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.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Biking to Work Isn't Gaining Any Ground in the US | Bloomberg Opinion

 -- article

Duh.  In an environment where more than 90% of US trips are conducted in part by the automobile, for people to cycle instead, especially in the face of attitudes that treat biking as a toy, they need assistance to do so.

Very little such assistance is provided.

Therefore, people don't bike.  

I do have a piece on this, "Revisiting assistance programs to get people biking: 18 programs."  It's ready for a slight update because I have a couple more items.

We spent 60+ years building a system of automobility.  

We need to build a similar system for biking.  

Bicycle Traffic as a system, diagram, German National Bicycle Plan, 2002-2012

It doesn't need to take 60 years.  But it does need to be purposive.  Right now, few cities are doing much that is substantive to directly assist people in transitioning to biking.

With one exception.  Vouchers and tax credits to buy electric bikes.  

But as I point out, that creates a need for higher quality, secure bicycle parking, and there's no movement on that ("If you're going to promote electric bikes at scale, there needs to be complementary investment in secure bicycle parking and charging").

Many argue that electric bikes can be a game changer.  That they can substitute for a car for many trips.  But without assistance in transitioning to biking, and without creating a complementary secure parking and charging infrastructure, it will likely bump up against existing barriers to take up, along the lines of the Rogers diffusion curve, and will remain stuck in the early adopter phase.

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