Sunday, August 12, 2007

Bike lanes shouldn't be bike pains

Image of bicycle in Austin, TexasFrom the Daily Texan, 08.08.07:

Bicycling is a key part of Austin's weird ethos. In other Texas cities, people are usually on two wheels only when turning corners quickly in their cars, but Austin is crawling with cyclists, from tight pants-wearing hipsters on fixed-gear bikes to UT students buzzing by pedestrians on campus to intense road bikers seeking the proverbial yellow jersey. This May, the League of American Bicyclists named Austin a Silver Level Bicycle Friendly Community, and Austin's many bike lanes helped the city to earn this award.

Bike lanes certainly help facilitate cycling in Austin, and they must properly serve the wide variety of cyclists that pedal the city's pavement. Children often ride bikes, but they should never be allowed close to traffic. Serious spandex types don't see a lack of a bike lane as a serious impediment. In fact, in places such as Denmark that have expansive networks of separate bike lanes, serious cyclists often just ride on the roads. Instead, bike lanes should be targeted at the middle cycling demographic - adults commuting to work, visiting their friends, pedaling to a hip Austin night spot or looking for a bit of exercise. (Read more.)
A nice op-ed by a student at the University of Texas in Austin.

Image: Shil Patel.
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips

1 comment:

Fritz said...

I've cycled in Austin -- if you stay downtown it's pretty good and near the river, but venture into the suburbs and it's probably the worst area for cycling I've ever experienced. Motoring Austinites very openly vocalize their dislike of cyclists who venture beyond the (excellent) bike facilities in that area. I cycled there for something like 4 days and received more abuse in Austin than places I've lived at for years.

My children (ages 7 and 11) bike close to traffic -- how else are they supposed to get anywhere? ;-)