Monday, July 09, 2007

Memphis: Bicycle use indicates people-friendly town

Image of bicyclist in downtown Memphis, TennesseeFrom the Memphis Commercial Appeal, 07.09.07:

In early June, Tennessee passed a law requiring motorists to pass bicycles with at least a 3-foot berth. The law reflects the increased value local governments are placing on bicycle-friendly communities. It is a perk for both motorists and cyclists, as increased bicycle use translates to safer and more desirable cities.

We've joined cities and states worldwide in thinking about bicycles as an asset.

Unlike most toys, the bicycle is a source of transportation for a future beset by skyrocketing petroleum prices and transportation dilemmas. For good reason, bicycles have a staying power beyond the Barbie doll.

Bicycles are indicators that communities have become people-friendly environments supporting a healthy lifestyle. (Read more.)
An interesting op-ed, making the valid point that bicyclists are an "indicator species," the canary in a coal mine of the streets. An abundance of bicyclists indicates a healthy community. Memphis, according to this article, has no bike lanes at present. The writer, executive director of the Revolutions Community Bike Program, is optimistic.

Image: Web capture
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips Site

3 comments:

southtj said...

Optimistic? I would lean more towards pessimistic. The city does have Bike Routes mapped out on semi bike friendly roads that are wide enough to accomodate bikers and cars so that is a start. Memphis Bike Routes

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't go so far as to say my city routes are bike friendly. It's more like murderous. If you come here and ride the city route 40 head this warning: DO NOT RIDE DOWN ORCHI STREET! It's a really bad neighborhood. No person has any business being there regardless of color, creed, or sex.

Other than that the people here are getting better. I would highly recommend contacting the locals to find out what's safe before you ride. East Memphis is really nice except for the occasional teenage idiot in an SUV. I highly recommend y'all visit revolutionsmemphis.com (our local co-op) and memphishightailers.clubexpress.com (the local LAB club) before coming to my city.

The weather's great, the BBQ at Neely's is fantastic, and if you remember your city smart's Memphis ain't as bad as u guys make it seem for cycling.

I ride everday, read this blog everyday, and I am exstatic to see my city mentioned here.

Rachel Samuels

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't say these routes are totally safe. If you are visiting Memphis heed these words: AVOID ORCHI STREET. You have no business being there, I have no business being there, it's a bad neighborhood. Bad stuff happens there and you don't need to go there. It's published as part of City Bike route 40 and has no traffic b/c of the gang graffiti.

I read this blog everyday and I ride to the airport everyday. I'm so glad to see my city mentioned in this blog. The drivers are getting better. It's not so bad if your a local and know how to take the lane.

I highly recommend contacting the Memphis Hightailers for route suggestions. I suggest y'all contact Cliff Heegel. He publishes the newsletter or you can contact Revolutions Bike Co-op.

Come and see us. The weather is pretty and the Bluff City is awesome this time of year.