June 1896
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Month June 1896

CYCLISTS WANT BETTER STREETS

THE CONSTITUTION, ATLANTA, GA. SATURDAY, JUNE 13, 1896. p.7

Wheelmen Ask for Protection from Traffic on Two Streets.

THE COMMITTEE AGAINST THEM

They Do Not Favor Regulating Pryor and Peachtree Traffic,

THE REPORT GOES TO THE COUNCIL

The Cyclists of the City Are Beginning To Talk About Wheel Tracks and Better Roadway Improvements.

The bicyclists of the city will not be given exclusive rights on Peachtree and Pryor streets during certain hours of the evening. The ordinance committee of the council will make an adverse report on an ordinance turning the streets over to the cyclists during the hours from 4 to 8 o’clock p. m.

The proposed ordinance was designed to prohibit traffic of all kinds on the streets; leaving the roadways clear for the wheelmen. The matter came up on a petition signed by a number of cyclists of the city and when it was presented to the council the paper was referred to the ordinance committee.

Chairman Colvin, of that committee, caused an ordinance to be drawn up on the line of the petition so that the matter could be properly acted upon. Yesterday afternoon the committee was called together and after considerable discussion it was decided to report the ordinance to the council with an unfavorable recommendation. There is said to be a good deal of opposition to the project and it seems as if the question will fail of adoption.

While there are some councilmen who do not think the streets can be regulated in favor of the cyclists, still there is a growing sentiment in favor of providing better roadways for the popular mode of travel by many people. The cyclists say that the streets are in bad condition in many places and it will be no surprise to many at an early date to see the wheelmen of the city among those to urge the necessity of street improvements and the laying of such paving as is best for the riders.

In many cities of the country the wheelmen have taken a prominent part in the matter of public improvement legislation and in many places they have succeeded in persuading towns and cities to provide roadways where they formerly had none. The rapid increase in the number of cyclists is argued by them to justify their demand that the authorities begin to consider the question of better roadways. In some cities tracks and speedways are being constructed as a result of the agitation of the wheelmen.

It is said that the Atlanta wheelmen are vigorously opposed to the laying of any more belgian blocks on the principal thoroughfares and that they favor asphalt or brick pavement, making the roadways suitable for good riding. Of course, the number of wheelmen is as yet comparatively small as compared with the whole population, but as the riders increase so does the demand for better streets. The cyclists say that they are part of the public and that the growing popularity of wheel transit should cause the city authorities to look after their interests more than has been done in the past.

Peachtree and Pryor streets are, of course, two popular thoroughfares for the wheelmen, because those streets are asphalted in the case of the first and paved with smooth vitrified brick in the second instance. Every afternoon and early evening there can be seen scores of riders, male and female, spinning along at the top speed, exercising after the day’s work or out for a breath of fresh air. These streets are so popular among the riders that they determined to ask the council for better protection and the matter will be brought up Monday on the report of the ordinance committee agreed to yesterday.