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danclever

Bicycle transit in your city

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Does your city have a network of greenway trails, rail-trails, bike lanes, bike boulevards, etc. that encourages bike transit? Are they useful for commuting or shopping? Do they integrate well with other forms of transit?

Please detail the best features of the network, but also include what could use improvement. Also mention how well motorists and bicyclists interact.

Of the cities that have good systems, please mention what could still be improved.

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The Providence metro has 6 bikeways, none of which connect. They are the Blackstone River Bikeway, the Ten Mile River Greenway, the Woonasquatucket River Greenway, the Washington Secondary Bikepath, the East Bay Bikepath, and the South County Bikepath. The East Bay and the Woonasquatucket actually run into the city of Providence, while the Blackstone, Ten Mile and Washington Secondary come close, they don't connect into the city itself as of yet.

Eventually, all will connect with the city (most likely the Blackstone and Washington Secondary first) and with eachother, it's just that Providence has narrow streets and poor roads, so bikeways are not always priorities.

Here's a map of the in-city connections:

bikeprovidence.jpg

RIPTA, the transit authority, has bike racks on all of its buses and the MBTA (commuter rail) allows bikes on trains at certain non-peak hour times.

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Pittsburgh has been working on there bike trail system in recent years.

A map of pittsburgh's urban bike trails can be viewd here:

That looks like an extensive network. How useful are the trails for non-recreational use? What are the bike routes (orange) like? Can people take their bikes on Pittsburgh's mass transit system?

I can't wait for the Allegheny Passage (Pittsburgh to DC) to be completed.

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That looks like an extensive network. How useful are the trails for non-recreational use? What are the bike routes (orange) like? Can people take their bikes on Pittsburgh's mass transit system?

I can't wait for the Allegheny Passage (Pittsburgh to DC) to be completed.

I don't know enough about the trails to answer that question, I'll leave it to someone else. But I can tell you that many buses here have bike racks on the front. Unfortunatrly not every bus has one, but I think they are adding more. The racks are free to use.

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The Little Rock/North Little Rock area is developing the Arkansas River Trail. There will be a 14 mile loop along the riverfronts of the two cities and an extension to Pinnacle Mountain State Park making a total of 24 miles. The trail will cross the Arkansas River at two locations. One being the old Rock Island Railroad bridge at the Clinton Library in downtown LR/NLR and the other crossing will be about 6 miles upstream A new bridge for bikes and walking is being built atop Murray Lock and Dam.

Rendering of the new bridge.

bridgedrawing5ex.jpg

Bridge under construction.

20060209jan1100052ja.jpg

Cost of the bridge is $11+ million.

Picture of part of the completed section in NLR.

riverfrontalllg8ns.jpg

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^ I knew, very easy to notice. What some of these bike plans shows is there is a significant difference in plans. Most are interested in greenways oriented bike trails - geared for the recreationalist. But too rarely there are not enough plans for commuting - bike only lanes for example. Considering how we unfortunately have to depend on politicians to receive transportation funding, a politician is more likely to gain funding for a widely visible rails-to-trails project that a boring bike only lane for a downtown street.

That is the greatest struggle - planning bike trails / lanes that can be useful for commuting & not just weekend bike trips.

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I bet no one knew that bicycles are a big part of new york...

I knew that people biked in NYC. With its density (esp. Manhattan), I imagine you can do a lot on a bike. But how stressful is it? I would assume most bike transit is on street (though there are a few trails).

Do buses have bike racks? Can you take a bike on the subway at certain hours? Sorry, it's been awhile since I've visited.

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^ I knew, very easy to notice. What some of these bike plans shows is there is a significant difference in plans. Most are interested in greenways oriented bike trails - geared for the recreationalist. But too rarely there are not enough plans for commuting - bike only lanes for example. Considering how we unfortunately have to depend on politicians to receive transportation funding, a politician is more likely to gain funding for a widely visible rails-to-trails project that a boring bike only lane for a downtown street.

That is the greatest struggle - planning bike trails / lanes that can be useful for commuting & not just weekend bike trips.

Yeah, most of the emphasis has been on recreation, and not necessarily transit or connectivity. I wanted to see if there has been a shift yet. Many cities have great trails, but they don't necessarily take you to workplaces or shopping areas. In some areas bikers don't feel welcome using roads that do reach these places.

To be fair to rail-trails, there are some out there that are more than just recreational.

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Yeah, most of the emphasis has been on recreation, and not necessarily transit or connectivity. I wanted to see if there has been a shift yet. Many cities have great trails, but they don't necessarily take you to workplaces or shopping areas. In some areas bikers don't feel welcome using roads that do reach these places.

To be fair to rail-trails, there are some out there that are more than just recreational.

Where I work our bicycle coordinator is at time in a bind over aiding the bicycle activists vs the general public & especially politicians. Though the bicycle activists only represent a small percentage of Atlanta, b/c there is a mandate to aid bicyclists regarding commuting purposes, therefore they are the priority. But the average joe public wants a bike trail to drive the family in the SUV stacked with bikes to. Most cases they are the ones that publically have the largest voice, but they are in most cases only 1 to 10 times a year bicycle users.

Which is why I believe the primary emphasis should be to provide safe passage for bicyclists for commuting purpose, not recreational trails. Not saying to completely close the book on funding, but there is a large disperancy between very much recreational riders & day to day commuters. I being somewhere in between the description, I usually only ride a few times on the weekend - but at times I ride my bike rather than taking the bus.

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It is easy to feel envious when you have experienced a place like the Netherlands-well at least Rotterdam and some other larger cities- where the road/path network is set up to accomodate and protect bike commuters with paths separated by medians from cars and trucks.

One feels like you are taking your life in your hands if you try to bike with speeding SUVs-drivers concentrating on cell-phones and CD selection in the more spread-out cities here in America

Only when the traffic is dense in the built-up urban areas and I can ride about the same speed as other vehicles do I feel safe.

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