Rob Goodspeed says that "n aspiring planner I met with yesterday asked me whether there’s a massive effort afoot to make every American city more bikable" and offers some thoughts. One thing to note about this is that part of the nature of biking is that having more people bike around your city is one of the things that does the most to make your city more bikable. When cyclists are relatively common, cars become conscious that cyclists may be on the street and adjust their behavior accordingly. When bikes are rare, nobody expects there to be a bike on the road, which is a very dangerous situation.
And of course the safer biking becomes, the more people will do it, which makes it safer. And, again, just socially speaking people generally prefer not to be weirdos and so if you see more people riding bikes, you're more likely to think that's a reasonable way to behave. Higher gas prices naturally lead to some increase in the number of bike trips around the margin, which in turn has some positive feedback effects. Which is why this is a great time for cities to take the opportunity to take some pro-bike steps in terms of lanes, parking, etc. -- the present circumstances of expensive gas are an opportunity to shift to a new, more bike-friendly equilibrium, that will have benefits for public health and the environment while leaving the roads less congested and more open for high-value car and truck trips.
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