I read with interest a Chain Gang article on how bike sharing is taking off in Europe. While I was thinking about how this might work in certain American cities, it was the last paragraph that really caught my attention.
“The critical mass of bikes on the road has pacified traffic,” said Gilles Vesco, vice mayor in charge of the program in Lyon. “Now, the street belongs to everybody and needs to be better shared. It has become a more convivial public space.”
Does this mean that cycling is now safer in Lyon than it was prior to the bike sharing initiative? I’m not sure of any statistics coming out of Lyon specifically, but there has certainly been research that has concluded that increased cycling numbers can mean a lower chance for an accident to occur. The main conclusion was that motorists adjust their behavior when confronted with an increased number of cyclists (or pedestrians). I would extrapolate that this comes from more awareness of cyclists in general and speed reductions from automobiles — i.e. pacification or traffic-calming.
How do we increase bicycle ridership (so as to start the traffic-calming effect here in Orlando and hopefully make things safer)? Should that be a goal for the City/Orange County?
How do we sell this concept? Like to hear your thoughts ……………..