Saturday, March 14, 2009 of cyclists

I attended a bike conference here in DC where the Bicycle City Planner for Copenhagen was there to talk about the current state of cycling in his city. The video just shows some cyclists going around the city, but what was interesting to me in his speech was the way that he talked about bicycling through the city as a non-cognitive thing.

Some of the highlights from his speech gave me the impression that if the city of DC would get to the point where almost 50% of its inner-city residents ride their bikes to work, we need to create a far more vast and intricate network of bicycle roads in order to get people to ride their bike more. The main key in his speech for me was in surveying the people of Copenhagen, the people wanted their bike trip to be fast, efficient, and convenient, which means allowing bikes on the main arteries into the city. Here in DC, the diagonals, or state streets need an infrastructure for SAFE bike roads, which means physcially separated bike lanes. The number roads have been progressing with marked bike lanes, but I think there are a lot more streets that can be striped and/or remove one car lane to accomodate a bike lane. Synchronization of traffic lights were a big issue for the attractiveness of bicycling into work as well. They made a stretch of road in Copenhagen where the lights were timed based on an average bicyclist's speed, in that they were able to keep their momentum going and making it a more enjoyable ride, hence allowing more people to continue riding their bikes to work.

A lot can be said about the ways of Copenhagen, however, here in DC, we need to make bicycling a culture that allows more change to occur here and give more people an incentive to ride their bikes into work, including those for Virginia and Maryland.

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