Maybe I’m just getting old, but this winter seems like it was the hardest I’ve ever experienced. Along with a near constant barrage of ominously named winter storms, the Weather Channel kept reminding me that it was something called the Polar Vortex that was keeping the air temperature far below zero, not to mention the wind chill factor.
And so here I am writing this a few days before the vernal equinox, lamenting the added pounds around my waist and the lack of snap in my legs. Taking the long way home has been a wretched thought the past few months, whereas the lure of takeaway curry and kung fu movies on Netflix has become increasingly hard to resist.
But while there aren’t quite any buds on the dogwood trees and the greasy snowbanks along Liberty Ave haven’t fully melted yet, there’s no doubt that spring is in the air. And for cyclists in some cities, the arrival of spring comes on the heels of another exciting bit of news.
The national organization PeopleForBikes has announced that six US cities will receive funding for not only physical bike lane implementation, but for the study of protected bike lanes. The Green Lane Project has had a significant impact on the proliferation of protected bike lanes nationwide, with the number growing from 80 to more than 140.
“Drivers like knowing where to expect riders, and pedestrians report fewer bikes on the sidewalk,” posits PeopleForBikes, “The lanes make roads safer for all users, reducing bike, auto and pedestrian injuries by up to 50%.”
Cyclists in Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Seattle have been abuzz with this news, and rightly so. The cycling infrastructure improvements in my city have undoubtedly improved my quality of life, making commuting a safer, more convenient option. The notion that things could get even better is incredibly exciting.
Learn more at www.peopleforbikes.org