Growing Urban Cycling Infrastructure Investment
Growing urban cycling infrastructure investment is changing the shape of the world’s cities, and where the cities go, society follows. The bicycle has been around for over a hundred and fifty years— longer than the automobile, in fact. Yet it is only now that the world is really starting to make the best use of this mode of transportation. ALPEN Storage, designers of the next-generation bike storage solution, the ALPEN Bike Capsule, is keeping its finger on the pulse of cycling infrastructure spending in the US and beyond.
Reasons to Fund Bicycle Infrastructure
There are plenty of reasons why city government and municipalities would want to invest transportation funding in bicycle infrastructure projects.
- Bike commuters are healthier and more productive than those who commute by other means, according to a study based in Copenhagen. Not only were they 40% less likely to die over the study period, they recorded 1 fewer days of absence due to illness on average. The physical activity and fresh air of cycling contributes to the general health of the population.
- Bicycling and walking to work, as opposed to commuting via motor vehicles, reduces both air pollution and congestion. The Texas A&M Transportation Institute found that since 1982, the nationwide cost of gridlock per year has grown more than tenfold. $166 billion is wasted in traffic jams every year, and 3.3 billion gallons of gasoline. Every person taking their bike to work is saving the earth twice: once by minimizing their car’s emissions, and the second time by minimizing their contribution to congestion, making everyone else’s journeys that little bit shorter and less fuel-inefficient.
Young people are more likely to use bicycling and pedestrian means of commuting than other means of surface transportation. Cities with younger populations should fund cycling measures such as bike share programs, safe routes to school, and more in order to better serve their youthful constituencies.
The Rise of Cycling in US Cities
With more of 2019’s most bikeable cities in the Netherlands (a country of just 17 million people) than in the entire of North America there is a huge amount of work to be done. The truth is, the United States didn’t even place but things are changing. Small and mid-sized cities are leapfrogging the state and federal governments and taking the initiative on reconfiguring their roadways to be more friendly to cyclists. In what should not surprise many, Portland, Oregon, was the best large US city in terms of cyclist commuters, at 6%. However, you may be more surprised to learn that Portland is being beaten by smaller (sub-100,000 and sub-500,000) cities in California, Massachusetts, and Colorado, as well as Oregon. Portland is rubbing shoulders with Madison, Wisconsin, and Missoula, Montana, both of which also rated around 6% for cyclist commuters. What are these cities doing to encourage this positive trend? Well, the lower overall distances of commutes is likely a factor, as well as the generally lower volume of car traffic. But what also must be taken into consideration is the investment in bike paths and bike lanes, cycle tracks to make cyclists safer from car traffic, installation of apparatus like racks and bike parking to make bike-transit commutes easier, bike-sharing systems, and pro-bike programs.
Building a Bikeable City for All
There are signs things are changing for the better, though. New York City is pumping $1.8 billion into 250 miles of new bike lanes. On the other side of the country, San Francisco has cut cars out of one of its iconic streets, Market Street, to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists as well as speed public transportation in the area. However, on a larger scale, if we are to build bikeable cities for all, the anemic efforts of state governments must be augmented by private investment, as the housing, retail, and other sectors work to put in place measures that will give city residents the assistance they need to take cars off the road and slacken the noxious chokehold automobile traffic has on our city streets.
ALPEN Bike Storage: Making Cycling More Secure
Giving people the ability to cycle more often is about solving their problems with cycling. When over two million bicycles are stolen a year in the United States, the majority unreported, the solution is building a storage solution that makes theft much more difficult. That is what ALPEN Storage has done. Our heavy-duty, roto-molded Bike Capsule combines high-security with easy access via either lock and key or optional Bluetooth lock. Each Bike Capsule can bolt down to the ground from inside the casing, making it virtually impossible for thieves to carry off the unit.
We don’t only offer security. Our Capsules are precision engineered to keep out moisture and UV light, protecting against weathering and rust. Internal peg boards offer organization for cycling gear to ensure cyclists have everything they need for their bicycles at hand.
To learn more about how ALPEN Bike Capsules can become part of your micro-mobility platform please contact us through our website.