Cyclists Need More Than Bike Lanes

Think bike lanes are enough to get people biking? WalkBikeCT would have you think again. A post on this Streetsblog Network member site today says that a more comprehensive planning approach is necessary to make most people feel safe on two wheels:

511799212_724dd43c28.jpgPhoto from BikePortland.org‘s photo pool on Flickr.

The
reason cycling as transportation is not too popular in this country is
that, as a policy, roads are optimized for recklessly fast automobile
travel.…As you might guess, bike lanes, i.e. paint stripes and a
bicycle symbol on the side of the road, are not going to help this
situation much. A few people might feel safer and venture into the
road, but at the end of the day you still have cars traveling fast
enough to easily
and instantly kill a human being.

Designing towns
optimized for pedestrian travel, where cars proceed slowly enough that
they can safely share the road with pedestrians and cyclists — that’s a
solution you can believe in.

From Ohio, we have two encouraging posts. Car Less Ohio
writes about a new office park development in Wooster, OH, that is
being designed with 8,000 feet of sidewalk and a bike path. And Xing Columbus reports that the Central Ohio Transit Authority’s stimulus wish list includes a light rail project, a bike path and a greenway.

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Michael Andersen blogs for The Green Lane Project, a PeopleForBikes program that helps U.S. cities build better bike lanes to create low-stress streets. For all their benefits, protected bike lanes can be complicated. Between maintaining barriers, keeping them clear of snow and preserving intersection visibility, it’s understandable that cities opt not to include them on […]