With bike sales soaring as people seek out safe outdoor recreation, institutional support and investment can maintain the growth of cycling as commuters start going back to work.
As Americans sought out socially distanced ways to stay active and roads were suddenly cleared of intimidating traffic for much of 2020, bicycling boomed in popularity. In the United States, bike sales grew by 62%, while e-bike sales rose by a whopping 144%. However, writes Andrew J. Hawkins, American roads have also become more unsafe in recent years, with cycling deaths increasing by 38% in the last decade. And the traffic is coming back: after dropping by close to 40% in April, vehicle miles traveled in the United States rebounded to almost-average levels(down only 9% in September compared to the same month in 2019).
To sustain the growth of biking as a mode share rather than a short-lived trend, Hawkins argues that cities must take active steps to improve bike infrastructure and make new riders feel safe on the road. He suggests the federal government can fund programs that direct money toward bike lanes and offer tax credits for bike purchases to incentivize consumers, while cities can expand upon pandemic-prompted "slow streets" programs and temporary bike and pedestrian improvements. "It will be a turf war, as bikes will need to take physical space away from cars to maintain any forward momentum," Hawkins predicts, but the advances of 2020 gave us a glimpse into a world where two-wheeled transportation gets serious institutional support.
Planning for Congestion Relief
The third and final installment of Planetizen's examination of the role of the planning profession in both perpetuating and solving traffic congestion.
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Housing advocates praise the city’s move to eliminate single-family zoning by legalizing triplexes on single-family lots, but that isn’t why housing construction is growing.
‘Mega-Landlords’ Threaten Housing Stability for Renters
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Zoning Stands in the Way of Renewable Energy
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Mixed Use Could Lower Neighborhood Crime Rates
New research shows areas with a heavy concentration of commercial offices experience 40 percent higher crime rates than neighborhoods that mix residential and commercial uses.
Denver E-Bike Rebate Program Proves Wildly Popular
The city is temporarily pausing applications after the program ran out of funds less than a month after the city announced it.
City of Redwood City
City of Rohnert Park
City of Hot Springs
This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.