Haralson County Historical Society
Buchanan, GA 30113
Peggy Kimball, President 770-646-3509
Dr. Terrell McBrayer, Co-Pres. 770-537-4217
Have you watched as gasoline prices have climbed lately? Your friends at the Buchanan-Haralson library sure have. Some observers believe that long-term global trends point to a future in which petroleum prices will increase because demand at contemporary prices would grow faster than supply would.
Eager to give its patrons another choice in how they travel, the library has now deployed a small bicycle rack at its main entrance, with an eye to possibly providing additional rack-space if it proves popular. Patrons are invited to use the rack to secure their bicycles and mopeds while they visit the library. Such racks are all but universally deployed at libraries in Europe, where much higher fuel prices (following from heavy taxation) have historically deterred automobile use far more than in America.
The World Wide Web site http://www.pedbikeinfo.org/ whose sponsors include various federal agencies like DOT, FHWA, NHTSA, and CDC notes that: "fear of bicycle theft is recognized as a significant deterrent to bicycle use. The availability of safe and convenient parking is as critical to bicyclists as it is for motorists..."
Of course while bicycle and moped use help save on the direct costs of travel, safety is an important issue, too. The British Web page at http://plus.maths.org/issue15/editorial/ observes that bicycle riding is a bit safer than walking when one compares the number of deaths per passenger-mile traveled. But the fatality rate for automobile travel is dramatically smaller.
Conditions familiar to Haralson County invite special caution, too. A May 2002 NBC-TV report noted that rural two-lanes are among the most hazardous roads in the nation, "with deadly flaws like dangerous hills, blind curves, poorly-marked lanes, or narrow shoulders... [and warns of] 'the catastrophic head-on crashes that kill so many people on two-lane roads." It cites the extreme example of "South Carolina’s State Road 347... [where] you will find high speeds, trees just feet from the roadway and a fatality rate 16 times higher than on the nearest interstate..."
The Web page at http://www.hwysafety.org/safety_facts/state_laws/helmet_use.htm reminds us that in Georgia, helmet laws apply to all motorcycle riders and bicycle riders under 16 years old. While the library wants to be helpful, it cannot guarantee your physical safety on the road or the security of your property on library premises. Please do use good sense.
Find color photographs of the bicycle rack and its siting at:
http://www.rootsweb.com/~gahchs/BHPL/bikerack/Img00018.jpg & http://www.rootsweb.com/~gahchs/BHPL/bikerack/Img00016.jpg