Due to the negative effects of using petroleum and gasoline to the environment, bicycle riding has become the most recommended mode of transportation for very short distances. Because of this, city governments all over the United States are plotting plans to make streets accessible to bikers. Part of these adjustments include building cycling infrastructure such as buffered and standard bike lanes, bike boulevards, and biking parks, and lobbying for businesses to install biker-friendly features in their establishments.
Chicago especially has become the star student in the class of bike-friendly cities in America, building 100 miles of bike lanes in the year 2015 alone. The city also has one of the largest bike sharing systems in the country and even is preparing its Divvy For Everyone program, where the city subsidizes low-income residents’ bike-share memberships.
Apart from Chicago, however, there is a road bike revolution happening on the East Coast. Three cities leading this movement are San Francisco, Kansas and Seattle. San Franscisco, for its part, has begun construction on several protected bike lanes on Second Street and Masonic Avenue. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has also been notable for their support for bikers as evidenced by their passage of a stop-as-yield ordinance that was unfortunately vetoed by the mayor.
Kansas, for its part, has been praised in transportation circles due to the opening of the Tilikum Crossing over Brush Creek River. This particular infrastructure is noted for being a bridge that does not carry cars, only walk-in traffic, cycling traffic, buses and trains. It also helps that the city’s head of transportation, Leah Treat, is an outspoken biking advocate and has demanded for all road projects done under her term to include bike lanes.
A widespread grassroots movement for biking, meanwhile, helps Seattle qualify as one of the top bike-friendly cities in the United States. The city recently unveiled a progressive plan that will hopefully improve the city’s biking infrastructure even more. A 50-mile network of protected bikeways and 60 miles of neighborhood bike-friendly greenways will soon start construction. In a move to imitate Chicago’s success among biking enthusiasts, Seattle also hired the former transportation chair of Second City, Scott Kubly, to head the bike program. Due to Seattle’s hilly makeup, the city is also considering adding hybrid bikes models to its bike-sharing system. There are also review sites such as htpp://www.roadbikeadventure.com that can help if bikers want to compare different kinds of bikes in the market.
With these three cities’ success in implementing policies, regulations and projects, other states as well as towns all over the country are now inspired to take on their own bike programs. In the East Coast alone, there has been a surge in bike-friendly transportation plans in cities, with Eugene, Oakland, Los Angeles, San Jose, Long Beach as well as Sacramento following the three previously mentioned cities’ models.
The great thing with the biking sector is its acknowledgment that not everyone can afford buying their own bikes so bike-sharing services were set up. Hopefully, more U.S. cites will dare to establish their own so everyone can benefit.
Kansas City in One Day