Monday, March 15, 2010

Utility of Bike Trails

Columbus Dispatch 15 March "Recession put brakes on miles of new bike trails" by Bill Bush.

I would argue that building new bike trails is not only important from a parks and recreation point of view, but that bike trails such as the extensive network along the Olantangy River are good transportation alternatives. 100 years ago it was far more common to see crowds of commuters cycling to work and back. In less than a decade we might see the same thing. Adding bike trails can provide cyclists with more options. However, it is just as important to incorporate cycling into city planning in other ways: places to park and lock bikes can be few and far between: often one is forced to resort to railings, fences, or sign posts. Building hard points for locking bikes should be a standard part of commercial zoning codes, as should incorporating shelter such as roofs to prevent rain and weather from wetting bike seats and rusting chains, shifters and other exposed components. Everyone should remember that barring a really efficient, really cheap development of battery technology for cars we will increasingly be using bikes anyway. When city money goes to build new cycling infrastructure it's an investment in the near future.

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