Residents Dr. Mitch Garber and Joe Seconder desire to change an unwelcoming message to cyclists by installing free bike racks throughout the city.
“I was a commuter cyclist in D.C. before I moved to Dunwoody,” Garber said. “I was astonished that there was no place other than MARTA that had a decent bike rack and if there was one it was hard to lock your bike to and it became more than the bike rack is not there, but the message of cycling is not OK.”
Garber said he grew up in Rapid City, S.D. and saw hitching posts for horses. He said the message was that horse riders were welcome and he thinks for Dunwoody, the bike racks are the new hitching posts.
To change the message Garber, along with the help of Seconder and other Dunwoody residents, started to work with the city in late 2008 to early 2009 to include bike racks in the city codes. The idea was for bike racks to become a necessity similar to a parking space.
During the process of placing the bike racks in the city codes, meetings were held between the city, residents and businesses. At these meetings, the decision was made for a unified rack with an inverted U made out of stainless steel.
Shortly after this decision was made, the city came back and asked if the stainless-steel frame could be painted a forest green color to match the trash cans throughout the city. The city later voted to remain with the stainless color in a 4–3 vote.
Garber and Seconder started to work on funding and placing the bike racks. Both residents said there was initial hesitation by store owners not wanting to place a free bike rack in front of their stores. Finally, Burger King agreed to have one put in and after that Garber said stores started to line up.
One of the key problems of installing a bike rack has not been a lack of desire from the store owner, but the property owners themselves. Seconder said most property owners do not live in the community and have no understanding of why this issue is important.
Seconder and Garber want to work with the Dunwoody Preservation fund to help provide another round of bike racks throughout the city.