Every city is unique, but they all suffer from common problems. Traffic and congestion are messes that no one wants to deal with. Populated urban centers have seen a rise in cycling as a legitimate means of transportation. Responding to these trends, cities have begun to devote more and more resources to creating safe places for cyclists to ride.
What Makes A Good Bike Riding City?
Cyclists need physical space to ride where they will be safe. In places where traffic is already well ordered, it is much easier to implement new development programs. Marked lanes are a good start, but protected lanes are preferred. A physical barrier keeps traffic out and creates comfortable zones for riders.
A ride sharing program is another indicator of a good city for riding. These programs may not always be entirely effective, but they do indicate a commitment to the cycling culture. Usually, plenty of other support features like bike racks and repair shops are developed along with these programs.
Good European Cities For Riding
Europe leads the way in cycling culture. The poorly designed road ways have forced populations to quickly adopt alternative means of transportation. Copenhagen is often regarded as one of the world’s best destinations for cyclists. The city has invested heavily in protected lanes, and there are several bridges spanning the city’s river that may be used by cyclists only.
Following Copenhagen’s lead, other European urban centers have improved access to cycling. In Paris, the use of bicycles for urban cargo is on the rise. Barcelona has also improved access to the sport for the entire population by increasing access to trails, bike racks, and ride sharing programs.
Asian Cycling Cities
Beijing is known as the best place in Asia for cycling. This city has some of the worst automobile traffic in modern times, but it is still possible to get quickly across town on a bicycle. Dedicated lanes cover nearly every square inch of the city, and there are plenty of repair shops.
Kyoto is another great city for cyclists. It is situated on flat ground, which makes pedaling easy. There are lots of back alley short cuts, and city streets are arranged in a grid pattern that makes navigation simple.
Although still fairly new to the concept of urban cycling, Buenos Aires has dramatically improved its infrastructure in recent years. The city has installed 87 miles of bike lanes, many of which are protected. In addition to this, a ride share program is improving access to bicycles for residents.
Cycling In North America
Montreal has been a world leader in cycling. In 1980, it was one of the first cities to devote significant funds to improving access to cycling lanes. While it has fallen behind in this regard, it still provides a good example for alternative infrastructure developments that other urban centers follow.
Minneapolis is currently considered the most cyclist friend city in the United States. Although the harsh winters discourage riding much of the year, the 120 miles of recently improved cycling lanes are ready as soon as the weather warms up. A robust ride share program is also encouraging the practice.
Regardless of where you live or work, riding a bike on a daily basis is a great way to get around while keeping fit. Check with your local city planning department to see what improvements in cycling infrastructures are on the way for your home town. It’s important to always stay safe while riding and to seek immediate medical and legal help if you are involved in an accident.
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