Katie Bonomo

Bike innovations: 5 ideas from around the country

We focus a lot on Colorado in this blog (for obvious reasons), but today is different. I regularly read about ways communities are getting more people riding and improving safety for bicyclists, and recently I’ve come across some ideas worth sharing. They’re not all new, but some of them are new to the U.S.

Washington, DC: pocket bike lanes

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photo: Mike Goodno, DDOT bike lane designer

Intersections can be tough to navigate whether you’re on a bike or in a car, especially when traffic is heavy and road design doesn’t indicate how different users should behave. Washington, DC, is painting pocket bike lanes in an effort to make things easier for all. I haven’t gotten a chance to try out a pocket lane, but it seems like they’ll help traffic flow better and keep everyone safer by increasing predictability.

Duluth, MN: super sidewalks

While most new infrastructure in the U.S. focuses on separating each user group, Duluth is taking a different approach. They’re creating “super sidewalks,” wide sidewalks that allow pedestrians and bicyclists to share a space apart from automobile traffic. Duluth is building many of these wide sidewalks near schools, allowing parents and kids to walk and/or ride together to get to school.

Boston, MA: park and pedal programs

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photo: Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation

American cities have evolved around the car, making commuting exclusively by bike out of reach for many people. Electric bikes and combining biking with transit can be great options, but Boston is also promoting another idea—Park & Pedal. The city is encouraging people to drive to the outskirts of the city, then hop on their bike to avoid traffic congestion.

Portland, OR: slowing things down

Historically, speed limits have been determined by how fast drivers feel comfortable driving on a given street, regardless of the presence of cyclists and pedestrians. A new proposal in Portland would allow speed limits to be set based on several factors, including how close auto traffic is to pedestrians and bicyclists and what kind of barrier, if any, separates the groups.

Atlanta, GA: bike share champions

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photo: Relay Bike Share

At this point, it’s hard to remember a time when I didn’t know what bike share was. But I still often hear people ask, “What are those red bikes?” (referring to B-cycles). So I was excited to hear that the city of Atlanta is hiring bike share champions. Relay Bike Share is new system, and the city plans to hire residents of areas where the system is expanding to talk to their neighbors about bike share.

The next innovation

Do you have an out-of-the-box idea for how to make bicycling safer or get more people to bike? Share it in the comments![/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Katie Bonomo

About the Author: Katie Bonomo

COMMENTS (4)

Brian Schroder - Reply

Dedicated Bicycle Trail Highway – There’s almost always enough room along side a highway for a bicycle trail. A perfect example is the C470 Trail.

    Katie Bonomo - Reply

    Thanks for sharing your idea, Brian!

    Tom Thompson - Reply

    Brian – So true… and isn’t it a requirement in some bike-friendly countries that whenever a new road is constructed, or an existing one re-constructed to some threshold extent, that a dedicated bike path is a part of the project? Just seems logical to me.

    Also, thanks to Denver (and all parties involved) for the Broadway bike lane – a truly progressive improvement to our city.

David Dickman - Reply

Hopefully we can do more of what Portland and Duluth are doing to make cycling a safer experience for all.

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