Considering how cold it is outside, urban cycling really seems to be heating up.
In the past week, I've read countless articles and blog posts attesting to the increase in city cyclists in urban areas where bicycling infrastructure has been improved. Whether it's been the installation of protected lanes in Chicago and NYC or the addition of bike routes in Minneapolis, the data reach the same conclusion; safer streets encourage more cyclists.
If you build it, they will ride.
In each example of a city committing to bicycling infrastructure, bicyclist safety has also risen. Reports of vehicle-bicycle crashes drop as motorists and cyclists learn to share the road. According to the League of American Bicyclists, there were 10 fewer cycling fatalities in 2010 than 2009.
Sharing the road can work for bikes and cars, but what about pedestrians?
In the same NHTSA report, pedestrians injured in traffic accidents was up 19% to a record 70,000. These were reported motor vehicle and pedestrian crashes only. While less drivers and cyclists were killed by cars, 4.2% more pedestrians were killed by cars from 2009 to 2010.
If we can make the streets safer for cyclists, can we do it for pedestrians?
The League of American Bicyclists asks that you contact your representatives and support Amendment S.1950. The purpose of this legislation is to provide safe and adequate accommodations for all users in all federally-funded street projects. This is also supported by Safe Routes To School, the National Complete Streets Coalition, and the US Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood.
The Complete Streets movement is about providing safe infrastructure for all street users. Whether you choose to walk, bike, take public transportation, or drive, this legislation is about incorporating your right to a safe street into future Federally funded projects.
Stand up for cycling. Stand up for walking. Contact your representatives and show your support for complete streets!