We’re Bronze! The League of American Bicyclists (LAB) recently designated Ferguson as a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community. According to their website (http://www.bikeleague.org/content/communities): “A community recognized by the League as Bicycle Friendly welcomes bicyclists by providing safe accommodation for cycling and encouraging people to bike for transportation and recreation. Encouraging bicycling is a simple way towards improving public health. With more people bicycling, communities experience reduced traffic demands, improved air quality and greater physical fitness.”
We join Clayton, Kansas City, Lee’s Summit, Springfield, and St. Louis as the only bronze-level Bicycle Friendly communities in Missouri. Of course, there are higher designations to aspire to…within Missouri, Columbia is at the silver-level. And there are gold-level and platinum-level communities around the U.S. The entire list of communities can be seen on the LAB website.
* * *
It used to be that there were no doubts about who the most dangerous motorists on the road were: drunk drivers. Now there’s a whole new category of dangerous drivers: texters. Someone came in the bike shop the other day and said, “I’d rather have a drunk behind me when I’m riding my bike than a texter. At least the drunk will see two of me…” Kind of gallows humor, but something to think about. Please don’t be a texter (or a drunk) when you are driving your car!
* * *
If you’re reading this column then you know that I like to write about things relating to bicycling. But I’m not the only one in Ferguson who writes about bicycling. For other takes on bicycling, try:
* * *
A few months ago Ferguson painted about 11 miles of streets with sharrows (shared lane markings). Sharrows show a symbol of a bicyclist along with arrows painted in the street. Sharrows are designed to make it easier for motorists and bicyclists to share roads by reminding motorists that bicyclists may be traveling in the traffic lane along with other vehicles. They encourage safe passing. They also influence bicyclists to ride in the same direction as traffic and help bicyclists with proper road position.
If you want to see the ultimate in sharrows, check out the “green lane” sharrows on Paul Ave. just off S. Florissant, in between the Ferguson Brewing Company and Marley’s. These green lanes were painted for free by a company that wanted to test how well the paint would hold up in weather, traffic, etc. Green lane sharrows are very attractive and give a clear message: bicycles are welcome to ride down this road!
* * *
The weather is getting colder, but don’t think that this will bring an end to bicycling opportunities for the year.