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.

Friday, June 03, 2022

World Bicycle Day is today: Ideas for making transportation cycling irresistible

Promulgated by UN General Assembly in 2018, June 3rd is World Bicycle Day.  

At first I thought that it made more sense to do it in May, because in many places that is "Bicycle Month," but actually June 3rd can be the crowing achievement date "ending" Bicycle Month.

Having been busy doing other things, I am not prepared today to publish my ideal program for a community aiming to work diligently at developing a significant percentage of bicyclists as a regular part of "traffic."

By significant, I mean at least 10% overall, and more in the neighborhoods and districts that have more of the preconditions that support sustainable mobility.


One of the big influences on my approach to bicycling as transportation was a paper by Rutgers professor John Pucher, an international leader in research and writing on sustainable mobility, especially transit and biking,

-- "Making Cycling Irresistible: Lessons from The Netherlands, Denmark and Germany." Transport Reviews, 2008

My one super big idea for Salt Lake City biking.  Salt Lake is going through its update of the transportation master plan.  They have booths at local festivals and such.  

One of the boards is on "Big Ideas" but they aren't "that big," imo.  

More like important topics.  And given all the master plans I've read, the biggest failure is to translate the ideas into action.  That requires the right kind and specific types of programming.

I intend to write a big idea paper overall on how to create a system in Salt Lake for biking as transportation--while the area and state is big on recreational cycling, every day transportational cycling appears to be quite low.

One of the reasons is that while "the valley" is flat, on either side are the foothills and mountains (where the recreational cyclists go), which are daunting.

Between the elevation and its effect on me (way higher than DC) and having to climb a steep hill to get back home (there are a couple of streets with a relatively workable incline, but they are many blocks out of the way) I get wiped out.  Yes, I am considering an e-bike, but I am hoping to put it off for a few more years.

(Steve Griffin | Tribune file photo) A UTA TRAX train climbs out of downtown Salt Lake City as it heads to the University of Utah on June 24, 2013.

So my one big idea, as part of an overall serious in depth program to promote bicycle transportation is making the light rail free going up the hill, between 600 East--the edge of Downtown--and 1400 East--the "bottom" of the University of Utah campus.

Like the Trampe Bicycle Lift, it makes the topography much less of a barrier to every day cycling ("Norway’s 450-foot-long ‘bike elevator’ is like a ski lift for cyclists," Business Insider).

Particularly good past blog entries on biking:

-- "Ideas for making bicycling irresistible in Washington DC," 2008

-- "Best practice bicycle planning for suburban settings using the action planning method," 2010

-- "Is Montreal the number one city for bicycling in North America," 2010

-- "Biking as a social change movement," 2011

-- "Best (or at least better) practices bike parking and bicycle facilities," 2011

-- "What should a US national bike strategy plan look like?," 2014

-- "Urg: bad studies don't push the discourse or policy forward | biking in low income communities (in DC) edition," 2014

-- "Revisiting bicycle (and pedestrian) planning and the 6th 'E': equity and the City of Minneapolis Bicycle Master Plan," 2015

-- "(Still) tired of mis-understanding of the potential for e-bikes," 2015

-- "Part 2, building a network of bike facilities at the regional scale," 2017

-- "Why not a bicycle hub at National Airport?, focused on capturing worker trips but open to all," 2017

-- "This week is Bike Week at the University of Utah," 2018

-- "Bike to Work Day as an opportunity to assess the state of bicycle planning: Part 1, leveraging Bike Month," 2019

-- "Revisiting assistance programs to get people biking: 18 programs," 2020

-- "May is National Bike Month: Advocating for Vulnerable Road User laws," 2021

-- "Open Streets DC as an event versus an agenda," 2021

-- "It's a mistake to remove "Enforcement" from the "E's framework" of bicycle and pedestrian planning," 2022

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