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Old 04-16-14, 09:09 PM   #76
sportsfan266
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Cary, NC - Not a cyclist's heaven but commuting, shopping, and other forms of utility riding are possible on all but the busiest five or six streets (possible by teens and inexperienced riders that is...some folks will ride anywhere). My teen son rides all over town including shopping, barber shop, restaurants, and his part-time job. He put in over 30 applications by bike last summer and landed a job at the absolute closest business to our house--0.2 miles. Bikeability was one of his three criteria. My wife started riding last year, but she has adapted to most streets and will ride with me almost anywhere. By herself she rides the routes she is more comfortable riding, still managing to cover about 50% of town. This summer she will probably expand her comfort zone further.


I do wish there were fewer cul de sacs in the residential areas. That would expand the bikeability faster than more bike lanes and sharrows.
darkadams00, I'm moving up to the Triangle area in late September. Where would you say is the most bike friendly community in the area? (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Cary, others?)
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Old 04-16-14, 09:28 PM   #77
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.....
I do wish there were fewer cul de sacs in the residential areas. That would expand the bikeability faster than more bike lanes and sharrows.
Amazingly sometimes city planners get things right. Take a look at this residential area laid out many decades ago, long before "safe streets" or any modern complete streets concepts.

Looks pretty typical, just as you'd see in any suburban area. Note the location of the school and imagine the plight of a child living on the lower part of Normandy or Broadmoor to the south. Like any cul de sac neighborhood, you'd expect the child to walk all the way around by way of Weaver, or mom to play taxi driver so the child doesn't have to walk on a busy road.

Now the cool part. Where Normandy ends, a 4' wide pedestrian right of way cuts through the next 2 blocks to the rest of Normandy lane. Likewise there's a cut at the north end of Broadmoor. This type of pedestrian shortcut exists all over the area, creating neighborhoods free of through traffic, yet eliminating the drawbacks of classic cul de sacs. Here's what it looks like looking from Broadmooor to Meadow

Of course this was done many decades ago, when children actually were expected to walk to school, and adults would actually walk to neighbors more than 3 houses away.
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Old 04-16-14, 10:11 PM   #78
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Interesting fact that I've learned is that in North Carolina, most sidewalks/crosswalks/bike lanes aren't put in unless the city requests and/or helps fund the DOT project. In Wilmington, we almost never have crosswalks at signalized intersections making it unsafe for pedestrians crossing streets and the lack of sidewalks forces people to walk out on the road. I know the state is short on money but these bike/ped facilities would make the road much safer for all users - and cars aren't the only ones.
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Old 04-16-14, 10:26 PM   #79
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Colorado Springs is a real mixed bag but overall pretty good for cycling (amenable weather most of the year, drivers are used to seeing cyclists and negative interactions are rare), but how easy it is to get around by bike here depends what part of town you live in. The western, older side of the city is great for going places by bike - lots of quiet streets, a great trail network that runs the length of the city and beyond, parks and open space areas that can be used as part of travel routes, bike lanes (or at least shoulders) on many of the busier roads.

inside one of the large open space parks in the middle of the city

The eastern part of town is a different story, it's a suburban sprawl nightmare with few alternatives to riding on 4 or 6 lane arterials, often times with interstate highway -style turn lanes and merges - and of course all destinations are separated by considerable distances. I don't mind riding in that part of town myself, but I've been told by many people that it's simply too intimidating, especially for a rider that's not already fit and fast.

view from the northwest corner of the city - this road has a bike lane!

