Urban Biking: A New (Old) Way to Get Around on City Streets
There’s a new focus on biking in many cities. And you might say the experience is as familiar as, well, riding a bike.
Cities across the nation are embracing green transportation options, and one of those is perhaps the greenest of them all.
Bicycles allow city-dwellers to get around with relative ease, as long as they are energetic and careful – and all without burning fossil fuels.
This tried, true and tested mode of getting around – ok, it’s a little tiring, too — just might revolutionize cityscapes.
Where biking rules the road
Summer 2012 brought the Citi Bike program to the streets of New York City.
With Citi Bike, it’s easy to get access to a public bike; in fact, they are rented curbside. A prospective cyclist can pick up a bike from a street kiosk, swipe her credit card, and then leave the bike in another kiosk at the destination. It’s inexpensive and convenient.
There are different payment options, as well. Riders can pay for individual trips, but also have the option of purchasing 7-day or 24-hour passes. Trips must be kept to thirty minutes to avoid fees and, presumably, to keep plenty of bikes readily available for use.
Some feel the availability to bikes this program affords will add greatly to the popularity of biking as a preferred mode of transportation in this metropolis.
Hotel chain supports biking for tourists
The Kimpton hotel brand has begun offering smart-looking bicycles for guests to borrow for free. The chain hopes to promote city adventures by bike which create great memories for their patrons and add to their overall wellness. Their Santa Barbara location even hosts an urban wine trail trip experience.
The National Complete Streets Coalition
A group called Smart Growth America advocates for public transportation efficacy, including efforts to support biking and pedestrian access. This agency studies what makes a neighborhood “beautiful, affordable and easy to get around.”
In 2005, the National Complete Streets Coalition was created as an advocacy group for more accessible street travel by all. Their research suggests what they feel should be federal policy priorities to make communities more bike-friendly, for instance.
Biking safety and statistics
To the untrained eye, biking on busy city streets might seem dangerous. Looking at statistics, however, safety and general road awareness for cyclists seems to go a long way. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that, in 2012, only about 2 percent of traffic fatalities (726 of 33,561) involved those pedaling on two wheels.