Bicycles as a Mode of Transportation

Information and Ideas Regarding Bicycles as a Mode of Transportation

by Bob Fleming

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My name is Bob Fleming, and I am very interested in seeing a greatly improved transportation system for Seattle and the surrounding region.

While a lot of time is spent arguing about better highways and better mass transit, one mode of transportation usually overlooked is bicycles.

Bicycles definitely aren’t mass transit, and most drivers will stick to their cars rather than ride a bike instead.

But if, somehow, more people used bicycles instead of driving, it would highway traffic, making it easier for those who continue to drive.

Many people already use bicyles for short- to moderate-distance commuting, but they are often intermingled with motor vehicles, are at constant risk of being hit by a careless or aggresive driver, get splashed upon by passing cars, and yelled at by irate drivers. In other cases there are bicycle lanes along the edge of the street, but they are only a couple of feet from a lane of moving cars, and if the the bike lane is between a traffic lane and curside parking, there is a risk that someone will open their car door into the path of a biker approaching from the rear and too close to stop in time to avoid hitting the door.

My opinion is that in addition to spending money on roads and mass transit, the city, county, or state should spend considerably more money on dedicated “roads” especially for bicycles, a concept I call “bikeways.”

The bikeways would be much narrower than a roadway for motor vehicles, and the pavement would be much thinner. Therefore the cost of a bikeway would be much less per mile than the cost per mile of a road for motor vehicles. But with a good system of bikeways, many more people would use bicycles instead of cars, and the need for expensive roads would be reduced.

Click here for more details about bikeways.


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©2006 Robert M. Fleming Jr.

This page was last updated on 8 September 2015.

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