American cities are growing weary of their cars, and are yearning to slow down and spend more time in their local communities than behind the wheel. In a push to get people out of their sedans and into the streets, more cities are expanding bicycle infrastructure and implementing bike-share programs - "the newest form of public transit in the United States since the first subways were built more than a century ago."
The Monitor's editors argue that, "Cities that are more bikable (and also walkable) allow for more personal interactions and better social cohesion than the car culture embraced in the 20th century. Bikes bring a slower, more intimate pace of life that can infuse more vitality into a city."
However, creating an urban bike culture, writes The Christian Science Monitor, requires more than just a bicycle and a willing rider. Cultivating a sense of respect between cyclists and drivers can be a challenging task, as "bicycling evangelists often create friction in their demands for more access. And car owners are reluctant to give up space to bike lanes, which are a necessity for bike safety." But with more cyclists comes enhanced safety, the article notes.
Cars are here to stay, but bike-sharing is proving to be a one-way ticket to friendlier communities.