Image: Richard Masoner via flickr
Boulder, Colorado is a pretty dreamy place for cyclists. It's the fourth-most bike-friendly city in the world according to some, but living here, you get to see how the city doesn't view being 'bike-friendly' as a finite goal: that there are always ways to make things even better for cyclists. The city launched a pilot bike corral program last year to expand bike parking, allowing multiple bikes to park on the street in spots previously occupied by a single car. And the city's already-awesome greenway/bike path system continues to be expanded.
Planning That Pays Off
Interestingly, a lot of Boulder's bike paths are along creeks and exist because the city decided to be smart and efficient in how it used funds for flood mitigation. It was kind of a 2-for-1 deal, and there's no reason other cities can't apply the same kind of creative, clever thinking.
Now, Community Cycles and GO Boulder (a City Council initiative with the objective to: "Stay the course of no long-term growth in auto traffic") are promoting the launch of the Boulder Bicycle Friendly Business Program. The program recognizes businesses that make cycling "an attractive and feasible option for employees and visitors."
Businesses are ranked based on how they answer a set of questions like "Does your business offer racks where the bicycle touches at two points?" and "If you have a retail business, does your business offer discount for customers who bike?"
Businesses that receive the "Bike Friendly Distinction" are allowed to display the title, and honorees will be announced at least twice a year, on Winter Bike to Work Day and during Walk and Bike Month in June.
It's things like this that make me really proud to live here, and hope that other cities can start to see the wisdom in enabling and encouraging more people to get on their bikes more often.
Here's a short video from Bikes Belong on how Boulder became bike-friendly, and how any other town can achieve the same:
"We're trying to undo a bunch of bad planning that I think every community did after the 1950s," Martha Roskowski of Go Boulder says in the video. "We said let's take our major corridors and make them work for all modes, because that's where the destinations are, that's where people want to go. We now have bike lanes through our Target parking lot—which is not elegant and yet it provides this bike connection that we didn't have before."
More on bike-friendly cities:
The World's 11 Most Bicycle Friendly Cities
Employers, Here's How You Can Create a Bike-Friendly Office
Long Beach, California, Wants to be #1 Bike-Friendly City in U.S. (Video)