From the Chicago Tribune, 12.25.07:
Suburbs turning more bike-friendlyThis article suggests the challenges confronting bike advocates in car-dependent suburbs.
Car-loving towns are having change of heart for cyclists
Steve Buchtel knows you can't turn around a culture of car dependency overnight. That's particularly true in Chicago's ever-growing suburbs to the west and south where bus and train schedules are erratic and well-defined bicycle routes scarce.
The glut of traffic clogs roads through quaint downtown centers and jams parking spaces at the neighborhood supermarket. It creates long lines at the gas pump and in front of schools. While traffic hassles are not unique to the suburbs, they are exacerbated in sprawling bedroom communities that are not designed for pedestrians and have limited public transportation options.
"In Chicago, public transit can get you pretty much anywhere anytime. In the suburbs, it can take you some places some of the time," said Buchtel, a lifelong cyclist and project coordinator for the non-profit Chicagoland Bicycling Federation. "Bikes can help fill that void."
Slowly, small towns growing in the shadow of Chicago are getting the message. Like Homewood, communities such as Oak Park and Hinsdale have crafted comprehensive bicycling plans to improve safety, upgrade bike routes, establish new ones and drum up interest in two-wheel travel. (Read more.)
Image: Web capture.
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips