Not right now for me, since my bike is still stuck on my balcony. It will be unstuck soon- has to be, I’m moving in a month- and I’ll be riding it. There have been many new cycling developments in the last few weeks. For instance, Biking Person, my new landlord, has already shown me (threatened me with) the best cycling route to our current workplace. This was aided by Google maps, which now has a filter to show you the best biking path from place to place. It’s not right as often as driving directions and I find that “bikable path” is a highly subjective term so grain of salt and double-check. I’d die on the path he showed me though. I’m terrible at cycling on real streets. I don’t know what to look or listen for, and I’m constantly nervous. But he also pointed me to a free class by the Washington Area Bicycle Association, on exactly that- beginner and intermediate cycling on real streets. The next one is Saturday at 1, and then again April 15th at 6.
Great idea, hunh? And I’m finding out just in time. But DC is trying to make it easier for cyclists in the city by opening larger bike lanes soon, on some major thoroughfares. Check it- the link gives you maps and some renderings. The first one down Pennsylvania Ave.’s median should be done in May.
Biggest news, though- the Secretary of Transportation announced last week that walking and biking are just as important kinds of transportation as driving a car, and that his department will treat them as such, from now on.
Take a minute to consider that. Some people just live too far from their destinations to have the option of foot or bike transport. But most of the time, it’s just not safe to get on the roads where cars have all the power and space, even if the grocery or work aren’t that far away.
According to that Wired article, it means that federally funded projects- with stimulus money, that’s lots- have to include many modes of transportation. That’s bike access and crossing points, safe spaces for pedestrians, new bikeways…
Where would you not drive if you could walk or bike safely and conveniently? I’d like to be able to bike to the metro. Right now it involves several rough intersections, crossing under a highway, and no bike lanes on any available road. It’s much easier (though with the bike path assaults, not safer) to bike to the metro 40 minutes away than the one that should be 10 minutes away.
All these changes aren’t getting my bike off the balcony, though. Dah.