Published on May 2nd, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan0
2014 “Green Lane Project” Kicked Off To Improve Biking Facilities In 6 US Cities
Bicycling for transportation is one of the greenest things you can do in your life, and it also boosts your health. In a time when obesity is a genuine epidemic in the United Stated and global climate change is the greatest challenge modern society has ever faced, we need a huge push for more bicycling. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t say that we’re seeing a huge push yet, but US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has just launched the next phase of the PeopleForBikes “Green Lane Project,” which in 2014 involves a push to improve bicycle infrastructure in Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, and Seattle.
Of course, there’s another less-pressing but still notable crisis related to transportation in the US. Funding for all of our transportation options is inadequate to meet needs. Roads and bridges are crumbling because of a very long period of underfunding… driven largely by an unwillingness to raise the gas tax or find other forms of transportation-related funding. Biking helps with that as well. Bikers require much less space and do not tear up the asphalt nearly as fast as cars and trucks. 1 mile of bike lane is reportedly 100x cheaper than 1 mile of highway. Astounding!
The Green Bike Lane launch was in Indianapolis, which PeopleForBikes Vice President for Local Innovation Martha Roskowski singled out as a leader in bike infrastructure improvements.
“This city is on fire,” Roskowski said. “You look at the Cultural Trail, you look at the other projects in the works. … You don’t really know that you’re at a tipping point until later…. Five years from now we’re going to look back and say, we really changed how we thought about transportation in America.”
Notably, Indianapolis recently launched the first bikesharing program backed by an NBA team, the Indiana Pacers (one of my historical favorites, I might add).
Here’s a bit more on the Green Lane Project from Streetsblog USA, since that’s the story of the week:
Launched in 2012, the Green Lane Project works with U.S. cities interested in quickly installing protected bike lanes. The on-street lanes, separated from traffic by curbs, planters, parked cars or posts, help organize the street and aim to make riding a bike an appealing option for people of all ages and abilities. Selected cities receive financial, strategic and technical assistance from the Green Lane Project in building protected bike lanes, valued at more than $250,000 each.
In the last two years, the number of protected lane projects on the ground around the country has nearly doubled. The country’s first multi-city study of the ridership, safety and political performance of protected bike lanes, completed by the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium at Portland State University, will be released early next month.
For a snippet on bike highlights in each of the 2014 Green Bike Lane Cities, see the full Streetsblog article.