Biking BIG in the City!
There be bikes in the city. Lots of ‘em.
In London, England:
Cyclists have for the first time outnumbered motorists on some of the country’s busiest commuter routes during the rush hour.
On Cheapside, a street in the City of London, cycles make up more than 50 percent of the commuter traffic, according to official data, and account for up to 42 percent of traffic on Southwark Bridge across the Thames. In one Bristol suburb more than one in four people cycle to work. …
The surge in the number of people switching to two wheels is likely to be even greater than the new figures suggest.
Most of the data was compiled before July 2010, when 5,500 rental bikes were introduced and the first two “cycle-superhighways" — distinctive blue cycle lanes — were opened by Boris Johnson, the mayor of London.
… (Sunday Times via Cyclists in the City)
In Montreal, Canada, soaring daily bike ridership is creating traffic jams on the city’s bike paths:
It was no surprise to anyone who drives or cycles regularly in Montreal’s central neighbourhoods to learn that the proportion of adult cyclists using bicycles for transportation in this city has more than doubled in the past decade, as a recent Vélo Québec report showed.
But the sheer number of cyclists using the most popular paths daily — such as Rachel, Brébeuf, Milton and de Maisonneuve Blvd. — has experts calling for measures to curb a problem that many of us took to our bikes to avoid: congestion.
Some of the most popular Montreal bike paths, like the ones along Berri and Brébeuf Sts., are getting more than 7,000 users on some days. Cycling safety experts say it’s time for the city to consider some measures to avoid congestion of cyclists at intersections and improve safety:
— Install priority turn signals for cyclists
— Synchronize traffic lights to cycling speeds on heavily cycled routes
— Raise or paint intersections where bike paths cross major arteries to improve visibility
— Install bike boxes, where cyclists can fan out across the roadway, side by side, ahead of the vehicle stop line
— If a bike route is saturated, build a safe alternative on a nearby parallel street
— Do not allow parking beside bike paths near intersections
… (Montreal Gazette)
And, in the USA:
Over the past few years, simple infrastructure improvements (bike paths, lanes, etc) making it more convenient and safe for people to bike and walk have been constructed coast-to-coast. Cities from New York to Minneapolis to San Francisco have enjoyed 100 percent or more increases in the number of people biking to work, school and shopping.
Smaller cities from Greenville, South Carolina, to North Little Rock, Arkansas to Long Beach, California are now following suit. Creating better conditions for biking and walking is one proven innovation to cushion us from the economic upheaval of high gas prices.
(Photo credit: I Bike London)