Contemporary cycling in the United States is largely viewed by the public as a recreational endeavor. However, it was not always this way. For distances greater than that easily covered on foot, bicycles were the preferred mode of local transportation prior to the early 1900s when the automobile came into wider use. During the next half decade, bicycles were seen primarily as children’s toys. The 1970s and 1980s brought a new boom in bicycle sales for adult recreational purposes and this was augmented by the “Lance effect” in the early 2000s, introducing a large number of people to performance cycling.
As a result, most infrastructure built in the latter half of the 20th century was geared around this recreational aspect of cycling, primarily off road paths in parks, “rails to trails” efforts and even mountain bike facilities. It is only in the last 10 years that urban areas have started to look again at bicycles as part of their transportation strategy and to construct suitable infrastructure to implement it. By most measures these efforts have been fairly successful in increasing the numbers of transportation cyclists, but still not to a level of places like the Netherlands where there is upwards of 30% bicycle mode share. The United States will likely never achieve that kind of mode share if for no other reason than our systemic land use issues, but in areas where the land use patterns do support bicycle transportation, we can get to more modest shares like that of Portland (7+%). What actions can be taken take to increase this mode share?
A shorter version also appeared as an Op Ed column in The Capital on May 11, 2016.
Let me get this out of the way: I am a bike guy. I love bikes, all kinds – transportation bikes, off road bikes, racing bikes and classic bikes.
But that’s not why I ride a bike for transportation.
Note: I wrote this back in 2009 and have not ridden my fixed gear bike much on group rides recently, but nonetheless it also applies to riding a geared bike in a group with many stronger riders. Often, it’s not a question of if I will pop, but when…
Question: When is riding a Fixie like playing Russian Roulette?
Answer: When you ride it for the Saturday D’ville group ride.
Huh? Read on…
I am finally getting serious about the “riding to Cleveland” thing. I have been jonesin’ about this ride starting in early in 2012 and even more after riding the C&O canal with friends in 2012 and 2013 thinking this kind of off road bike touring would be a lot of fun. Plus there are some trail additions that make this a breeze such as the filling the GAPs all the way into Pittsburgh and the fact that Amtrak finally has the roll on/roll off bike service on the Capital Limited which runs right through Downtown Cleveland to DC which will make the return logistics much easier.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: Alex Pline, firstname.lastname@example.org, 443-‐510-‐7297 https://www.facebook.com/events/557691114304692/
Trish Cunningham Memorial Rally and Ride for Bicycle Safety Awareness Saturday September 28, 2012
7:00am Rally Start at Annapolis High School – 8:30 Bike Ride Start
Annapolis, MD, September 28, 2013 -‐ On Wednesday August 21 at 5:30pm, 50 year-‐old mother of three Trish Cunningham was riding her bike lawfully southbound on Riva Road in Davidsonville. As she was cresting a blind hill, a minivan attempted to pass, crossing the double yellow line. As the minivan was passing, an oncoming vehicle forced the driver to swerve into, strike and kill Ms. Cunningham. The driver was declared at fault by the Anne Arundel County Police Department.
It had a flavor typical of these public meetings. George Cardwell from the County Planning and Zoning did a good job at setting the context for the plan. I really do think he “gets it” about the need for a more balanced set of transportation options in the county.
For the most part, people who were there came either to listen and gather information or to air a particular issue in their local area. Since this meeting was at Broadneck, a number of people talked about issues with the (under construction) Broadneck Trail, College Parkway, access to AACC and crossing Ritchie Highway (MD 2) to get to the B&A Trail. Councilman Dick Ladd was also there advocating the County prioritize a ped/bike bridge over Ritchie Highway at College Parkway – something that has been discussed for many years.
These are all valid concerns for that area and to a certain extent are being addressed as projects in the plan, although not to the degree (in scope and timeframe) that locals would want. The projects in the plan really don’t contain much detail and are in there nominally to indicate that a particular area needs improvement (indicated with a few keywords like “sidewalk” or “multiuse trail” etc). It is always the case that people who know the local area intimately have *very* detailed ideas of *how* the projects should be implemented. I know that is true in my case with the Parole area that I know very well.
Allison Bourg wrote a good article about the county’s update to the Pedestrian and Master Plan. The purpose of the article was to publicize the public meeting on June 11, 2013, but it did feature yours truly because I met Allison over at Parole Towne Center for her to snap a few pictures for the article. Read the article on the Capital website: http://www.capitalgazette.com/cg2-arc-d8851555-052d-5942-a28b-b81587d6b1f4-20130610-story.html
Or view the PDF (page 1 and page 2) which is a slightly different version with a picture.