Friday Fun Day! October 26, 2012

Dequindre Cut – urban bikeway in Detroit

Oh, Detroit. How I am beginning to love you again. Now they’ve got the Dequindre Cut, “a separated, below-grade bike path that at no point intersects with car traffic.” Now, how is it that Detroit is channeling a Dutch bike expressway while we Dutch folks on the Lakeshore sit in traffic? Two words: tourist attraction! Tulip Time, I’m looking at you. Let’s make it happen.

Accidents happen when we don’t build (or paint) cyclists their own infrastructure. A verdict on the debate over where it’s safer to ride may be in: a study on injuries in Toronto and Vancouver that was just published in the American Journal of Public Health clearly showed that separated cycle tracks are the safest place for people on bikes to ride.

Route Safety and Preferences

You may not find that surprising, but many transportation engineers and avid cyclists do.  For the last forty years, we’ve been told that it’s safer to ride in the street because people in cars are looking for fast-moving traffic there.  Nope – the safest way to ride is on a dedicated, separated cycle track.  Surprising to me is that riding on a multi-use path (like our bike paths here in Holland-Zeeland?) is actually less safe than riding on a major street with no parked cars.  Since a multi-use path and a cycle track have similar characteristics, I would have thought their safety profile would have been similar.  Great food for thought, and, hopefully, for action.

Here in Holland I hope to soon see us talking more about all the different ways we can get around our city. But transitioning from an auto-centric city to a city with real options is HARD and requires us to change how we think about all sorts of things. Sometimes an anti-bike backlash is the result. This article suggests that we change our thinking on this a bit – none of us are really “cyclists” or “drivers” because we all know that our lives are too big to fit between itty-bitty little quotation marks. When the time comes for this discussion on the Lakeshore, let’s remember that we’re all neighbors and citizens first.

Madsen cargo bike LOVE

Finally, what’s more fun than a cargo bike?!  This is one that’s caught my eye recently.  SO impressive seen in action – check out Totcycle for some awesome pics of this bike.

Have a great weekend!