New Beall’s Hill homeowner Dalton Turner sells pharmaceuticals for a living, but you may see him pedaling something else through Macon.
Turner and his girlfriend, Rebecca Barber, received two new bicycles when he purchased a restored home on Calhoun Street from Historic Macon this year.
A Google street view still shows the formerly overgrown yard, boarded-up door and broken windows of the 1900 house he bought on the outskirts of downtown.
“The Calhoun House stole our hearts from the moment we entered,” Turner said in a release from Historic Macon.
He is grateful for the Bikes for Beall’s Hill initiative that will help the couple experience the community’s resurgence and quest to become more pedestrian-friendly and bikeable.
“Beall’s Hill Neighborhood allows us to be immersed in the vibrant growth and diversity of Macon,” Turner said.
The Historic Macon Foundation got the wheels turning on the new incentive through a grant from the Richard and Julia Moe Family Fund of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Each homebuyer will receive a gift card that will pay for two bikes, a pair of helmets and locks from Bike Tech on Vineville Avenue..
“Over the last few years, we’ve seen a significant increase in people wanting to ride their bikes to work, shop and explore downtown, and it is much easier to do that when you live in the neighborhood,” Bike Tech’s Bobby Schorr stated in the release.
Historic Macon is the lead developer for Beall’s Hill, a residential neighborhood bordering Mercer University and downtown.
The nonprofit organization is seeing a growing market for in-town living.
In recent years, $5 million has funneled in to improve sidewalks, road safety and increase street lighting through the Macon-Bibb County Commission and John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
“Beall’s Hill is perfectly positioned for bike riders since it’s nestled between Mercer University and Navicent Health. Plus, it’s an easy bike ride to downtown,” Historic Macon executive director Ethiel Garlington said in the statement.
If homebuyers already own a bike, it can be donated to Centenary United Methodist Church, which provides bikes for residents in need of transportation.
Road safety advocates have been working to improve Macon’s infrastructure to make it easier to bike the urban core, which connects to an expanding Ocmulgee Heritage Trail.
Not only is Historic Macon seeing a global trend of more people wanting to live within walking distance of the city hub, but Schorr sees more people purchasing bikes to commute.
“It’s programs like these that make Macon such a great place to live, work and play,” he said.