As far as regional travel by bike goes, same thing, it's a mixed bag. Negatives include a lack of bus service to the nearest large cities (Denver, Pueblo), and riding west to Woodland Park is a tough climb with a couple of dangerous spots on US24 (blind corners in the canyon). But on the positive side, the rural roads to the east and forest service roads to the west are fabulous for riding - the scenery is beautiful and recreational riding is popular here so drivers are used to seeing cyclists.

looking south, just outside of Woodland Park
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Old 04-16-14, 10:34 PM   #80
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Chicago is alirght. There is some infrastructure but pretty limited and many times unsafe. Drivers are relatively hostile and very impatient, not too used to having bikes on the street. In comparison SF is much better.
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Old 04-17-14, 09:38 AM   #81
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I commute in Orange County Ca. The southern part, south and west of SR 55 is cycle heaven. It's newer, the streets are wider and there are bike lanes everywhere and lots of really good trails. North Orange county is different. It's older and most major boulevards have full traffic lanes curb to curb.

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I'm in San Diego, more specifically suburban North County. My particular commute has wide, safe bike lanes all the way, and I generally find sufficient bike lanes where ever I go. I do wish we had more MUPs; there are plenty of recreational trails, but not so much that gets you places. My biggest gripe about San Diego is lack of Co-ops. Also, I happen to live in a dead zone even for LBS. The one shop we had in Poway closed this year. Black Mountain Cycles is more of a high-end shop, the kind of place that every time I come out of there I got ripped off. I miss Ye Olde BIcycle Shoppe down on University, but I moved (to be able to bike commute), so I can't get down there that often anymore.
I get there from North San Diego County by commuter rail. There, the infrastructure is kinds spotty. Oceanside is trying really hard, and my route to the train station is bike lane, or traffic calmed side streets all the way.

San Diego itself is kind of spotty too. One neighborhood that surprised me was North Park. I had lived there in the eighties, and it was not really bike friendly back then. I had been away for a long time and went back there for the first time last year. Infrastructure wise it hadn't really improved much. Culturally it was way different. The neighborhood had become somewhat bohemian, and the number of bikes on the street seems to have caused a cultural shift in the attitudes of drivers.
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Old 04-20-14, 05:13 PM   #82
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RE: Long Beach

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Long Beach, CA seems to be trying. On the building at city hall they have a big steel badge that claims long beach as "the most bicycle friendly city in America". The problem is that as far as I can tell, they are just doing it to attract more tourists. As a cyclist who lives here, nothing is much better than it was several years ago, except that now the pothole-ridden streets have sharrows painted on them. Painting sharrows on every other city street allows them to claim that the city has extensive bicycle facilities, when in reality they are doing the bare minimum to be able to say so in media articles and so on... They paint bike lanes on extra-wide out-of-the-way streets that don't need them and have few bicycle facilities on busy streets that residents actually cycle on.
I grew up in Long Beach, and the streets are great to ride bicycles on for the most part. The saving grace of Long Beach is the fact that they have bike paths along the flood controls. Shoreline village, and Belmont Shore also have dedicated bike routes. I know that doesn't sound like much but compared to downtown LA its paradise.
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Old 04-20-14, 05:21 PM   #83
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Los Angeles-not a bike friendly city IMHO

I live in Los Angeles CA. Downtown LA to be accurate. LA is NOT a bike friendly city. The roads are crap, the motorist here have a nasty attitude towards cyclists. They did paint some bike lanes in DTLA but they are too far and between. I've had people honk at me-even though I practice the rules of the road, and don't run red lights. I had one ahole honk me because God forbid I was slowing him down slightly. I thought about following him but I refrained from doing so. I've had motorist get right up on me and try to intimidate me as well. I am more about yanking them out of their cars if they hurt me and smashing their faces into the ground into the ground than anything else. I do love it though when they go pedal to the metal when switching lanes after riding behind me. Frigging rage monkeys. Living in LA seems to give many people +10 on their aggro level. I haven't seen how mellow Santa Monica is yet because I haven't ridden in that town.

