Bicycle Strategy: Safety, Appeal, Convenience

There are 3 elements to designing a bicycle strategy which will attract more people to bicycle instead of drive their cars:

  1. Safety
  2. Appeal
  3. Convenience

Safety from accidents with cars is so important in making bicycling popular.  If people do not feel bicycle paths safe, people who casually bicycle will not venture out to bicycle.  Most parents will not allow their young children to bicycle in streets that they feel are unsafe which is most streets withing our city.  So in order to draw out more people to bicycle our streets we must build bicycle paths that have the feel and fact of being safe.  This can best be done by placing physical separation and barriers between cars and bicycle paths (Protected paths).  There should also be bicycle patrols to make sure laws are enforced and bike paths are safe from crime.

After designing safe bicycle paths with physical separation from cars they need to be landscaped with shrubs, green areas and shading trees to make them pleasant and appealing.  There must be curbs for bicyclists to support themselves at stop signs and signal lights.  Drinking fountains should be placed periodically along such paths for bicyclists to conveniently quench their thirst for long rides.  There should be shaded rest areas with seats for people to take breaks or get out of the occasional rains.

The path should run along streets with shops and eateries for the convenience of bicyclists to take breaks and shop.  Shortcut around town that cars cannot take will make it more attractive for biking around town instead of driving.  Secure bike stands should be located conveniently along bicycle paths so bikers can securely park their bikes.  Bike trails such as along the Southern Pacific Trail and creeks throughout our city should be developed for biking and walking.  Perhaps free inexpensive bicycles could be provided by the city throughout town for people to barrow.  I have listed only a few ideas.  Any ideas of convenience that will attract people to ride their bikes instead of drive should be considered.