Some of you have heard of “critical mass”, I am humbly proposing “nominal mass”. My idea is that by identifying routes for cyclists to commonly use, they may generate a presence that will hopefully demonstrate to other cyclists to use that route, and eventually these routes become better known by cyclists. The point of that is, a regular presence of cyclists would hopefully signal to drivers that cyclists are using certain streets and to be more aware of cyclists, and also maybe the City might be more inclined to at least post a sign noting that street as bike friendly. All this in response to teh reailty that cities are strapped for cash, and cycling is not a priority when you have crime and streets in need of repair. but bikes can use much of the existing infrastructure, and with some information, a cycling presence, and some signage posted by the city, I think we can make cycling more attractive in Arlington and be a model for other cities with similar challenges.
I also hope to get some pics of the elderly on their scooters ie Larks that use the street to get around, but back to the bikes!
According to the latest Planning magazine, they delineate 3 types of cyclists. A, B and C. A is comfortable in traffic, B is somewhat comfortable riding in traffic, and C is not comfortable or should not be riding in traffic, they are the recreational riders and children or novices. While I am a planning student, and appreciate this tres fix of cycling types, my inner bike snob sees it a little differently.
That is Type A is likely a “roadie” someone who not only is comfortable riding in traffic, but in really good shape, can sustain 18+ mph for at least an hour, and can not ride on a sidewalk or crappy street, cuz they ride a 3lb aluminum frame, with 20mm wide tires inflated to 100-135 psi. A mountain biker may also ride in the street, but at a much slower and comfy pace, of course 2″+ wide tires at 35-60psi is a lot cushier of a ride on Arlington streets! The type B rider may ride a road bike, but slower, they may ride a mountain bike, but probably hop back and forth between the street and sidewalk, navigating the lesser of the two evils. Type C as the authors from the Planning magazine noted are uncomfortable or should not be riding with traffic, for them they can stay in the neighborhood on the wide low to almost no traffic streets.
This is an Arlington sidewalk, it just ends and is poorly maintained, not suitable for even pedestrians!
This is Fielder facing North, it has enough room for a cyclist and a car, ye barely!
This is Fielder facing South, I think this demonstrates the A vs B cyclist, although this may have more to do with riding two abreast for a sense of comraderie, which is a cycling no no when on the street, but at any rate….typeA rides in the street, type B is taking the sidewalk. Now what happens when a pedestrian wants to use the sidewalk and a cyclist approaches? There is little use of sidewalks in Arlington anyways, but other cities there is “trail rage” and “sidewalk congestion”.
This is UTA Blvd. (not sure what makes this a blvd) It has a sidewalk that students ride and walk on. It is odd to me that college students ride on the sidewalk, given that traffic is low, and the lanes are fairly wide. I need a picture of that! But this is what I have so far.
Well those are just a few pics and thoughts. I thought I’d share. I had ideas of identifying corridors for A and B type cyclists to navigate through Arlington and to connect to other cities, but I am not sure I can do that. Even the bike shops are not easily accessible by bike!