Cycling Values

There are lots of groups who promise to do things which are “good for cycling”, but I have to ask, what does this really mean?

For me, this means four things: safety, efficiency, comfort, and mode share.

If something does not contribute to these things, I am not interested.

1. Safety is not as easy to understand as people may think. This is because it’s difficult to determine how many people are riding. Thus, to measure safety a census is necessary. I feel that this should be done in the next US census to get better data. Also, better crash data is needed.

Also, people make divergent predictions on what will make us safe. However, I find that the best way to determine this is to study places that are all ready safe and to find out what they do.

Increased safety for bicycles should mean increased safety for motoring and pedestrians, too.

2. Efficiency means how quickly and easily we can cycle. This means cycling freeways and paths with fewer junctions with motor vehicles. This means less hills or mitigation strategies on par with freeways which means 6% or less EVERYWHERE. This is far less expensive than building a new freeway and way more fun!

Efficient cycling should mean more efficient walking and motoring, too.

3. Comfort is related to efficiency and less hills, but also with less fear. Additionally, cycling should be more quiet and less smelly with less burning petrol odors.

Finally, we can do things like wrapping polls to make them less dangerous, give foot rests at curbs when we stop, or even handles for resting on.

When it comes to comfort, the sky’s the limit.

4. Mode share means increasing the number of people who cycle. This will be a natural result of the first three points. More mode share will actually also reinforce the top three points because more cyclists will want more safety, efficiency, and comfort and they will vote them for themselves.

I mainly want higher mode share, however, because I want more people to ride so everyday I am surrounded by beautiful cyclists of all ages, races, and walks of life.

One day, we will all leave our thunderdome view of cycling behind.

This is my vision for the future.


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