American suburbs were built for cars during a time in which it seemed oil would shoot from the ground forever. And once we knew that such was not the case, we kept building suburbs because people wanted to live in them. People were also encouraged to do so by the culture and the government.
I say that knowing many bicyclists in Springfield have a tougher time on the streets because they live in suburbs built for cars. There are two Springfields — one that is largely hospitable to utility bicycling and one that is not. This is one reason why I promote the 1-mile Solution and Keep a Bicycle at Work.
Can the suburbs be retrofitted for walking and bicycling? I think it’s possible (although costly and, perhaps, politically unlikely), so I intend to explore that question this summer.
Right now I want to talk about two reasons I have such a smooth riding experience in Springfield.
1. The first reason I’ve already mentioned: I ride mostly in the urban core where I live. The streets here form a nice grid. The speed limits are low. Drivers in this area expect to see pedestrians and bicyclists. Goods and services are spaced in such a way that urban core residents are often a short walk from groceries, entertainment, and retail. I chose to live in this area on purpose to gain exactly the benefits I’ve listed.
2. I ride “like I mean it” — a phrase I borrowed from Keri Caffrey, of Commute Orlando, who uses it to mean taking your rightful place in traffic and driving your bicycle like a vehicle. Check out the first video on my page of must-see videos. Riding this way is easier in Springfield’s urban core.
How do we make Springfield even more bicycle-friendly so the folks in our suburbs can enjoy the benefits?
I mentioned retrofitting, which could include creating greenways that connect across neighborhoods, to retail areas, and to other greenways. I’ve also mentioned the 1-MS and keeping a bicycle at work. What else is possible?
I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately about great reset. The ideas I’m encountering, and the demographics of our area, tell me that suburbia as currently designed is not sustainable in a world of energy limits — a world we must prepare for., transportation, and the so-called
How do we do that?