Skip to main content

Struggling Cities Can Become Bike Meccas

I'm still amazed by the fact that New York City installed 200 miles of bike lanes in the past 2 years. It's an incredible accomplishment, especially in light of the fact that New York City is so heavily congested that making space for bikes essentially means taking space away from cars, an issue that is usually highly contentious.

(from flickr user Jaszek PL)

One of the best things about biking in a city like Cleveland, on the other hand, is that (for better or worse) there really isn't a lot of traffic or congestion because the city's population has taken such a beating. This may actually be hugely beneficial to cities that want to become more bike friendly. Streets with light traffic are theoretically easier and cheaper to convert into streets with bike facilities and with less of a tradeoff than you might experience in a city like New York.

Assuming that struggling cities don't want to struggle forever, building these facilities before the tides turn would seem to be a pretty good idea about now.


HHF3 said…
Like this?
John said…
I can see how many young people have flocked to Portland, in part because of the alternative transportation options. I'm wondering if this is really replicable though. Or if it is, how many times can it be duplicated? Essentially, I would be interested to know how many people care enough about being able to bike comfortably and safely that they are willing to move to do it. How big is the market for bike cities? How many "bike meccas" will the population support? If all cities become bike meccas, does that give a competitive advantage to a city that remains a car mecca? No strong opinions here, just thinking out loud.
just a friend said…
Actually quite easy to put some paint down and call it a bike lane.. But still very dangerous. We need dedicated lanes to encourage safe..beautiful bicycle traffic
Step-Through said…
That's pretty much how I feel about Atlanta! Tons of pavement and most of the car traffic is concentrated on the expressways. But honestly, many of our streets would need to be redesigned (from multi-lane one-way pairs with excessive turn lanes and highway style exit ramps) before it would do any good to put bicycle lanes on them.
Anonymous said…
You might enjoy this video of people re-painting bike lanes in Brooklyn, New York, after the city removed them in response to complaints from the local Jewish community.

if you poke around the web, you'll certainly find news coverage.

Michael Gill

Popular posts from this blog

In Praise of Southwest's 'C' Boarding Group

A few weeks ago I saw a tweet from someone complaining that their Southwest Airlines boarding pass had been assigned A20 (meaning they would be at least one of the first twenty passengers to board the plane). Apparently this person though they should have been assigned a higher number, less their flight experience be considerably spoiled.

Despite the complaints, Southwest has resisted demands to assign seats on its flights, a decision which I personally applaud. I'll admit that I was skeptical when they rolled out the newest boarding procedure, assigning both boarding groups and a line number; but in hindsight it seems like one of the best operational decisions they've ever made. If nothing else, it effectively eliminated the infamous "cattle call" whereby fliers were getting to airports hours in advance and sitting in line on the floor as if they were waiting for the midnight showing of the new Star Wars movie.

When I was an intern at Southwest Airlines last winter, I…

So You Want to be a Southwest Airlines Intern?

My personal website must have pretty decent SEO - because in the past year, I've received about two dozen emails from aspiring Southwest Airlines interns looking to draw on my experience in search of their own dream internship. In the past two weeks alone a few new emails have already started rolling in...

(from flickr user San Diego Shooter)

If you've found your way here, you might be hoping for the silver bullet; a secret tip that will propel you above the competition. Unfortunately, I do not know any inside secrets. I can only share my experience as an internship candidate about two years ago and, rather than responding individually to future emails I anticipate to receive, I hope that potential interns will find the information posted here valuable.

Understand: Southwest Airlines is a very unique company. The corporate culture at Southwest is truly unlike that of nearly every other company. But you probably already knew that, since it now seems mandatory for every management,…

Commuting Meets Technology

I'm finally out of the dark ages. I got an Android smartphone over the weekend and have since been in the process of exploring the Android apps market.  One thing I've immediately noticed is the really wide range of usefulness in the apps. For example, the WeatherBug app is fantastic. It automatically determines your location and gives you exact conditions for that location. On the other end of the spectrum, Google's Goggles app is supposed to be a type of 'visual search' where you snap of photo of something and Google searches for it. In each of my attempts to use it, the app hasn't returned any search results. I even took a photo of a bottle of Pepsi (figuring it as a common houseful item) and got nothing.

Somewhere in the middle is this app called Waze. Have a look at their 'guided tour':

Some people might look at it and comment on the amazing evolution of technology or on the incredible value of social networks. To me, Waze says something important ab…