Propel ATL revealed as Atlanta Bicycle Coalition’s new name at awards event
By John Ruch
Propel ATL is the new name of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition (ABC), revealed at the nonprofit’s May 19 “Blinkie Awards” for transportation advocacy.
The new name for the 31-year-old ABC follows significant changes in recent years beyond bicycling. In 2019, ABC expanded its advocacy mission to include all “sustainable transportation,” including walking and mass transit. And in 2021, it merged with the pedestrian advocacy organization PEDS.
Propel ATL Executive Director Rebecca Serna said the group knew it had to change its name with the 2019 mission expansion, but had delayed with the COVID-19 pandemic and the PEDS merger.
Serna explained the new name by saying: “We chose the name Propel ATL because we felt it captures two kinds of movement that are essential to our work: the movement made up of community members pushing for changes to our streets and transportation systems, and the physical movement of people in motion around Atlanta. We also liked that it’s a positive, forward-looking word, and a little rhyming never hurts!”
The multifaceted work was already reflected in the 2010 creation of the group’s now-signature event, Atlanta Streets Alive, where roads are closed to vehicles and opened to pedestrians and bicyclists for various activities.
Meanwhile, the group celebrated the 2022 Blinkies in an event at the Trolley Barn in Inman Park. The winners included:
Fire Bee: Sustainable Transportation Champion
The communications and public relations firm represents Atlanta Streets Alive.
MARTA Army: People-Centered Transit Champion
The transit advocacy group was honored for its work on Operation Bus Stop Census, which gathered information on bus stop amenities and usage.
Odetta MacLeish-White: Civic Engagement Champion
MacLeish-Whits is director of Georgia initiatives at the Center for Community Progress, a group focused on property revitalization. The award is for “her comprehensive community stabilization efforts,” including equitable transit-oriented development and her previous work as managing director of a similar group called the TransFormation Alliance.
Mozley Park Neighborhood Association: Safe Streets Champion
The association was honored for “pedestrian safety and community engagement.”