Muni-Monday! Bike Laws

by Candace Garcia

Hi Atlanta! Did you know that there are bike lane laws in Atlanta?

Atlanta’s municipal code is online and you can read it at your leisure. Or you could just read our Muni-Mondays updates here at My Darling Atlanta.  It’s just a reminder that Atlanta technically does have laws (however poorly enforced they may be) that are supposed to protect people.

For example, did you know there is an ordinance to protect cyclists?

You didn’t?

Well that explains a lot, Atlanta. No worries, here are the highlights:

According to Section 150-65 regarding bicycle routes, bicycle lanes, and multi use trails

  • Bikes have the right of way when operating in a bike lane. That means when you are trying to take a right next to a bike line, you should definitely wait for the cyclist to pass before you hit the gas.

  • Parking in a bike lane is prohibited. All the time. It doesn’t matter if you’re just delivering linens to a restaurant. When you park in a bike lane, it means the biker has to swerve into oncoming traffic and could make the biker die. That’s sad.

  • People riding bikes on a multi-use trail (like the Beltline) shall not operate bikes in a reckless manner. You and your bike aren’t special speed racers on the Beltline. You aren’t cool and could really hurt people.

The code is below if you’re interested.

Also, can we start reporting people who are dangerous to bicyclists?

I hate to sound like that annoying, uptight lady—you know, the one in the Starbucks line getting all huffy about the sweetener options—but I also don’t want to die on a bike or sit in traffic for years. So… start reporting!

It’s not pointless to report even if the violator is never caught. If the police and policy makers are constantly being bombarded with calls about bike lane violations, they may begin to take it more seriously.

This would make biking safer and more accessible for everyone. Increased biking would keep our city cleaner and decrease traffic congestion. We just need the infrastructure and a movement.

Today’s Muni-Code:

Sec. 150-65. – Bicycle routes, bicyclelanes, and multi-use trails.


(1) Installation. The department of public works shall install designated bicycle routes and lanes along city streets in accordance with the city’s comprehensive development plan. Said routes and lanes shall conform with the design standards and guidelines set forth by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) in the most recent version of its “Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities.” The department of public works shall submit the proposed design of all bicycle routes and lanes to the department of planning, development and neighborhood conservation and to the Atlanta Bicycle Planning Committee for their review and comment prior to installation. Furthermore, the department of public works shall install proposed bicycle routes and lanes concurrent with the resurfacing or improvement of all streets along which a bicycle route or lane is proposed in the city’s comprehensive development plan.

(2) Removal. Designated bicycle routes, bicycle lanes, and multi-use trails shall not be removed or substantially altered except as specifically authorized by the city council through an appropriate resolution. However, this provision shall not apply to the temporary removal of bicycle lanes or the temporary re-routing of bicycle routes as necessitated by street resurfacing, widening, or other construction activities.


The following regulations apply to the use of bicycle lanes, bicycle routes, and multi-use trails:

(1) Persons operating motor driven vehicles shall yield the right-of-way to persons operating a bicycle upon a bicycle lane.

(2) Persons operating motor driven vehicles may operate in a bicycle lane or on a multi-use trail only for the purposes of making a turn, entering or exiting the roadway, or when required in the course of official duties.

(3) Persons shall not operate motor vehicles upon multi-use trails except when specifically allowed by law.

(4) Parking within a designated bicycle lane is prohibited.

(5) Persons shall not operate bicycles or motor driven vehicles (as allowed within this section), in excess of the posted speed limit.

(6) Persons shall not operate bicycles on a multi-use trail in a reckless manner, or in any other manner which endangers other users of the trail.


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