Sunday, October 24, 2010

More Than One Out of Ten

I'm happy to say that I'm one of the 11% of Eugeneans that commute by bike. Our town now has the highest bike commute rate in the nation for a city of its size or larger, according to the U.S. Census. Do you remember about a year ago when I wrote that I thought that the number of cyclists I was seeing on my commute was going dramatically up?  As it turns out, that was accurate. Our bike commuting has increased by about a third in the last two years. So it's not just anecdotal, there really are lots more bikes on the road (and the bike racks are full when I try to lock my bike up somewhere).

I also just recently participated in the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan process, and am excited that our city is on the path of adding even more improvements to our bicycling and pedestrian access and safety. Just this summer, in addition to the ubiquitous road improvements, I have noticed some ped-and-bike-friendly improvements just in my neighborhood. A local street was revamped and sidewalks added. This means we can now walk our dogs to the dog park safely instead of having to drive them there. The bike path near the school was widened and re-paved, taking out the unsafe bike-tire-eating cracks and making it wide enough to pass pedestrians safely. I already blogged about the new bike bridge and the intersection redesign which made my commute safer and gave my kids the ability to bike to the pool and park. We also have revamped and repainted a bike box downtown (though cycling advocates had hoped for the bold green bike box paint that Portland is now sporting for better visibility). Since I go through this intersection frequently though, it's nice to at least have it clearly marked as a bike box (it used to be ambiguous).

All in all, although there are many areas where my city could definitely improve (one street in particular), I am happy to see them continue to move in a direction that encourages non-motorized transport.

1 comment:

Andrea said...

It is great to hear about how much bike commuting is happening in your city. It seems we are far behind. Keep up the inspiration!