Sunday, January 30, 2011

Bike Commuting News for January 30

Construction is scheduled to begin tomorrow on a large downtown Long Beach project to add bicycle lanes along both Broadway and 3rd Street (map below), as Long Beach continues its effort to become more bike-friendly. Construction is expected to finish in mid-March.

The project aims to make bicyclists more comfortable, citing studies that show people are more likely to ride bikes if they do not have to mix with automobile traffic. The new lanes will create a safe passageway for bicyclists with a barrier separating them from traffic.

Rebekah Rooney cycles to work in Edmonton every day; and she means every day. The wind chill was -30 C Thursday and she still cycled to work. “One of the major problems is over-dressing in the winter months,” says Rooney, 31. “If you sweat and then cool down, you can be very uncomfortable if ice forms next to your skin.

“It’s important to dress in layers and estimate pretty accurately what the wind chill might be when you cross the High Level Bridge.”

As a part of a long-term plan to dislodge Boston from its historic standing among the nation’s least-friendly places for bicycling, the city installed a record number of bike lanes last year, expanded safety efforts, and advanced a bike share program that could debut this summer.

The number of people getting around on bicycles in Santa Cruz County has increased more than 25 percent over the past seven years, according to a recent observation survey conducted by the county Health Services Agency.

"We've also seen helmet use rates go up," said Theresia Rogerson, who works on the Community Traffic Safety Coalition. "And more than half of the riders observed were following appropriate traffic rules like stopping at stop signs and lights, and riding with traffic."

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