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Bike-Friendly Cities in the U.S.

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  • Apartments On 41st
    What U.S. cities are considered car-free cities (pedestrian cities)? I moved from Japan to a mid-sized city in Oregon, and I find it hard to get around without
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 19, 2003
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      What U.S. cities are considered car-free cities (pedestrian cities)?

      I moved from Japan to a mid-sized city in Oregon, and I find it hard to get around without a car. In the city I previously lived in, I could find anything I needed within 10 minues' walk from the train station-- a department store was just 2 minutes' walk away from the station, a barber shop 3 minutes, McDonald's was right inside the train station, electronic appliances store 7 minues, post office 1 minute, a cleaner 30 seconds, and so on... and my apartment was near the train station. Now I have to walk 40+ minutes to get to the department store.

      Although this is obviously an extreme case, I'd like to find a place
      where it's more convenient for pedestrians. Any suggestions?


      Where do you live in Oregon?

      You should check out the following cities: Eugene, Corvallis, Portland.

      In California, check out Davis and Oakland/Berkeley.

      -Ken



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      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Claude Willey
      I lived in Chicago for 5 years and rode my bike everywhere, even when it was zero degrees and everyone else was on the CTA. I would say Chicago is a very
      Message 2 of 4 , Jul 20, 2003
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        I lived in Chicago for 5 years and rode my bike everywhere, even when it was
        zero degrees and everyone else was on the CTA. I would say Chicago is a very
        bike-friendly city, but you do have dense traffic and (on-road) bike lanes
        that are not maintained or just ignored by motorists. Moving to California
        in 99 I found biking extremely easy in low-density Irvine, CA where few bike
        for 'transportation' purposes. I now live in Los Angeles, and I'm certain
        that most folks could never imagine this place being a bike-friendly city. I
        would say it is to an extent. I travel all over Los Angeles using a
        Cannondale touring bike (sometimes using my Bike Friday folding bike) and
        though it can sometimes take 2 hours to get to my destination, I feel I have
        quite an interesting lifestyle. I would get soaked all the time in Chicago
        and the many careless urban drivers almost did me in more times than I can
        mention. Los Angeles has great weather and you can use the MTA with your
        bike (they allow you to place your bike on the front rack of the busses).
        L.A.'s sister-city Pasadena is also a very bike-friendly city and there is
        almost no bike-theft. Everybody is driving.

        I know that Los Angeles has a problematic future due to its size and its
        resource limitations, but it is a city that is fast becoming
        bicycle-integrated (bit by bit). By no means is it a walking city (on the
        whole), but it is a city suitable for bicycle exploring, travelling and
        commuting. Most of the people who know I live in L.A. without a car think
        I'm totally nuts. But, I have no car payment, no gas expenses, no insurance
        costs, no auto-related expenses, and little stress derived from commuting.
        And, I have a knowledge of the city that few motorists can aquire.

        ---Claude W.
      • Robert J. Matter
        ... Thanks to Chicago Bike Winter http://www.bikewinter.org (started by activists from Critical Mass in 1999) there is a formidable and growing number of
        Message 3 of 4 , Jul 24, 2003
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          Claude Willey wrote:
          >
          > I lived in Chicago for 5 years and rode my bike everywhere, even when it was
          > zero degrees and everyone else was on the CTA.

          Thanks to Chicago Bike Winter http://www.bikewinter.org (started by activists from Critical Mass in 1999) there is a formidable and growing number of winter cyclists in Chicago. It turns out that winter cycling in Chicago isn't really that bad. Usually there are only 10 days between Nov. 1 and Apr. 30 that have 1" or more of snow. And it is +21F or warmer 60%-80% of the time.

          > I would say Chicago is a very
          > bike-friendly city, but you do have dense traffic and (on-road) bike lanes
          > that are not maintained or just ignored by motorists.

          I'd say Chicago's bike lanes are very well maintained. Maybe the city didn't have a bicycle coordinator when you were there. There is one now and he is quite responsive to cyclist complaints about such things. Cagers still double park in the bike lanes in some areas, but the police are supposed to start enforcing that better. There is a story about it at the CBF web site, http://www.biketraffic.org About a week ago a cager a cager was driving in the bike lane on Elston and when a cyclist pointed it out to a cop, the cop pulled the guy over and gave him a ticket. Like most cities Chicago is in a financial bind so ticket revenues are especially attractive.

          Chicago also has about 8,000 bike racks now too.

          > I would get soaked all the time in Chicago
          > and the many careless urban drivers almost did me in more times than I can
          > mention. Los Angeles has great weather and you can use the MTA with your
          > bike (they allow you to place your bike on the front rack of the busses).

