The best thing the city can do for its growing transportation issue is copy, copy and copy some more. Take ideas from where success has been achieved. Europe and almost anywhere else in the world has better treatment of bike riders. They have an institutional respect for the bicycle.
DC traffic has topped the nation's charts for 2 years. Thanks to the security from past economic downturns, construction and an increase in residents continues unabated in the Capital. So, how would a county deal with adding more citizens into the transportation soup? Adding more roads? Has that ever worked anywhere?
Sustainable DC may be formulating an answer. But it needs input from the community. The transportation sector is what we at Bikes to Borrow are most interested in, but all of the pieces matter.
We want more biking in the District. Our wishes have been coming true on that. But the infrastructure and respect has been slow to develop. Parking structures need to be implemented to give safety to citizens and more space on the sidewalks for walking and wheelchairs. The assumption that you can find a free sign or post in a popular area is not true anymore. To us this spells OPPORTUNITY! Underground automated parking for bikes is in Japan & Europe. When will we get it here? Hmm.
As for street space, studies show segregating the bikes from the autos will reduce 50% more injuries and improve traffic. If there are barriers between them, like parked cars on 15th Street NW, injury saving goes up to 90%. But we all know that it is easier to drop some white paint on a road and assume no one uses the bike lane as a skinny lane for cars.
In education, there are steps to get at each generation. Children should definitely be given a curriculum of skills, laws, and etiquette. Driving tests should have at least ten percent of the exam dealing with bike interaction. In parts of Europe, they are taught as children to open the car door with the hand farthest from the door, forcing you to look over your shoulder before opening. Adults need officials explaining to them that the change is for the better. "More cars are not the future" stated mayor Gray. And only so many can fit on the Metro. Bikes to the rescue!
Bikes to the future!