Local Bike Shop:
Recipient: Loose Nuts Cycles (third year running)
Recipient: Grant Park
Photo cutline: Glenn Kurtz, Atlanta Bicycle Coalition board chair, presents the coveted ABC Blinkie Award to Atlanta City Councilmember Keisha Lance Bottoms for her work in bringing about the Southwest Atlanta Beltline Connector Trail.