Article by Melany Arrison, Clarence, NY
Strap on your helmet, hop on your bicycle and let’s get outside for a change of scenery and a good fun ride!
What I am asking is if you will consider with me what it feels like to experience pushing pedals around town and getting out for a ride along the sunny side of the road on your local stretch of Main Street. The wind at your back, warm sunshine on your face and money in your pocket for a panini and latte at a local bakery or coffeehouse. Perhaps there’s a few pedestrians on the sidewalk smiling as your roll past, a friendly honk from a neighbor driving down the road in the opposite direction and those cute little kids pointing and waving at you from the backseat of their parents minivan. When you stop at the light and put a foot down, your notice how your community members nod to acknowledge you and you nod back in full understanding of the unspoken agreement you have to accommodate each other, to share the road.
Whether for leisure or as a mode of transportation, drivers, pedestrians, civic and business owners and also pedal cyclists all contribute to a safe thriving bike friendly community. Simple steps can be taken to make bicycling safe and comfortable and pay huge dividends in the areas of civic, community and economic development and pride. Given the opportunity to ride, residents enjoy dramatic health benefits, reduced congestion, increased property values and more money in their pockets to spend in the local economy. If our community was increasingly bike-friendly, it can be highlighted in tourism and also is very attractive from a cultural viewpoint! Businesses can save big on parking costs while cutting their carbon emissions by giving the signal and placing out bike racks in front of their storefront.
The League’s Bicycle Friendly America program provides a roadmap, hands-on assistance and offers promotional recognition for communities and businesses alike. The BFA℠ program is a tool for states, communities, businesses and universities to make bicycling a real option as a mode of transportation for young and old, students and seniors.
We all have a responsibility to share the road and keep our communities safe. Please consider traffic safety for a moment and your stretch of Main street. Is there an adequate shoulder for a bike lane to be designated? On behalf of all bicyclists, I thank you for your time and consideration.