May 12th, 2012 by Cynthia Shahan
The wide, big routes that Europeans and other countries enjoy when biking are not yet in the US. However, Americans are turning out in amazing numbers in spite of the lack of good routes. “The NJ DOT study shows that during the peak usage time — Saturday afternoon — bicycles make up just over 47 percent of the traffic on U.S. Route 9W, just outside the city,” TreeHugger notes.
47 percent of the traffic on these kinds of streets with just limited bike lanes. Impassioned bikers are activists in daily life. They live and bike their activism going to work, play, and shopping in this clear-air-friendly style. “Over a three day period, NJ DOT found 35 percent of all vehicles traveling the stretch of Route 9W north of Orbach Way were bicycles.” Fearless efforts on the part of committed bikers make apparent that they are here to stay.
Normalcy and Wider Bike Routes: It is Imperative
The cyclists are demanding notice by turning out in such high numbers despite not having quite the facilities needed to grant them equal transportation access. Hopefully change will come sooner rather than later, though.
Bike roads need a new wider normalcy and we at Planetsave hope transportation systems everywhere accept and adjust to community and bikers’ needs.
“There are times when Route 9W draws virtually the same number of bikes as motor vehicles,” said Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. “It’s imperative that public officials meet this demand with appropriate infrastructure for safe bicycling.” It is imperative.
The work to give bikers a fairer share safely on the road finally is finally getting some attention from planners. In particular, Janette-Sadik Khan has been a tremendous champion for advancing bicycling in NYC in recent years.
Infrastructure and Marginalization of Accidents
People are hurt and dying in our country due to the problems of our traffic infrastructure. NYC is among the many places which need wider shoulders, wider and more bike lanes, and increased traffic enforcement. Planning infrastructural changes should have been laid down decades ago as they were in the Netherlands and Denmark — check out Copenhagen Superhighway Opened… for Bikes (+ Cool Bicycling Video) or Bicycle Superhighway Opens. These European countries planned for these numbers consciously and deliberately made good choices. This thoughtfulness started back in the 1950s (a bit of history: Traffic Garden).
These European countries simply do not have the number of injuries and deaths that America has due to traffic problems. There are also problems with reporting, Transportation Alternatives notes — there has been too much marginalization and outright neglect of crash reports — hit-and-run incidents. Check out The NYPD’s Crash Investigation Problem for more.
Staying with the positive is easier. Looking at the growing numbers NYC is seeing on its highways is uplifting. Denying cyclists the roads that they need should not last long. NYC bikers are a positive group. All that freewheeling keeps the heart and lungs strong and flowing. Every time I hear this beat, I want to jump on a bike and cross the Brooklyn Bridge….
Keep up to date with all the most interesting green news on the planet by subscribing to our (free) Planetsave newsletter.