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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Greening Cities with Better Bike Lanes [thisbigcity]


May is National Bike Month in the United States, something the country’s 57 million bicyclists have had the opportunity to celebrate since 1956. Biking is a hot trend right now in the US, taking second place on a 2012 survey to find Americans’ Favorite Outdoor Activities.
Inspired by the European and Canadian model, bike sharing programs are now spreading across the States. Affordable and convenient fleets are set to transform American cities, with their number growing 50% this year compared with 2012. There’s now a total of 53 programs in North America, and in 2013 we can expect to see 6000 new bikes in New York, 4000 in Los Angeles, 3000 in Chicago and many others in different cities across America.
Bike sharing programs are one of the main drivers for improving cycling infrastructure, that and the fact that 50% of all US trips are 3 miles or less. Just imagine the progress that could be made if half of those trips were done on two wheels. America could look forward to fewer traffic jams, reduced air pollution and happier people!
Only 1% of all US trips are made by bike, but that could change if safety was not as much of a concern. In New York, cycling increased 102% between 2007-2011 and in San Francisco 71% between 2006-2011, largely because of better infrastructure.

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