Wednesday, April 7, 2010

We're Number 32!

For what it's worth, Bicycling Magazine has released its new list of America's Top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities.

Minneapolis, with "a thriving bike community, 210 miles of on- and off-street bicycle facilities, plus indoor bike parking and other cycling-friendly facilities," stole the #1 spot away from perennial Portland.

Boise, with the famous Idaho "stop as yield law," took number 32.

How do you judge "bike friendly"?

Friendly means "showing kindly interest and goodwill; not hostile." Or so says Webster.

Bicycling says it means "segregated bike lanes, municipal bike racks and bike boulevards ... a vibrant and diverse bike culture, and it must have smart, savvy bike shops."

I prefer Webster's. I'd trade my bike lanes and bike racks any day, for fellow citizens who are not hostile, and who are kindly interested! Of course, the harsh reality is that cyclists must deserve non-hostile, kindly-interested citizens; nobody has a right to friendliness. And 'most every day I see people on bicycles, in public places, who seem to be doing their best to alienate non-cyclists. It's a shame.

The best thing Boise cyclists can do to enjoy a truly bike-friendly community is KNOW AND FOLLOW THE LAWS. Ride legally, visibly and predictably, and you'll be an ambassador for goodwill and non-hostility.

Bicycling has a list of 8 "innovative bicycle facilities" for reader consideration. They're pretty good ideas, all right, but facilities and friendly don't necessarily go hand-in-hand.

1 comment:

Josh said...

Right on brother!
Theres a lot of talk about trying to get our city designated as "bicycle friendly", and most of the effort seems to be directed at getting money for facilities.
It's a lot harder to do the real "friendliness" that you're talking about, but seems like we'd be better off working toward that.