Our intrepid new bike riding friend and CommuterPageBlog contributor Diana Sun pointed me in the direction of a great post on Bacon's Rebellion that appeared on Monday about the competing rights of automobiles and bicycles on our roads (Serious Talk About Bicycles in Lynchburg, June 11, Jim Bacon). Mr. Bacon and Ed Risse, a frequent contributor to Bacon's blog, often write thought-provoking posts about transportation issues and this is no exception. Says Bacon:
"Two or three generations of Americans have lived in an environment in which the primacy of automobiles on streets and roads is taken utterly for granted. But times are changing. Although automobiles dominate transportation more than ever, there is increasing recognition that society cannot rely upon a single transportation mode. While automobiles have undisputed advantages -- route/time flexibility and wide-ranging mobility foremost among them -- they also impose once-unappreciated costs on society: They pollute, they create congestion, and they require roads and parking spaces that consume vast amounts of land that could be applied to other uses...As automobile congestion worsens in Virginia and the rest of the United States, there is increasing interest in redesigning communities to make them more bicycle friendly. Above all else, bicycling must be made safe."
Bacon goes on to say that Arlington is the only jurisdiction in Virginia that is recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as a Bicycle Friendly Community and that Lynchburg is beginning to have the conversation about how to get there. The Lynchburg conversation has taken on a heightened awareness because of the recent death of a bicyclist there last month. He cites an excellent article (Cars and Bikes Share Road, Responsibilities, June 9, 2007, Carrie H, Sidener, The News and Advance) in Lynchburg's local paper that has as much meaning for those of us hear in Northern Virginia. Enjoy the reading.
Chris Hamilton is the Commuter Services Chief for Arlington County, manager of CommuterPageBlog and a biking/Metro commuter from Rosemont in Alexandria