Bike Shaped Objects

Funky bikes and news
What Does Bicycle Friendly Really Mean

Bicycle Friendly is not a term that evokes a universal image in everybody’s heads.

bicycle friendly welcome signFriendly is a vague enough term but in these days of e-bikes, hoverboards and Segways even the word bicycle is losing it’s agreed-upon iconography.

My personal image of bicycle friendliness is a back road small town with an old couple in rocking chairs sitting beside the road offering free lemonade to passing cyclists. Apparently I was raised in a Norman Rockwell painting.

Motorists on the other hand tend to view bicycle friendliness as car hating. This for or against me attitude is so much a part of America’s mentality that it may be difficult, if not impossible, to overcome.

The official bicycle friendly designation involves some concrete things like bike lanes, paths, parking and such, but also includes vagaries like advocacy and politics. These are necessary but often add to the confusion.

So here is what I consider friendly:

  • Bike Lanes – To keep the cars away from me.
  • Bike Paths – To keep the cars even further away from me.
  • Bike Racks – To keep my bike safe while I’m working/shopping/drinking.
  • Covered Bike Racks – To keep my bike safe and dry while I’m…
  • Workstations – To help with emergency repairs and air.
  • Cars, trucks and buses that don’t try to run me down.
  • Buses and trains that I can take my bike on.
  • Police who know the laws of cycling.
  • A cycling advocacy group that works for all cyclists. (Not just the ones that look good on posters.)

I live in a designated friendly city and we have only about half of what’s listed above. We have lots of lanes with more on the way, but separated paths are difficult in a congested city. Racks are everywhere but covered racks are few.

I should qualify my police comment. The San Francisco police run the breadth of friendly/unfriendly. Most seem fine with bikes, other than the red light runners, but there also the cycle haters who shout made-up-laws at cyclists on Market Street and refuse to investigate cyclist deaths.

So it doesn’t appear that I’ve helped clear up the question at all. Maybe we all need to define and find our own friendliness.

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Bike News Review – 2/25/14

Daly City seeking grant funding for bicycle, pedestrian upgrades along John Daly Boulevard
SF Examiner – 2/25/14
Daly City is planning to add bicycle lanes and pedestrian improvements to the stretch of John Daly Boulevard that connects Top of the Hill to the Daly City BART station, but the extent of upgrades may depend on grant funding.

Va. bicycle-friendly legislation may still have traction
Pilot Online – 2/25/14
It’s been a rough ride for such legislation in past sessions, but advocates were cheered when Sen. Bryce Reeves’ bill (SB97) was approved by a House of Delegates subcommittee Monday on a 5-2 vote. The measure from Reeves, R-Fredericksburg, would increase the minimum clearance when a motor vehicle passes a bicycle from 2 to 3 feet.

Cascade Bicycle Club’s new path: more riding, less politics
Seattle Times – 2/23/14
After years of upheaval about the club’s direction, Kiker is taking it down a more inclusive path, with less emphasis on lobbying and a more welcoming tone.

Your input can help Fort Collins become a world-class bicycle-friendly community
Coloradoan – 2/23/14
Bicycling still represents a relatively small slice of the transportation pie for the Fort Collins community. Significant untapped potential lies within our community to drastically increase the number of people choosing to bicycle for transportation or other reasons.

Main Street Fairmont To Develop Bicycle, Pedestrian Connectivity Plan
WBOY – 2/21/14
Main Street Fairmont has received grant money to develop a Bicycle and Pedestrian Connectivity plan for the city. This is all part of the Growing Healthy Communities Initiative across the state.


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