Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Soapbox Monday: Make room for more bikes?

Philly's going strong, but do we need more paths, more racks?

Soapbox Monday: Make room for more bikes?

Happy Bike Month, everyone.

And, no, I didn't mean that as a snide remark.

For whatever reason -- well, for many reasons -- biking incites huge passions in the city of Bikerly Sometimes Love.

Cycling is clearly one of the greenest transportation options going. Other than walking.  A new report by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia takes an in-depth look at why Philadelphia has some of the highest rates of bicycling in the country.  One of the reasons: Bike lanes.

But for many drivers, "lane" is a four-letter word.  They say it reduces car lanes and doesn't work anyway. The debate inevitably devolves into an argument about whether cyclists are rude.

I like bike lanes. Since I'm a driver, I'm supportive of anything and everything that would get OTHER cars off the road. And I think cyclists should have a safe place to ride so they're not on the sidewalks endangering pedestrians. Or weaving in and out of traffic, which gives me the heebie jeebies. Some of these riders are like Evel Knievel.

So: for Soapbox Monday, I ask you, does the city need more bike lanes? More racks? If so, where? What else should the city do to encourage more cycling? Please weigh in by commenting below.

Meanwhile, for Bike Month, Philly cyclists are planning all kinds of events. Click here for the schedule.

One of my favorites is the commuter race. This year, on May 18, it will be a cyclist versus a public transit rider versus a ZipCar driver.  The cyclist usually wins.

That day also marks the Ride of Silence, commemorating cyclists killed or injured by vehicles.

Inquirer GreenSpace Columnist
About this blog

GreenSpace is about environmental issues and green living. Bauers also writes a biweekly GreenSpace column about environmental health issues for the Inquirer’s Sunday “Health” section.

Sandy Bauers is the environment reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where she has worked for more than 20 years as a reporter and editor. She lives in northern Chester County with her husband, two cats, a large vegetable garden and a flock of pet chickens.

Reach Sandy at

Sandy Bauers Inquirer GreenSpace Columnist
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