A couple of days ago the League of American Bicyclists announced a new level
in the Bicycle Friendly Community program. Cities that are now rated Platinum will have a Diamond level to chase. The Portland Bicycle Transportation Alliance
The timing of the announcement looks like it prepares the way for the fall round of Bicycle Friendly Community announcements. Salem's turn for re-certification
is in this round, and it will be interesting to see how we fare.
On the one hand, after the Union Street Railroad Bridge and the initial pilot of sharrows on Commercial, Chemeketa, and Rosemount, the City has done nothing substantial. It's all about legacy remediation: Bikelanes and sidewalks in the context of road expansion. So you get busier, less comfortable streets, but you do get a bike lane. Not sure how much of a win that is. Definitely not a win, many intersections are being widened, and dual turn lanes added. So in many places things are getting worse for non-auto travel. Over on facebook, it was observed
that "over the last 15 years Salem has gone from 1.7% bike mode share to 1.6%." The manual bike counts from 2008-2011 (we didn't do them this year) haven't shown city-wide increases, either.
So based on results, for the Engineering and Encouragement side, the City is not doing very well.
But you know, there are some "green shoots." Style! This summer there were lots of new kinds of bikes around, a diversity new to Salem. You saw the way Franklin's Bottle Shop welcomed bikes inside
. Upright Cyclist
is devoted plain-clothes, everyday utility cycling.
Earlier this summer, there was a a big-box, department store "fixie," a Thruster
, locked up at a store on Lancaster, not far from the store that sells it.
A single-speed on Lancaster!