Monday, October 26, 2009

Bike lanes to create jobs?

People are finally starting to realize that people will only bike if there are bike lanes to safely use bicycles on.

This blog post highlights more details about this.

But it does make sense that bike lanes can create jobs and create some economic revitalization in areas that have high potential bike ridership but little to no bicycle infrastructure.

Anyone want to run a survey and find the areas with largest potential bicycle ridership in America?

1 comment:

Norman Dong said...

Encouraging bicycle usage certainly helps reduce congestion and air pollution, but cities need large numbers of bike users to make a measurable difference. Where do we put bike infrastructure? Where do we plan such facilities so they are efficiently used? What things do we need to consider?

First, we have to realize not every age group is willing to use bikes. Studies need to be done to determine the average age and preferences of commuters by neighborhood to make any investments cost-effective, to determine the distance between home and work, to determine lane width to accommodate a bike lane, to determine traffic density and speed to make bike travel safer, and secure parking for bikes at both ends of a commute.

Employer groups and planners need to get together to locate bike parking and even develop incentives, such as flexible work schedules, to entice employees to use a bike instead of driving. Transit agencies and light rail lines should also be consulted so there is safe storage for bikers who hop on transit. There need to be spin offs where bike repair services are located near employment centers.

Yes, bicycle travel is a legitimate mode, but it needs considerable study, marketing and public education before biking can be a viable mode of travel in significant numbers. I'm sure we can find communities where this has already worked, but I assume any discussion here is focused on the large cities where traffic congestion and air quality are major issues.