Making Biking Attractive

Auto manufactures entice us to buy cars by totally isolating us from the outside world with air condition, sound proof interiors, exterior systems and even built in TVs.  They provide comfortable seats and safety devices to give you the impression that you are perfectly safe withing their iron horse.  But statistic show the contrary.  More people are killed by or in cars than by any other means including war.  So even though auto manufactures have created an impression of isolation, exclusion, and safety, all it really is is an illusion.  But it works so well because in spite of all the statistics and even accident we have been involved in we persist in using this powerful and potential very dangerous mode of transportation.

If it weren’t for cars cycling would be extremely safe.  It is an wide open source of transportation that immerses you with the environment you ride through.  It engages all your seances on your surroundings.  You are not isolated from your riding experience but engrossed and engaged in and with it; you are part of it.  You see, smell, feel and almost taste and touch your surroundings.  Sometimes it not that great but most often it is.  But it can be make even better if the city had a vested interest in encouraging biking.

It is important that the city make biking an attractive alternative to driving.  That means it must be attractive for everyone to do.  The biking experience must be a more positive experience than the iron horse.  It must have nice scenery and smells that engage all our senses in a very positive experience.  This includes shaded trees and pleasant plants and shrubs, not all concrete and pavement.  It must be convenient with routs throughout the city for people to shop in complete security and safety.  The more these routs are isolated from car traffic the better the experience.  It must have convenient access to major bicycle arteries near our houses and bicycle/pedestrian trails.

Isolate bikes from cars as much as possible with closed off street which allow bicyclists and pedestrians to shop and dine in comfort and complete safety.  The long term goal is to gradually make driving as inconvenient as possible and biking and walking far more appealing.  We need to change our culture from a car-centric society to a bike-pedestrian-centric society that sustainable the environment and growth.

About Frank Geefay

Sustainable Bicycle and Smart Growth Advocate
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