As the Bicycle Streets Beyond Europe series wrapped up last week, my series co-author Justin Jones and I were invited onto the Active Towns podcast to talk about bicycle streets. We had a passionate discussion with the host John Simmerman that touched on topics including:
- what are bicycle streets and how do they fit into all ages and abilities cycling networks?
- what are the challenges of implementing them in Canada and the US?
- how has the ongoing pandemic changed how we view our streets?
Here’s Justin talking about how bicycle streets disrupt the traditional transportation planning model in Canada and the US:
I think that the biggest thing about a bicycle street, or a neighbourhood greenway, is that they start to change the behvaiour and the approach to how public space is prioritized. To date in North America, the entire model of transportation planning has assumed that cars and vehicle traffic has unfettered access to every single piece of asphalt.
Here’s Matt wrapping up with how this change doesn’t have to be an expensive one:
We can get slow streets, or bicycle streets, at zero cost. Every year, municipalities are building new local streets, and reconstructing local streets, and repaving local streets. Every time one of those projects happens, is a chance to build that street differently. The Netherlands is a perfect example of that, they design every street for 30 km/h right from the beginning, so that you don’t end up building this wide local street that ends up having all these speeding challenges. Instead, you anticipate that, and design for slow speeds, right from the beginning.
Make sure to check out the rest of the Bicycle Streets Beyond Europe series!