I also had two ex friends tell me that they would "run me over if I ever rode in front of their car," needless to say we are not friends anymore." I miss Long Beach. On the plus side we have the metro rail so its nice to be able to take my bike on those trains and get around.
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Old 04-20-14, 05:53 PM   #84
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Carson has always been gnarly

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Long Beach is good. We have the beach path, LA river and more and more streets are adding designated bike lanes. Some of the main streets with a lot if traffic are kind of gnarly but that's expected. I work and Carson and it's a lot worse there. People look at you like your an alien for riding on the street.
I grew up and lived in Long Beach CA for many years. Its a pretty decent bike city overall. Carson used to be a nice city but has since become a crap hole. I'm surprised someone hasn't jacked you for your bike...unless you bike commute to its industrial/business section. I miss the bike routes along the flood control in Long Beach. I lost a lot of weight riding them when I was making making weight for Navy boot camp.
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Old 04-20-14, 08:54 PM   #85
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Albany is trying. They've got painted logos on many of the streets reminding motorists that the roads are for bikes too. I have only recently moved here, but so far riding is not too bad. There's not much dedicated infrastructure tho and I don't expect it.
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Old 04-20-14, 09:55 PM   #86
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I live in Los Angeles CA. Downtown LA to be accurate. LA is NOT a bike friendly city. The roads are crap, the motorist here have a nasty attitude towards cyclists. They did paint some bike lanes in DTLA but they are too far and between. I've had people honk at me-even though I practice the rules of the road, and don't run red lights. I had one ahole honk me because God forbid I was slowing him down slightly. I thought about following him but I refrained from doing so. I've had motorist get right up on me and try to intimidate me as well. I am more about yanking them out of their cars if they hurt me and smashing their faces into the ground into the ground than anything else. I do love it though when they go pedal to the metal when switching lanes after riding behind me. Frigging rage monkeys. Living in LA seems to give many people +10 on their aggro level. I haven't seen how mellow Santa Monica is yet because I haven't ridden in that town.

I also had two ex friends tell me that they would "run me over if I ever rode in front of their car," needless to say we are not friends anymore." I miss Long Beach. On the plus side we have the metro rail so its nice to be able to take my bike on those trains and get around.
+1, my mother lived in Glendale for a while on assignment for her career and I visited her a few times as I lived in the Bay Area during those years. Huge culture change north vs south IMHO- I felt like I needed to have a gun with me no matter where I went in LA vs only certain parts of the Bay Area (namely Oakland, certain parts of Hayward, East Palo Alto etc). I dreaded driving there and walking down the street I couldn't imagine cycling. Good for you dumping those ******* friends, real winners they sound like.

best thing I did was move to Portland, much more bike friendly (though biking wasn't the only reason why I moved back here). I live in Washington county which is more spread out than downtown. We still re very bike friendly up here- from what I understand a lot of new trail projects in the works the next few years to link the metro area. Folks are a lot more open minded to cycling and there is a huge advocacy for the bike culture too. It all really depends upon where we live. While I love to bike, a city being overtly bike friendly or not isn't necessarily going to make or break whether or not I move there ultimately.


the only place I refuse to move to is back to LA.....in fact now that I own my 2 AR15's you pretty much scrub the whole state of CA off my list

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Old 04-20-14, 10:37 PM   #87
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+1, my mother lived in Glendale for a while on assignment for her career and I visited her a few times as I lived in the Bay Area during those years. Huge culture change north vs south IMHO- I felt like I needed to have a gun with me no matter where I went in LA vs only certain parts of the Bay Area (namely Oakland, certain parts of Hayward, East Palo Alto etc). I dreaded driving there and walking down the street I couldn't imagine cycling. Good for you dumping those ******* friends, real winners they sound like.

best thing I did was move to Portland, much more bike friendly (though biking wasn't the only reason why I moved back here). I live in Washington county which is more spread out than downtown. We still re very bike friendly up here- from what I understand a lot of new trail projects in the works the next few years to link the metro area. Folks are a lot more open minded to cycling and there is a huge advocacy for the bike culture too. It all really depends upon where we live. While I love to bike, a city being overtly bike friendly or not isn't necessarily going to make or break whether or not I move there ultimately.


the only place I refuse to move to is back to LA.....in fact now that I own my 2 AR15's you pretty much scrub the whole state of CA off my list

Its pretty gnarly here in LA. I've been followed by people on several occasions as well. I have heard a lot of good things about Portland Oregon. I would like to get into firearms myself and hope to build my own AR or AK someday. I also love using my bike to commute. I don't own a car right now and would continue to commute on bike even if I did have a car. I would use the car for long distance trips and commute locally. It is pretty awesome to not have to take the bus or deal with the frustrations of driving a car IE parking, traffic, idiots etc.

