Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bike to work day, Friday May 18th 2012

-- Bike to work day, Metro DC

People who register have a chance at prizes and get a tee shirt.  Data on registrations are used for planning purposes.

Because May is National Bike Month, there are variety of bike promotion efforts during the month, ranging from specific "bike to work day" promotions to month long initiatives like California Bike Commute 2012.

This poster was displayed at the Arlington County Central Library.  There are over 50 pit stop locations throughout the metro area.
Bike to Work Day, Friday May 19th, 2012, flyer

Today's Express has a couple pieces on biking, including maintaining your bike, fitting bikes, mountain biking (I focus on transportational biking), and carrying stuff.

The DC Rider column in the same edition had a couple reader comments on how weekend subway service has become abysmal.  According to the column, there were 40 minute waits between trains on the red line.  The columnist opines that she is surprised that people are even riding the system on the weekend because "weekend delays ... render the transit system virtually useless for thousands of riders."

She's right and I want to write about this later, in context with the new book Straphanger, which is about how transit-centric communities have better quality of life, in part because automobile-dependency is fundamentally disconnecting, and because with transit you get density and amenities in close proximity.

But that's later.  The complaint in the article was that the rider took about two hours to get from Cleveland Park to Potomac Metro, after finally walking the last 10 blocks.

That's about 7.5 miles.  I know that it seems like a stretch for a lot of people, but that's a 45 minute bike ride, and for much of the distance, is downhill.  With a readily available bike sharing system + an expanding network of bike lanes and cycletracks, increasingly, biking to get around, especially when you don't feel that you can rely on transit, will become a real option.

Frankly, the primary reason that I took up biking was to save myself time (+ the exercise benefits) and not having to be reliant on the subway and buses to get around.  Back then, I figured that biking saved me at least 30 minutes each day, giving me more time to do other things.

National Bike Month is a good time to consider biking as transportation and experiment with it, especially in those cities that have bike sharing systems (Denver, Minneapolis, Montreal, Toronto, DC-Arlington, etc.).
Flickr photo of a Capital Bikeshare user by Elvert Barnes.

51% of all household trips are 3 miles or less, and an additional 13% of trips are 3 to 5 miles in length.  Trips that distance take less than 30 minutes by bike.


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