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Cyclists Need More Than Bike Lanes

11:25 AM EST on January 9, 2009

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 easilyand 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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