How did Springfield not make this list of America’s top 10 bicycling cities?
Here’s what we have going for us:
Largely flat terrain: Getting around town is not a struggle physically.
Grid street system: You have choices getting from point A to point B, including long stretches of quiet, residential streets.
Marked bicycle routes: Traffic engineers have determined these streets to be easily negotiated by novice bicyclists. Here’s the route map.
Narrow, low-speed, urban core streets: The greater downtown area is a grid of 20-mph streets with widths that encourage bicyclists to control the lane.
Plenty of bicycle parking in the urban core: The city has done an excellent job providing U-racks at popular destinations, including the bicycle corral at Walnut and South.
Need help; we got help: The Star Team of Ozark Greenways published the Drive Less, Live More booklet a few years ago. The new edition, entitled Bike Smart Springfield, will be published this spring. It has lots of advice on bicycling in traffic.
Bicycle education: We have three League Cycling Instructors and one CyclingSavvy Instructor in Springfield who, combined, offer about three traffic bicycling classes per year. We want to increase this.
Police education: PedNet, in Columbia, held a traffic bicycling training class for the Springfield Police Department. The department will now be able to incorporate this modual into its regular officer training.
Programming: If you like group rides and races, we have them. Plus, Bike Bus Walk to Work Week is an annual celebration of alternative transportation.
Miles and miles of greenways: These trails are great for recreational riding.
The LINK: Once this complete streets project is finished, Springfield will have a multimodal corridor that will link the greeways north to south.
Great bicycle shops: No matter where you live, there’s a bicycle shop close to you in Springfield. Check the sidebar for links.
The STAR Team: Our local bicycle-pedestrain advocacy group works hard to keep alternative transportation issues on the forefront of civic concerns.
Bicycle bloggers: Check the sidebar on Carbon Trace
That’s not an exhaustive list
Get out there and ride like you mean it!