From the Sheboygan Press, 09.28.07:
Be biker-friendly: City streets may get bike lanesMore bicycling news from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, featured earlier on this blog. What is significant here, is that Sheboygan County is one of four communities in the country awarded a $25 million Non-Motorized Transportation Pilot Program grant, passed by Congress in July 2005. (The other communities are Columbia, Missouri; Marin County, California; and Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota.)
Jim Sobczak rides his bike everywhere in Sheboygan. "I enjoy riding," Sobczak said. "You see more when you ride." But one thing Sobczak has noticed is that riding in the city can be a dangerous experience.
The city is making an effort to change that. The Common Council recently passed a resolution supporting an application by Sheboygan County to the county's Non-Motorized Transportation Pilot Program to fund nearly 42 miles of bicycle lane striping on city streets. "I think it's a real good idea to have the bike lanes marked," said (Alderwoman) Marilyn Montemayor, who authored the resolution. "It's for the safety of those who ride bicycles and maybe it will encourage more people to ride bicycles." (Read more.)
The program--won through the advocacy efforts of Bikes Belong and the League of American Bicyclists among others--provides $25 million per year through 2009 to be used for programs and facilities that promote a transportation change from driving to walking or bicycling in these four pilot communities. In a sense, these areas become laboratories for bicycling and walking, similar to what Denmark has done with the city of Odense.
In bicycling terms, $25 million per year is hugely significant--such a sum is a mere rounding error on many highway or military projects. By comparison, the state of California only funds the Bicycle Transportation Account at a meager $5 million, distributed among communities across the entire state. (Many California communities of course use other funding sources to create bicycling facilities.)
Again, another example that advocacy works for bicyclists.
Image: Web capture.
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips