Bike infrastructure is one of the most high-returning investments we can make in our towns and cities.
Electric bikes and scooters have enormous advantages for short urban trips. How will they change our cities? When Elisha Otis introduced the safety elevator in 1852, he never imagined skyscrapers.
A bike-friendly town is more affordable for residents—who can save thousands of dollars every year if they have the option to bike instead of drive. It also builds healthier communities, both financially and physically.
A bike-friendly town is also more affordable for the whole community. Bike infrastructure is far cheaper to maintain than car infrastructure and results in more financially productive places—not to mention healthier, safer citizens (including drivers).
Do you care about building bike-friendly communities?
Become a member of Strong Towns, a movement that is working to make this the norm across the continent.
Across the nation, cities are expanding stand-alone bike lanes into full networks everyday people actually like to use.
The biggest barrier we may have to tackle—the one that gives people a license to dismiss bikes as a transit outlier—is the misconception that bikes are a means of recreation instead of a tool for empowerment.
These four steps will help you assess whether your town is a safe place for children to walk and bike on their own.
A big piece of the infrastructure puzzle is not about the level of government making the investment, it's about the scale of the investment. Here are 5 "small bets" to build better transportation systems in our towns.
Incremental growth, flexible design, small bets...these are hallmarks of a Strong Towns approach, present in bike share. The bike share movement is inviting new users to try out bikes, and it's adapting to the needs of the towns and neighborhoods where it has been implemented.
By providing the language to explain why fast-moving "stroads" are so treacherous, we hope to empower cities to make them safer.
To bring together "bike for leisure" and "bike for transportation" people, you need to look beyond cycling itself and find the deeper principle that has people energized in the first place: the radical idea that people should move and associate freely in the streets of any town or city.
(Top photo by Adam Coppola)