Mapped: How hard it is to get across U.S. cities using only bike lanes

We have the exact same issue here in Charlottesville.

“Bike commuting throughout the city is often like this: cobbled together out of a bit of bike lane here, an unprotected shoulder there, a scrap of sharrowand some silent pleas that cars won’t run you over. Bike lanes occasionally appear and vanish multiple times on the same street. Sometimes they last just a few hundred feet. It feels as if someone striped the city with dozens of quarter-mile commutes in mind.”

Unfortunately, Charlottesville’s bicycle “network” is close..


These are all the existing bike lanes in Charlottesville. I didn’t have the heart to remove those bike lanes that are inadequate and dangerous because they are directly next to the parking lane. Those lanes make people riding bikes susceptible to being doored by people driving cars.

“This network is disjointed and incomplete. We’d never build a street grid that looks like this and expect drivers to navigate the city through it. But this is the reality for cyclists, and it may help explain to other people why cyclists have such a hard time staying out of the way — off the shoulder, off the sidewalk, out of traffic or car lanes. It’s quite literally not possible to travel between many points in the city using only cycling infrastructure.”

Read the whole story:

2 thoughts on “Mapped: How hard it is to get across U.S. cities using only bike lanes

  1. As I mentioned when this appeared on my Facebook timeline the other day, we who follow this blog should not be surprised. If anything, CHARLOTTESVILLE IS WORSE, because without our size, we have better control over our resources, and have a much smaller problem if considered in perspective. To keep the scale manageable, I refer only to the City, not the surrounding counties.
    Let’s not let the slogan on our fire trucks go to our heads (“World Class City”). Our town has been trying to implement road dieting, and put down more lanes, but the commitment to connect the lanes is not as high a priority as other improvements.
    This is more than a transportation issue. It’s a quality of life and a public health issue. It’s also a matter of economic development. The fact is that for every dollar spent on bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, nine dollars come back to the economy. This has been documented in towns our size, and nationally. People who walk and ride bikes are more likely to stop at an attractive window and patronize the business than drive-by motorists.
    If we were to lower the speed limits city-wide to 25 MPH or less, and put sharrows connecting all bike lanes, we could make a step in the right direction, while still waiting for the repaving and the other projects that are supposed to happen first/simultaneously with bicycle and pedestrian improvements.
    After all, in a town that one can cross on foot in 60 minutes or less, and where average traffic speed is often less than that of a bicycle, who needs a 35- or 45-mph speed zone? Maybe the US 250 Bypass (which is only 45 mph now), but not even Emmett Street should be faster than 25 mph once Seminole Trail crosses the City line. Just think about it.
    My two cents worth; don’t get me started!
    Happy Easter/Passover/Spring Break, everyone! 🙂


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