September 17, 2013

Bringing Biking Into The Building Cycle

I recently came across a neat article written by Sarah Goodyear for the Atlantic Cities website that highlighted “10 Brilliant Pieces of Bike Infrastructure.” What struck me about the article was the way that the examples of adding bike elements to neighborhood/city infrastructures across the world definitely could be implemented in urban and suburban development in Virginia. These are ideas that go much further than bike racks and lanes.

I encourage you to view the article because it links to videos, photos, and more, but some of the high points include dedicated bike lanes built into divided-roadway medians; elevated bike bridges that make it easy for cyclists to pass through busy intersections; and innovative storage/locking solutions. It’s worth noting, as well, that only one of the projects in the article is about bike sharing. While that’s a practice that’s working well in some places, in others (New York City, for example) it’s a topic that’s fraught with controversy. But for people with their own bikes, a lot of these ideas are really attractive.

VHDA obviously promotes mixed-use communities with smart development planning, so adding innovative and inviting features to encourage increased use of bikes to get around in these local areas is an idea that can be considered. You can park six bikes in the space that one average car takes up, for one thing, and pedestrian/bike-only thoroughfares require less maintenance and space. Also, with the increasing popularity of biking for health, cost-savings, and environmental reasons, a development that has bike-friendly features included in the overall plan may be more appealing to younger residents who embrace alternative transportation options more than ever. So take a look at Goodyear’s article and let us know where bike-friendly features been implemented in Virginia.
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