Once I leave Commiefornia I am not coming back.
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Old 04-21-14, 08:00 AM   #88
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I grew up and lived in Long Beach CA for many years. Its a pretty decent bike city overall. Carson used to be a nice city but has since become a crap hole. I'm surprised someone hasn't jacked you for your bike...unless you bike commute to its industrial/business section. I miss the bike routes along the flood control in Long Beach. I lost a lot of weight riding them when I was making making weight for Navy boot camp.
I agree with you on Carson. I ride to work at 5:30 am so there's not too many sketchy people on my ride to work plus my job is on the border of Carson/Long Beach, not the greatest area but I know there are a lot worse neighborhoods in Carson.
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Old 04-22-14, 06:56 PM   #89
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Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico, is technically not bike-friendly. However, a lot of people with low-end jobs do ride bikes to work. Middle-class and up, not so much. The rumor a few years ago was that this is the Mexican city with the most cars per capita, and it certainly feels that way.

The local bike advocacy group has been doing great things, however. They managed to get the city's administration to open a "recreational bike loop" on Sundays, and so a few blocks of the downtown area, around the main plaza, get a bike lane on that day. The rest of the week it's a jungle as usual.

I don't know if now that I ride regularly I am aware of more cyclists on the roads, or if there *are* actually more cyclists on the road than before. Probably both things! I am definitely seeing more people in "proper" commuting mode - helmets, lights, following traffic rules.

This is a very hilly city and traffic is insane, and scooters and low-end motorcycles are pretty ubiquitous. I suspect that e-bikes could really make a difference here.
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Old 04-22-14, 08:37 PM   #90
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I'd give my area a solid B.

There's plenty of recreational riding - opportunities for mountain bikers, trail riding, and road biking with decent climbs.

Transportation riding is decent, but a bit spotty. It could be drastically improved by adding either a bike lane or a wide Southern California style shoulder to the more aggressive main streets that run north and south. As things are now, cyclists face either getting run off the road on those streets or being relegated to dangerous "sidepaths" (really just fancy sidewalks, not appropriate for riding at any decent speed.)

That said, I haven't found any problems getting where I want to go by bike. Much of the town has a decent grid system and slow streets, which makes getting around easy. The only problems come in where the grid breaks down due to natural features like marshes and rivers - even then, cycling is not dangerous or impossible, it's just not always ideal.
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Old 04-23-14, 08:38 AM   #91
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Boston is very bike commuter unfriendly and the cyclists don't help the situation.

Cyclists in Boston don't follow road rules and constantly filtering through traffic. I can see the agitation on drivers faces clearly when this happens. They are adding to the road rage. Boston doesn't do enough to enforce cyclists to abide by road rules, they are making my ride dangerous and a danger to pedestrians and drivers.
- Police need to ticket cyclists who are posing a danger to everyone else. If they are running late, that's their own fault, it's not an excuse to run red lights.

So far I've only seen one bike path and that's along Mass Ave. That's only because BostonEMS have shown statistically more cyclist injuries happen on Mass Ave. And not surprising for me, I see more dangerous behavior from cyclists on Mass Ave despite that the bike paths are there. Blowing through very busy intersections packed with buses, cars, ambulances and pedestrians.
- Pedestrians use bike lanes too, very dangerous. Often walking against flow of traffic.
- Even had to dodge a skateboarder riding in the opposite direction.
- Cars encroach on it too close, some even drive on it.
- And I swear, every hundred feet, there is a car parked on the bike lane, especially Taxis will just park there while waiting for moron customer to take 30 minutes to get.
- I don't even know why there is a bike path since it's not being made safe for cyclists to use.

