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!


  1. TBR

    I wish these two groups would stop pushing protected, separate bike lanes.

    Separate facilities are expensive and beyond the reach of most communities, and they create new problems as they solve others.

    Plain ol’ bike lanes are better and keep cyclists as part of traffic, so they can move about much easier than they could with separate facilities.

    Yes, the Dutch do it — but they started working on this 50 years ago.

    I don’t want to wait that long. Also, the Dutch model doesn’t work well with America’s wide urban-suburban communities.

    Pushing this separate-facilities approach just slows down progress toward bike-usable cities, towns and suburbs.

  2. Ghost Rider


    I’m in general agreement. I think both the separated facilities have their place, but so do painted bike lanes, sharrows, and general goodwill on the roads. I’m a bit tired of the “separated lanes or DEATH” cries myself…because clearly, other infrastructure is working fine.

  3. Raiyn

    As much as I applaud the painted bike lines (bearing in mind that my local lanes certainly have their faults) I find myself using what I’ve termed “parallel routes” far more than the painted lanes on the higher traffic roads in my area. I find I have much less conflict using a street a block or so off the “main” route.

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