Creating Bike Friendly CommunitiesPosted: October 20, 2009
Did you know that almost 50,000 people a day ride bikes for one week in Black Rock City in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, the temporary home for the Burning Man Festival? And that most of those people ride bikes exclusively for their form of transportation from the time they arrive until the time they leave a week or so later? Yep.
How do they do it? Easy–cars are banned from the streets of the city. To get around, people have to walk, ride a bike (there’s thousands they can borrow), or grab public transportation (aka ArtCars).
Did you know that 500,000 people a day commute by bike in Copenhagen? That’s a half million people–riding bikes!
How can we promote, create, fund this radical act, this Copenhagenization, this Black Rock City approach, in the United States–in our cities and communities?
That’s a big question, and one which this site, Copenhagencyclechic, is devoted to exploring how to Copenhagenize the world. And it seems like this coming year at Burning Man, as we explore the theme of Metropolis, we will all learn ideas of how to get around in these cities we have grown.
One obvious way is to create commuter routes like you see on the map of Copenhagen on the left. If we can spend millions of dollars on highways to move individuals in cars, why can’t we spend a much much smaller amount of money to facilitate the safe travel of people on bikes?
If we spent just a fraction of the amount of money that we do on vehicle infrastructure needs on alternative transportation needs, we’d be able to get around more safely and reduce our carbon footprints. We’d be a lot healthier and a lot happier. OK I admit don’t have research on that one at hand–except that I know I feel happier when I commute by bike and it seems like my fellow cyclists are also a very jolly group of people!
How we can create this change in our communities?
1) Have comfortable, easy to use bikes that people WANT to ride–bikes like a bikergo.
2) Support the riding of bikes with infrastructure
3) Watch this blog as I aim to find out and make that part of what goes on here!
What ideas do you have to help our culture transition from car-heavy to bike friendly?