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Monday, February 18, 2013

How to Build a Better Bike Lane (and Get More People Out on Bikes) [Atlantic Cities]


How to Build a Better Bike Lane (and Get More People Out on Bikes)

How to Build a Better Bike Lane (and Get More People Out on Bikes)Martha Roskowski has been a bicycle advocate in the United States for some 20 years. It hasn’t always been easy. These days, though, things are starting to feel different.
"In the past few years, we have seen a sea change," says Roskowski, who is heading up a two-year effort called the Green Lane Project (GLP) for the national advocacy group Bikes Belong. "Top city officials are now seeing bicycling as a really practical, rational part of the mobility picture." In other words, it’s not just a bunch of "bike nuts" who see the benefits of building better bike lanes. Urban transportation officials, facing growing populations, automobile congestion, and strained transit systems, are increasingly looking to bicycles as part of an overall solution. "Cities are really leading this, even when the feds aren’t," says Roskowski.
The GLP aims to foster this evolving mindset by helping six target cities to adopt high-quality bicycle infrastructure – bike lanes where people can ride with at least some protection from car traffic in the form of bollards, parked cars, raised pavement, or other separation. Often they are painted – that’s right – green. GLP is educating city officials through travel and the exchange of information with peers around the world; identifying obstacles to implementation of better bike infrastructure; and gathering data to quantify the effect such lanes have on riding patterns and demographics. It will make its findings available to the general public as the project progresses.

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