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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Creating ‘The Most Bicycle Friendly City in America’ ... In Southern California [The Atlantic]


Creating ‘The Most Bicycle Friendly City in America’ ... In Southern California

Creating ‘The Most Bicycle Friendly City in America’ ... In Southern California
There have been numerous studies that show how adding a new lane to a freeway or road has the opposite effect than what was intended. Rather than easing congestion (which it does only briefly), the new lane merely creates more room for more cars, and quickily induces even more congestion. This same principle applies to bicycle traffic, though in a slightly different way. Few cities – and even fewer American cities – struggle with bike traffic congestion. Rather, what more and more cities find themselves struggling with is a lack of bike traffic. They want more bicyclists on their streets. To get them, cities are finding that when they build more bicycle lanes – and, more broadly, “bicycle-friendly” environments – more bicyclists emerge.
This theory is moving full speed ahead in unlikely Long Beach, Calif., where a focused effort is underway to modify city streets to encourage bicycling to become a viable day-to-day transportation option in and around the city. The transformation has been rapid in this city of 460,000, 20 miles south of downtown Los Angeles. In just a few years, the city has allocated more than $20 million for bike-related projects, adding new bike routes to city streets, building protected bike lanes, painting shared lanes, and installing the signage, signaling and parking that restate non-verbally the city’s new motto, now prominently displayed on a wall outside City Hall: “Long Beach, the most bicycle friendly city in America.”
Maybe Columbus can become the Mostest?

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