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PHOTO CAPTION: Cities like Portland, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. lead the nation in bicycling use.

How Cities Can Get Drivers On To Bikes

Jay Walljasper suggests ways that American cities can encourage more cycling.

Published: 31-Jul-2012

You can glimpse the future right now in forward-looking American cities—a few blocks here, a mile there, where people riding bicycles are protected from rushing cars and trucks.

Chicago’s Kinzie Street, just north of downtown, offers a good picture of this transportation transformation. New bike lanes are marked with bright green paint and separated from motor traffic by a series of plastic posts. This means bicyclists glide through the busy area in the safety of their own space on the road. Pedestrians are thankful that bikes no longer seek refuge on the sidewalks, and many drivers appreciate the clear, orderly delineation about where bikes and cars belong.

“Most of all this is a safety project,” notes Chicago’s Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein. “We saw bikes go up from a 22 percent share of traffic to 52 percent of traffic on the street with only a negligible change in motorists’ time, but a drop in their speeds. That makes everyone safer.” [More after the jump]

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