Josh Cohen reports on Beacon BIKES:
According to Beacon BIKES! representative Dylan Ahearn, the group thinks the bike master plan is too focused on creating a neighborhood-to-neighborhood bike network that caters primarily to the commuter crowd. His group wants to create an intra-neighborhood network that helps people (especially children) ride safely between Beacon Hill destinations.
“When I’m biking around the neighborhood, I try and imagine whether it’d be safe my five-year-old daughter to ride on the road,” said Ahearn. “If we can [create facilities that] accomplish that, we’ll have succeeded.”
As mascot of the casual cyclists, I have to say “Bravo”. I don’t begrudge the regional trails and other improvements that serious bicyclists have won for themselves, but improvements to one- and two-mile trips can open up a whole new population to bikes. That builds the political coalition, but more importantly makes bicycling safer for everyone by building the presumption of drivers that there are bicycles around.
In my feeble experience cycling, I’ve found that it’s that one-to-two mile threshold under which it’s faster than taking transit, give or take the specific circumstances of the trip. That kind of mobility is important for people looking to go without a car, or a family going to one car. Long trips and long commutes are about recreation and exercise; the shorter ones are about practical mobility. There’s nothing wrong with the former, but it’s the latter where the masses are.