Bike-Share Creates Friendly Communities

The Christian Science Monitor argues why the growing popularity of bike-sharing programs across America will result in more cohesive communities and more livable places.
September 20, 2012, 8am PDT | Emily Williams
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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."

Bike-sharing is becoming a reality in major cities across the country, like Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York, whose program "will be the largest outside Europe and China."

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.

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Published on Thursday, September 13, 2012 in The Christian Science Monitor
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