Report Says Columbus is Second Largest City with no Downtown Bike Lanes
A new national report from the Alliance for Biking and Walking shows that Columbus has maintained it’s rank in 40th place out of the 51 largest US cities when analyze miles of bike infrastructure. The “Bicycling and Walking in the U.S.:2012 Benchmarking Report” also reveals that Columbus is now the second largest US city without any on-street bike lanes Downtown.
“The City of Columbus has demonstrated great enlightenment and commitment to developing bicycle infrastructure in the past 3 years via the Bicentennial Bikeways Plan,” says Doug Morgan, Board President of Consider Biking. “The Benchmarking Report reinforces the economic and health benefits of facilitating bicycling; we’re concerned that our competition is moving much faster than us.”
The report does show that Columbus is ranked a bit better at providing bike trail facilities, such as the Alum Creek Trail and Olentangy Bikeway. And while Columbus doesn’t have bike-dedicated lanes running through Downtown, it does have a sharrow system on several Downtown streets.
“A much greater investment is needed in biking and walking to increase active transportation,” says Jeffrey Miller, Alliance President and CEO. “The Benchmarking Report shows that biking and walking are smart and cost-effective solutions that will pay for themselves many times over in healthcare savings and impact on local economies.”
The report shows a direct link between high levels of bike transportation infrastructure and a lower obesity rates. The average number of on-road bike lanes for a US city is 134 miles, and Columbus currently has 20 miles.
In a response to this report, Consider Biking is launching a new “Connect the Core” Campaign that will increase the priority of adding 12 miles of bike lanes to Downtown Columbus. This plan was laid out in 2008 with the adoption of the Bicentennial Bikeways Plan.
“Cities across the country have proven that prioritizing the installation of bike lanes in their downtowns, have resulted in more people bicycling, and subsequent increases in safety for all road users,” says Bryan Saums, Program Manager of Consider Biking. “Downtown bike lanes have made those communities more economically vibrant and livable.”
The Benchmark Report provides additional data to support these claims. It says that providing bike lane s can increase bicycle ridership, improve bike rider safety, improve public health, and provide three dollars of benefit for every dollar invested.
To view the full report visit www.PeoplePoweredMovement.org.
CLICK HERE to view more information on Consider Biking’s Connect the Core campaign.