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Houston Regional Group - News
Article:
NEW URBAN CYCLING BIKEWAYS - by Frank Blake

In recent years several American cities have introduced some exciting urban bikeway infrastructure that is making cycling a more convenient, safe, and attractive transportation option. Major new bikeway projects have been implemented in New York City, Washington, Chicago, Portland and other cities. Many of these projects have been inspired by bikeway infrastructure in the Netherlands and Copenhagen. Cycling was a well established mode of transportation in the Netherlands and Denmark prior to World War 2, but was overtaken by automobile dominance after the war and through the 50's, 60's, and 70's. In the 70's, after the oil crisis, and with increasing awareness of how automobiles were destroying the quality of life in many cities, citizens in these countries reasserted their desire for safe bicycle transportation and demanded better bikeway infrastructure and design standards. Over the last few decades there has been a great resurgence of bicycle use in these countries, and today as much as 30% to 50% of trips taken by residents of Amsterdam and Copenhagen are by bike. Bicycling is now considered the preferred mode of transportation in these cities and gets priority in transportation planning.

It is hard to really understand good bikeway infrastructure without being able to experience it first hand, but thanks to good videos one can get a pretty good idea.

Fortunately a lot of this newer bikeway infrastructure is being documented and posted to "You Tube" for all to experience. Below is a sampling of video titles that illustrate what is possible with good bikeway planning and design. To view any, just go to "You Tube" and type in the title listed in the search box.

Some recommended video titles:

Cycling Copenhagen Through North American Eyes

Bicycle Rush Hour in Copenhagen

From the Netherlands to America

Copenhagen Cargo Bikes

NYC DOT Explains Bike Lanes in the Big Apple

Cities For Cycling Roadshow Rocks Chicago

DC Capital Bikeshare

NACTO's Cities For Cycling

Urban Bikeway Design Guide


Last updated:  11/20/2011.   Content 1999-2011 by the Sierra Club.