How One City Cultivates its Bike Culture

As a case study of bike culture, in which riding bikes is a normal and respected decision, Jeremy Holmes studies the example provided by Roanoke, Virginia.

1 minute read

September 5, 2014, 8:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Amsterdam Bikes

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Jeremy Holmes discusses the performance of Roanoke, Virginia relative to the city's creation of a bike culture. First, Holmes defines bike culture: "Having a bike culture means that a community recognizes and respects the use of a bicycle as a transportation option, regardless if one rides regularly or not."

According to Holmes, having a bike culture also means that bikes are "regularly used for utilitarian as well as recreational purposes." Along those lines, Holmes says, Roanoke is well established as a place for recreational riders and making progress for utilitarian riders.

"On the utilitarian side, we are making progress. The region has made many investments in on-road and off-road infrastructure — particularly in the city where riding for transportation makes a lot more sense. The greenway system is a bicycle superhighway for both recreation and transportation, and particular segments of it — such as between Roanoke Memorial Hospital and Wasena Park — can see rush-hour congestion as commuters and enthusiasts share the narrow strip of asphalt."

Holmes goes on to discuss what else the city must do to continue to cultivate and encourage its biking culture.

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