I recently wrote a blog post on how society should be encouraging people powered transportation as a way of decreasing our dependency on fossil fuels, improving air quality, and improving the fitness of our citizens. This made me curious to see if communities were embracing the concept and improving their infrastructure to make this a reality. What I found was that having a Bicycle Master Plan is not uncommon for cities. I found a variety of plans, some appear to be lip service, no real meat to the plans, but others are quite elaborate and outline very specific goals with well thought out plans.
As I started looking through plans and saw how many were out there I decided to look for my cities plan, and lo and behold, there it was, Reno has a bicycle master plan. As an avid cyclist who lives in Reno I was pretty surprised by this. While there are some nice bike paths and lanes built into the city, they lack continuity and are sometimes left in disrepair. When I looked through the plan, it wasn’t too bad but it lacked any real specifics for goals and objectives.
One of the best plans I came across was by the city of Richmond California. It was quite elaborate and specific. It listed specific goals with objectives to achieve them:
Goal : Expand the city’s bicycle routes and parking facilities into an extensive, well‐connected and well‐designed network, and improve and maintain these facilities over time.
Objective: Increase the number of bikeway miles by 75 percent, complete all gaps in the Bay Trail and double the number of bicycle parking spaces.
Goal : Increase the number of people of all ages and backgrounds who bicycle for transportation, recreation and health.
Objective: Double the number of trips made by bicycle.
Goal : Make the streets safer for bicyclists, not only during the day but also at night.
Objective: Reduce the number of reported bicycle fatalities and injuries by 25 percent (even as the number of bicyclists increases).
Goal : Incorporate the needs and concerns of cyclists in all transportation and development projects.
Objective: Adopt and implement a “Complete Streets” and “Routine Accommodation” policies, and bicycle‐friendly design standards and guidelines for streets and developments.
The City of Richmond also had an elaborate map showing existing routes and planned expansion to meet their goals.
I encourage you to go out and take a look at your cities Bicycle Master Plan and see what your city is doing to improve their infrastructure to accommodate and encourage bicycle and pedestrian transportation. Let your Council Person know that a healthy vibrant community is one where bicycle and pedestrian commuting is safely and thoughtfully integrated into the cities infrastructure.