BikeCommuters.com

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Apartment with bicycle parking

Have you seen this? In yet another “it could only happen in Portland” story, an apartment development in that city is including 1200 bicycle parking spaces as part of the design:

inding a parking spot in most major cities is like playing a competitive sport: With too many cars vying for too few spaces, ruthlessness can often trample civility. But that may not be the case for one neighborhood in Portland—well, as long as the ride is a bicycle.

Currently under construction in the city’s Lloyd District, a cycle-centric apartment complex named Hassalo on Eighth has 1,200 bicycle parking spaces in its design. That’s believed to be more than any other apartment building in North America. The firm responsible, GBD Architects, is considering adding even more.

Bike Portland reports that each of the 657 apartments will be assigned at least one designated bicycle spot, leaving several hundred more that developers are confident will be in heavy use.

Read the full article by visiting the Take Part page.

Bike infrastructure = must-have for today’s cities

A couple of news items and an associated report caught our attention this week — based on a study jointly conducted by advocacy groups PeopleForBikes and the Alliance for Biking and Walking, cities simply cannot afford to go without modern bike infrastructure:

It isn’t window dressing. Or a “hip cities” thing. Bike infrastructure — not the watered-down stuff, but high-quality bikeways that get more people on bikes — is becoming a must-have for cities around the U.S.

That’s according to a new report from Bikes Belong and the Alliance for Biking and Walking. Researchers at these groups interviewed 15 business leaders from around the country about what impact bike facilities are having on their bottom line.

Read the article covering the release (including important key points) by visiting the D.C. Streetsblog page, or download the PDF report directly by clicking here. Although the report focuses its attention on protected, separated bike lanes, there are important lessons here for city planners and politicians to learn.

In any case, it’s an interesting and eye-opening read…but what I liked hearing from the report is that people who use a bike to get to and from work are smarter, healthier, and more creative. No surprises there, of course — we’re smarter and better-looking on two wheels than the average car-bound citizen!

A new ‘Golden Age’ of Bicycling?

The following article popped up in our news feed and on our Facebook page over the weekend — a Salon article interviewing bike activist and author Elly Blue on her new book Bikenomics:

It’s hard to deny that bicycles are having a moment. Last year saw New York City, Chicago, Salt Lake City and Columbus all get bike-share systems of their very own — joining Boston, London, Paris, Dublin, Moscow, Hangzhou, Montreal and many, many other cities throughout the world. Increasingly, people are talking about bikes as a replacement for cars (and even trucks), debating the best ways to design bike lanes and bike-friendly intersections, dreaming up futuristic bike paths and, above all else, taking to the streets on two wheels.

But bicycling’s recent rise to the spotlight isn’t just a passing fad, argues writer and bike activist Elly Blue. Instead, she says, growing numbers of people are beginning to recognize the tangible benefits — to themselves and to their cities — of trading in cars for self-powered transportation. And the research is backing up their experiences. Blue’s new book, “Bikenomics,” draws on a growing body of academic work, along with her own involvement with the country’s bicycle movement, to make the economic case for bicycles. As for the people who insist, in the face of such evidence, that bike commuters are a scourge on humanity? Blue maintains they’re just bitter from spending so much time stuck in traffic.

Read the rest of the article by clicking here.

I hope she’s right, that using a bike for transportation will be old news within five years…What do YOU think? Are we finally in a new “Golden Age” of bicycling? Is the pro-bicycling momentum finally self-sustaining to where more and more cities will jump onboard with infrastructure and the like? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Commuter Profile: Bruce Wright

 

Note: We’re pleased to offer an intro to Bruce Wright, one of the leading advocates for better bicycling facilities, policies, and education in the greater Washington, D.C. area (and specifically Fairfax County, VA). Bruce’s advocacy work on the board of WABA and as chairman of FABB is very nearly a full-time job at this point, so we appreciate him taking the time to answer some questions for us!

