Jen and I like to use bikes as auto alternatives when we can, which is difficult out in the ‘burbs. With connector roads and 5-lane speedways, a simple trek to the grocery can be scary. Things aren’t getting easier.

When Whipple Road was given a make-over, we thought this important vein in Mount Pleasant would have state of the art design. Sharrows for cyclists, a wide pedestrian path, etc. I gotta say, we’re a bit disappointed. The lanes are just wide enough so that SUVs can whiz past cyclists straddling the asphalt/concrete line. The sidewalk is right next to speeding traffic. Badly engineered ramps and crossings fill with giant puddles when it rains.

I know the goal of the project was to add a center turn lane and stoplight, but you’d think a more progressive attitude for pedestrians and cyclists would be present. It’s clear this project was not about how people use the road, but how the machines do.

I want our city to become sustainable in every way, including about ability to leave our cars parked. It’s National Bike Month, so get out there and pedal around this amazing city. Support local groups like Charleston Moves, and read Nikki Seibert’s blog. Learn the cycling laws in our area, and get out there an explore.

Check out these great stats from this blog post:

  • More than half of cars trips made by Americans would take less than 20 minutes on a bike, but ninety percent of all trips of between one and three miles or less are taken by car.  Likewise, fifty-nine percent of trips less than one mile are made by car.
  • Increasing the bicycle and pedestrian share of trips between one and three miles from the current level of 4 percent to about 10 percent would avoid approximately 21 billions miles of driving.
  • In 2007, less than half of all Americans met the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendation of at least 30 minutes of modest physical activity on most days.
  • Americans spend some $33 billion a year on weight-loss products and services.
  • Modest increases in bicycling and walking for short trips could provide enough exercise for 50 million inactive Americans to meet recommended activity levels, erasing a sizable chunk of America’s activity deficit.

Wow, we can do better! How can we get our city to be more progressive?

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