Community bikeability (how suitable/fit for biking an area can be) scored in a number of ways. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) asks the six questions that help us assess neighborhood bikeability. This month we will focus on the first question – Do you have a place to bicycle safely?
If your last ride was on the road, with motor vehicles, you may have encountered some of the following issues: no space for bicyclists to ride (no bike lane or shoulder; narrow lanes), disappearing bicycle lanes or paved shoulders, heavy and/or fast-moving traffic, too many trucks or buses, no space for bicyclists on bridges, or poorly lighted roadways.
Immediate solutions to these roadway challenges:
Long-term solutions to these roadway challenges:
If your ride was on an off-road trail/path without motor vehicles, you may have encountered some of the following issues: path ended abruptly, path didn’t go where I wanted to go, path intersected with roads that were difficult to cross, path was crowded, path was unsafe because of sharp turns or dangerous downhills, path was uncomfortable because of too many hills, or path was poorly lighted.
Immediate solutions to off-road trail/path issues:
Long-term solutions to off road trail/path issues:
After reviewing both short and long-term solutions, commit to seeing at least one solution through to the end. Getting involved is as easy as contacting the local government and your representative. Visit cityofmontevallo.com for a list of department heads, committee members, and your local municipal representative.
Bicycling, whether for transportation or recreation, is a great way to get physical activity into your day. Riding should be something you enjoy doing. Choose routes that match your skill level – start slowly and work to your potential.