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Bruce Wright. Photo by Shannon Ayres, www.shannonayres.com

How long have you been a bike commuter?
I started commuting by bike on a regular basis in 1979 and have been doing so almost daily since then (34 years).

Why did you start riding your bike to work and how long is/was your commute?
There were several reasons why I started to bike to work. I understood the health, economic, and environmental benefits of biking and since I had a short, 3 mile commute, I decided to bike instead of buying a second car and driving. I could commute by bus when necessary, which was very rare, maybe 3 or 4 times a year.

How does Bike Commuting help you with your lifestyle (economics, health, relationships)?
Since I retired from working full time my bike commuting to work has transformed to using a bike for almost all other local trips. I’m 64 years old and have been able to maintain the same weight as when I was in high school. I take no prescription drugs other than for minor medical procedures and usually only visit the doctor once a year for a physical. I think I’m a happier, more well-adjusted person because I get regular exercise by riding. My wife and I enjoy riding together as well. One caveat; I now use sunscreen whenever I go outside. Bike commuters are exposed to the sun more than others and we need to protect ourselves from the harmful effects of UV rays.

What do you do for a living and in what city/town do you bike commute?
When I worked full time I was a geographer with the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston, VA. Since I left the Survey in 1999 I’ve worked part time in several different jobs: as a legislative aide to a local politician, as a bike shop employee (at bikes@vienna), as a bicycle skills teacher, and now as the head of a local bicycle advocacy non-profit (volunteer). I’ve made a conscious decision to work in places where I can easily bike.

Bruce (3rd from left) with other FABB members at Bike to Work Day 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What kind(s) of bike do you have?

Lately I’ve been mostly using a Brompton folding bike. It has six gears, fenders and a rack and a front carrier block that holds a large bag. The bike is great for taking on Metrorail and bus and is a fun way to get around. For longer commutes or trips where I need to haul more stuff I use a Bruce Gordon touring bike outfitted with fenders, front (occasionally) and rear rack, and large panniers. I used that bike to travel cross country in 1999. I also own a recumbent tandem that I ride with my wife, a beater bike for parking at Metro, and a short wheelbase recumbent that doesn’t get much use these days.

Any funny or interesting commuting story that you may want to share?
I’ve helped many motorists who have car problems. When traveling on a bike it’s harder to pass by someone in need.

Bruce at the 2012 Fairfax Bike Summit

What do people (coworkers, friends) say when you tell them that you are a bike commuter?
Most people have never tried riding a bike to work so the concept is foreign to them. I tell them that it’s easier than they think and that they should try it one day. It takes a little planning but most people can easily ride farther than they think. Bike to Work Day is a great time to encourage co-workers to try biking. I know many people who rode for the first time on Bike to Work Day and have continued to bike commute at least some of the time since then.

How about bicycling advocacy? Are you active in any local or regional advocacy groups?
I’m on the Board of Directors of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association and chair of their advocacy committee. I’m also one of the founders and now chairman of Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling (FABB), a local volunteer non-profit advocating for better bike conditions and policies in Fairfax County, VA. I’m also a member of the League of American Bicyclists and a League Cycling Instructor.

Anything else that you want to share with us?
The world would be a healthier, happier place if more people took short trips by bike.

 

The business of bicycling

I stumbled across the following essay series a few months ago, but forgot to share it with you. It’s from the website Triple Pundit, and is a collection of articles sponsored by People for Bikes. Click here to visit the Triple Pundit page.

triple_pundit

All of the articles in the collection are thought-provoking and worth a read. The one in particular, though, that caught my eye was this one:

If you own a business and want to encourage your employees to use a bicycle to get to and from work, there’s an excellent article right here to help.

Even if you’re not in a position to call the shots at your company, some of the tips and tools in that article may come in handy…even if only to encourage your coworkers to join you on two wheels. And, if you can bend the ear of a sympathetic owner/manager, who knows…you might just be the person who gets to implement a bike-commuting incentive program for your company!