Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Improving City Biking

To honor National Bike Month, these maps show some modest steps that a city can take to make a city significantly more bikeable. A report from the Mineta Transportation Institute and discussed in The Atlantic shows how the layout of the city of San Jose creates disconnected islands of low stress bicycle routes.
 The map above shows only the two lowest levels of stress. The green streets are considered suitable for children and the blue are streets that most adults "will tolerate."

Some modest improvements (the red lines below) can go a long way towards making the city more connected and making major destinations such as college campuses easier to access. It would be nice if these two maps were at the same scale for comparative purposes but the idea still comes across.
The report does not layout specific suggestions for types of improvements but co-author Peter Furth argues that most of the suggestions have low to moderate costs. "Even the higher cost solutions are still an incredible bargain, 10 times less expensive than the kind of infrastructure we do for transit or highways."

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