There is still clearly a lot of cyclists hate. Especially from taxis. I find taxis pose the most danger to me. Constantly sidling up next to me when I take the lane at intersection to improve my own safety. They are causing issues for drivers next to them too, obnoxious behavior. I suspect these drivers got their license illegally. I know it's possible to do so since I know immigrants who have drivers license when they have no right to, don't know US, MA road laws.

Eh... For me I find cyclists for the most part to blame. As long as they are riding like jerks, legislature will be unwilling to help as they see any laws to improve safety will further allow cyclists to drive even more dangerously without consequences.
- Their argument for not supporting road safety laws and new laws to help Police enforce safety, is that they already see cyclists riding dangerous and posing a danger/threat to others. Overall being dicks.

Boston Police also don't care about cyclists safety. Boston PD don't do anything to help improve cyclists safety and relations between drivers and cyclists. According to Boston PD, cyclists is always in the wrong. Even when a law states that a car cannot make a right turn in front of a cyclist moving in the same direction, it's ALWAYS the cyclist that hit the car.
- If drivers see in public and in the news that Boston PD support cyclists when they are hit by a driver in the wrong, I think that will force drivers to be more careful. As it is, drivers know they can do anything to a cyclist with impunity.

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Old 04-23-14, 08:44 AM   #92
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Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico, is technically not bike-friendly. However, a lot of people with low-end jobs do ride bikes to work. Middle-class and up, not so much. The rumor a few years ago was that this is the Mexican city with the most cars per capita, and it certainly feels that way.
My job takes me frequently to Tijuana and Ensenada B.C. Tijuana is something like what you describe Veracruz to be. There are a fair number of bikes. Unlike you, I did see a fair number of middle class rodies on the highway between Tijuana and Ensenada. These appeared to be about half locals and half norteamericanos. Many of the towns along that stretch, like Rosarito, have large communities of expat retirees.

I may take my bike on a future trip down there, but it will be a MTB.
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Old 04-23-14, 08:47 AM   #93
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I think that my area is getting better. I was standing out front of a coffee shop just yesterday and I saw 3-5 bike riders some commuting some just riding. If people would slow down and then give room to pass it would be a lot better.
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Old 04-23-14, 08:49 AM   #94
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Where I live, there is zero effort to make it bike friendly. Which is weird since it's heavily populated by cyclist, and it's a beautiful area to ride.

No bike paths. The edge of the road, shoulder is also nearly non-existent. And drivers in my area are oblivious to road laws that protect the rights of cyclists. It's really bad.

My impression is that the only reason I don't get hit is because they don't want to damage their car in the process, kill me or have to fill out an accident report. Cause honestly, if they killed me, they will serve no jail time or pay any fines. It will be my fault. Manslaughter doesn't apply to cyclists in MA.
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Old 04-23-14, 08:58 AM   #95
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Connecticut has a 3ft law and an up-and-coming advocacy group, Bike-Walk CT. There's a Vulnerable User Law woking its way through the legislature that would impose a fine of not more than $1000 on "any person operating a motor vehicle on a public way who fails to exercise reasonable care and causes the serious physical injury or death of a vulnerable user of a public way, provided such vulnerable user has shown reasonable care in such user's use of the public way."

So, there's signs of life in bike advocacy here, but IRL, there are no bike lanes in the Hartford region; there are no easy approaches to the city of Hartford that don't involve crossing multiple lanes of high-speed traffic; the traffic lanes are set up in confusing, typical New England haphazard fashion; and there are some seriously aggressive drivers who simply don't understand bike laws.

