Transportation Officials Pool Knowledge for Bicycle Planning

The National Association of City Transportation Officials has launched an initiative to help members better plan for and implement infrastructure for cyclists.

"[T]he U.S. Census Bureau's latest American Community Survey had some sobering news about bicycling: Only about half of 1 percent of Americans bike to work. A number of city planners are seeing that statistic as evidence that some more radical bicycling strategies are in order. It's time to think beyond bike lanes, they say, and start using bike-only traffic signals, traffic-protected "cycle-tracks," and other street designs that are common in European cities such as Amsterdam and Copenhagen, where up to 40 percent of all trips are made on two wheels.

Doing that is harder than it sounds. American street-design manuals and regulatory mechanisms revolve around cars, not cyclists. As a result, few traffic engineers possess the technical knowledge - and bureaucratic savvy - necessary to implement novel bike treatments."

The initiative is called Cities for Cycling and it's intended to serve as a clearinghouse of bicycle plans and other information to help cities adopt best practices.

Full Story: Cities for Cycling Embrace European Street Designs



Provide more bike parking!

When people are surveyed about why they do not bike ride as a form of transportation, one of the most commonly cited reasons is lack of safe and secure bike parking. All over America, cities and town are rapidly building massive bike networks. This is great, but there continues to be a major lack of good bike parking!

The best way to address this, in my opinion, would be for the city to subsidize or provide tax breaks to businesses along bike routes that build bike racks. Also, when building bike racks, a great way to do it is to sacrifice a parking space in the front of the business. Having a parking space filled with bike racks is a great visual incentive for people to bike. Also, a parking space in the front of a business is usually already a safe secure spot, further enforcing the effectiveness of this kind of bike parking.

More bike parking advocacy needed

Good points. I think that there is a need for more advocacy for these measures, in part by bicycle advocates themselves. In some communities, residents may recognize the need for bike parking but no one is really pushing for it.

Policy makers need to feel that it is a real priority.

To improve ridership . . .

The Census doesn't identify whether bicycle commuters are men or women. However, a quick look around cities that have low mode share will tell you that men ride more than women. Cities that have high ridership see a roughly equal split between men and women

A recent thread on Pro-Urb discussed this very issue. The response? To improve ridership, find out what women want.

What do women want? Improved safety.

Who was supposedly been surveyed saying that bicycle parking is what is preventing people from riding? Business owners? Always be careful to check your assumptions, gentlemen. What will make YOU ride won’t necessarily improve ridership.

(I am a cyclist, former racer, former race official, bicycle planner, bicycle advocate--and a woman. And I don't give a rip about bike parking.)

Bicycle friendly cities USA,

Recently in Portland, I was immediately impressed with its pedestrian/bicycle and transit orientation. We should all be so enlightened! Taking the train/trolley was easy and seamless. Separation between cars and bikes felt so much safer, and limiting auto lanes so light rail and trolleys could also be located within the r-o-w seemed to work just fine. Your city is extremely livable and it's an inspiration! Traffic planners should be required to visit your fair city (or take a virtual tour) as part of their required course work.

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available.
Starting at $24.95
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!
Book cover of Where Things Are from Near to Far

Where Things Are From Near to Far

This engaging children's book about planning illustrates that "every building has its place."