Thursday, June 7, 2012

Local cyclists give City 'C' grade, but see progress

Although Cincinnati has made great strides in its bicycle friendliness, local riders still give the City an average "C" grade.

The results are based on a survey of almost 600 local cyclists, published in the City's third annual Report Card on Bicycling.

Cyclists gave the City a "C" for completeness of the bicycle network, a "C" for respect shown by motorists, a "C" for pavement quality, and a "B" for bicycle parking availability.

But the City did score well on progress made over the past year, earning a "B+".

Signs of progress include the installation of sharrows on Madison Road, Spring Grove Avenue, and Central Parkway; the addition of bike lanes on Martin Luther King Drive, Dana Avenue, and Beechmont Avenue; the installation of more than 100 bicycle racks in neighborhood business districts; the addition of "corral"-style bicycle parking; bicycle-specific pavement markings at priority intersections, showing riders where to position themselves to trigger the green light; improved signage for motorists reminding them to "Share the Road"; and publication of a Pocket Guide to Cincinnati Bike Laws.

More than 78 percent of survey respondents indicated they ride at least once per week. However, 85 percent said they would bike more if the City constructed more bike lanes.

The 2010 Bicycle Transportation Plan has a stated goal of doubling the number of cyclists and adding 91 miles of bike lanes in Cincinnati by 2015. Bicycle counts showed a ridership increase of 12 percent, and the City added 4.5 miles of bike lanes and sharrows in 2011.

"We're working to create a bicycle friendly city, so that Cincinnatians of all ages and abilities can use bicycles for everyday trips," Department of Transportation and Engineering Director Michael Moore said in a prepared release. "This report card is a great tool for publicly measuring our progress."

Last month, Cincinnati was named a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists and a Bike Friendly Destination by Queen City Bike.

Previous reading on BC:
Cincinnati named Bicycle Friendly Community (5/14/12)
Cincinnati Bike Center opens on riverfront (5/9/12)
E Mitchell to get bike lane this summer (4/9/12)
Bike lanes added to Dana Avenue (12/2/09)
Large turnout for bicycle planning open house (10/12/09)