You'd have to be out of your mind to bike commute from the 'burbs into Hartford. Thankfully, I'm out of my mind.
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Old 04-23-14, 09:03 AM   #96
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Same, you'd have to be out of your mind to ride from burbs into Boston. Riding through Everett and Revere to get to Boston is insanity.
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Old 04-23-14, 09:12 AM   #97
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Interesting - this article, What Are the Worst Outdoor Cities in America? | Travel Agent | OutsideOnline.com just rated Cleveland one of the worst outdoorsy cities in the US. One measurement seems to be bike shops per person, which it was poor at.

Hope that things are able to turn around. Is there a bike coalition or similar fighting for cyclist's rights and safety?
Hi there Mstraus!

Yes! Cleveland does have a bicycle co-op on the west side, located within Ohio City. Though the co-op seems helpless in the political fight for bicyclists' rights for safety, it does appear to be really helpful for most newbies entering the sport!
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Old 04-23-14, 01:15 PM   #98
SlimSlimShermz
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Buffalo is definitely trying, but it is spotty. The roads will be bike friendly for like 8 blocks then really busy and city like. Not to mention terrible pot holes and terrible sidewalks for avoiding busy intersections. I'd give it a 6/10 for commuting depending on where you are in the city.
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Old 04-23-14, 03:42 PM   #99
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Tulsa to me is weirdly split in terms of bike friendliness.

It has an amazing network of trails which are for the most part well maintained. They are completely sold on biking as a racing, fitness sport. The parks department and city council is taking some steps to promote biking and pedestrian initiatives.

On the other hand, it is very unfriendly towards the concept of bike commuting. Riders are expected to ride on the sidewalks and not on the roads, which I would be fine with if the sidewalks weren't so poorly designed and unsafe. Even some of the heavily trafficked roads are narrow single lanes with no shoulders, usually falling off steeply. All it takes is one considerate driver to slow down behind you and about 20 behind him/her get pissed off at the bloody cyclists using the road.

Even the routes that are available for bike commuting are not readily apparent, which might be stopping more people from taking up commuting. It's sad cause we usually have very few/gentle hills and are mostly flat. The geography and climate seems ideal for biking.
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Old 04-24-14, 03:34 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by WalksOn2Wheels View Post
Arlington, Texas. It's awful. It's smack dab in the middle of DFW, so imagine all the infrastructure problems associated with urban sprawl, and then picture living and riding in that sprawl.

It's a city that wants only one thing: entertainment dollars from Dallas and FW. Everything is built around this. No one really lives here, but people are zipping in and out of here all the damn time and they are in a hurry. Six Flags, Cowboys stadium (whoops, I mean "dollar sign stadi..." I mean, "AT&T Stadium"), Rangers Ballpark, Lone Star Park (just outside of northeast Arlington), and your typical huge malls/shopping centers that are built around "small town shopping" feel, but are actually pedestrian nightmares. Oh and not a bicycle rack to be found at any of these places I just listed.

The last time they talked about bike lanes, there was a massive uprising of small business owners who spoke out against it. What little of the cycling community there was rallied around it to middling effect. The plan was greatly reduced, and will be SLOWLY implemented over something like 10 years. I'll be long gone from this hell hole by then. The shining star of this city is University of Texas at Arlington (where I'm in my last year of aero engineering), but the city more or less ignores what could be a huge resource for growth. Nothing is being done to really make the school and the city work together to build up a community from all these young folks living here. Every single student I know hates Arlington and plans to move away ASAP.

Oh geez, I didn't want to rant, sorry. TL;DR: It sucks. Fort Worth is way better and working on improving, Dallas pretty much sucks, but has a huge community of cyclists there and lots of great shops.
I was at UTA for 2.5 years between 2010 and 2012 before moving to tulsa. It really is sad that the city and university have not done anything to capitalize on the student community to build a college town around it. I think t's one of the reasons UT arlington will struggle to come to Tier I like Austin or A&M. Even the roads bordering the university complex do not have any biking amenities.
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