Katie Bonomo

Six ways you can help improve bicycling

cyclist on a wide street _small-capWhile biking around town, I do a lot of thinking about how things could be better for people on bikes. I think, why did they design the intersection like this? It could be so much safer. Or, why isn’t there a bike rack at this store? So many people get here by bike. Or, I’m following “bike directions,” but this is actually a terrible way to get where I’m going by bike.

Before I started working for a bicycle-focused organization, I didn’t realize that there were ways that I could help change the things that I found difficult. Now I know there are ways to do it. If you want to help change things for the better but aren’t sure how, try some of these ideas:

  • Bike as often as you can. Ok, I know I’m starting with a softball here, but this really does contribute to better bicycling. The more bikes there are on the street, the more people get used to seeing bikes. The more people get used to seeing bikes, the more they start to keep an eye out for them and the more they figure out how to interact with people on bikes.
  • bike-parking _small-capTalk to owners of local businesses. Thank them for having a bike rack outside, or let them know that it would be really great to have a bike rack. If a business owner knows that a lot of people are biking, s/he is more likely to support things like protected bike lanes on the street in front of the business.
  • Contact your local government. If you hear about a project that accommodates bikes, contact your city council representative or county commissioner and let them know you appreciate it. If they know that their constituents appreciate bike infrastructure, more funds are likely to go towards bike projects. Similarly, if you hear of a project being built without consideration for bikes, let them know that you think the needs of people on bikes should be addressed.
  • Help make bike directions better. Did you know that you can suggest a better bike route to Google? If they agree, they will change their directions. I’ve done it, and it works. It is quick and easy, and you just might save the next person from biking on an unsafe street.
  • bike meeting _small-capActively look for opportunities to participate. Public meetings about bike-related issues do happen, and bike advisory groups do exist. But they are not always well-publicized. Follow the Facebook and Twitter feeds of bike-related groups and your local government, and you may find out about a meeting where you can talk to decision-makers about issues that are important to you.
  • Get involved in the community by joining or supporting a bicycle-focused organization. There are many different kinds of groups—state, local and national advocacy organizations, nonprofits that offer camps for kids and earn-a-bike programs. If you’re able to join an advocacy organization, your financial contribution makes it possible for that organization to do more to improve bicycling. You can also ask about volunteer opportunities or help the group keep their finger on the pulse of what’s going on in your neighborhood.

Once you start to get more involved with the bike community, reach out to others and invite them to join you. We need a whole lot of voices with many different perspectives to really improve biking for everyone. And if you have other ideas for individuals looking to make bicycling better, please share them in the comments section.

Katie Bonomo

About the Author: Katie Bonomo

COMMENTS (2)

Karen Barber - Reply

I enjoyed your article, thank you. I commute as often as I can during the week and love it. I do see roads that need improvement with regard to commuting. They go between Aurora and Denver. Aurora needs an active group, because of this article I will reach out to Aurora Bicycle.

    Katie Bonomo - Reply

    Thanks so much for your feedback, Karen. I’m happy to hear that you’ll be reaching out to Bicycle Aurora!

Leave A COMMENT

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Bicycle Colorado
@BicycleColo

It would be a major loss for Boulder residents to also lose the option of B-Cycle to get around w/o using a car. We… https://t.co/0v3MVdkuQS

Moving People Forward is in just TWO weeks - register now! - https://t.co/MVNf6cWnRv https://t.co/XKlf45w53Z

  • #BicycleColorado’s Executive Director, Pete, and Senior Communications and Policy Manager, Jack, spent part of yesterday afternoon live on @koacolorado’s Mandy Connell Show talking about the way we use our streets. We discussed why Colorado communities are investing in bike lanes, how we can educate on the rules of the road and keep everyone safe, the many benefits of bicycling and much more.

Take a listen by clicking the link in our bio and jumping ahead to the 36-minute mark of the episode!
  • The #BicycleColorado staff is saddled up and ready for the @nationalwestern Stock Show parade!
  • A HUGE congratulations to #BicycleColorado member Matt Y. (@riverboogie) who today celebrated 10 years of commuting to work at @nationalrenewableenergylab car-free and primarily by bike. What an accomplishment! From Matt: •10 years •2,094 bike commutes via roads – •23,040 miles •122 commutes via mountain bike over Green Mountain- 1,875 miles •26 run commutes via roads – 243 miles •0 commutes via car

Please join us in celebrating Matt and this huge accomplishment! How long have YOU been riding to work?