          As of June 13 this year all CTA buses have bike racks. We can use them any time. We can take our bikes on the L anytime except weekday rush hours.

          Perhaps the best thing about Chicago is the strong bike culture there. The Bike Winter program has events like a bicycle art show, bike film festival, bike poetry night, a polka ride, a tikki ride, free winter cycling classes, and much more. There is now free valet bike parking at big city festival events, a big Bike to Work Day Festival, the Bike the Drive ride where Lake Shore Drive is closed off in the morning for 15,000 riders, and the L.A.T.E. ride where LSD is closed off at night for 10,000 riders. There is the Chicago Cycling Club and the Windy City Cycling Club, and of course there is the big monthly Critical Mass ride that meets at Daley Plaza the last Friday of the month at 5:30pm, which happens to be tomorrow! About 1,000 riders are expected.

          Probably the only place I could live in Mexifornia would be San Francisco because of the strong bike culture there. I like all the cultural events offered by a big city like Chicago-- the free symphonies and festivals, dozens of theatres, foreign/indie film venues, ethnic restaurants, literary events, etc. New York is too big. Chicago is just right.

          -Bob Matter
          -----------
          "War in Iraq is inevitable. That there would be war was
          decided by North American planners in the mid-1920s.
          That it would be in Iraq was decided much more recently.
          The architects of this war were not military planners
          but town planners. War is inevitable not because of
          weapons of mass destruction, as claimed by the political
          right, nor because of western imperialism, as claimed by
          the left. The cause of this war, and probably the one that
          will follow, is car dependence."
          --Ian Roberts, The Guardian
        • Claude Willey
          Hey Bob, You are definitely 100% correct that Chicago is the more bike-friendly city when compared to L.A. You have pointed out the many reasons why this is
          Message 4 of 4 , Jul 26, 2003
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            Hey Bob,

            You are definitely 100% correct that Chicago is the more bike-friendly city
            when compared to L.A. You have pointed out the many reasons why this is so.
            Seems like the place has become kinder to cyclists over time. I lived there
            for years and loved it, cold weather or not. But, some of us have other
            reasons why they live where they live. When talking with James Howard
            Kunstler a few months back via email he asked: "Why do you live in L.A.?" If
            I had responded, it would have been a very long and detailed answer.


            San Fran is another very attractive bike friendly city, but the costs
            associated with living there are frightening. One suggestion, Bob: you may
            want to qualify your "Mexifornia" statement. Could be highly offensive to
            some. I don't think your statement was aimed at the ethnic population, but I
            just thought I'd mention it.

            By the way, where do you live in Chi-town? I lived a few blocks from
            Hermitage and Division and moved out West in 99. I may be back out your way
            when the 2025 water crisis hits. Save me a place in your basement! Just make
            sure the Jardine Water Purification plant is still running.

            ---CW



            Claude Willey wrote:
            >
            > I lived in Chicago for 5 years and rode my bike everywhere, even when it was
            > zero degrees and everyone else was on the CTA.

            Thanks to Chicago Bike Winter http://www.bikewinter.org (started by
            activists from Critical Mass in 1999) there is a formidable and growing
            number of winter cyclists in Chicago. It turns out that winter cycling in
            Chicago isn't really that bad. Usually there are only 10 days between Nov.
            1 and Apr. 30 that have 1" or more of snow. And it is +21F or warmer
            60%-80% of the time.

            > I would say Chicago is a very
            > bike-friendly city, but you do have dense traffic and (on-road) bike lanes
            > that are not maintained or just ignored by motorists.

            I'd say Chicago's bike lanes are very well maintained. Maybe the city
            didn't have a bicycle coordinator when you were there. There is one now and
            he is quite responsive to cyclist complaints about such things. Cagers
            still double park in the bike lanes in some areas, but the police are
            supposed to start enforcing that better. There is a story about it at the
            CBF web site, http://www.biketraffic.org About a week ago a cager a cager
            was driving in the bike lane on Elston and when a cyclist pointed it out to
            a cop, the cop pulled the guy over and gave him a ticket. Like most cities
            Chicago is in a financial bind so ticket revenues are especially attractive.

            Chicago also has about 8,000 bike racks now too.

            > I would get soaked all the time in Chicago
            > and the many careless urban drivers almost did me in more times than I can
            > mention. Los Angeles has great weather and you can use the MTA with your
            > bike (they allow you to place your bike on the front rack of the busses).

            As of June 13 this year all CTA buses have bike racks. We can use them any
            time. We can take our bikes on the L anytime except weekday rush hours.

            Perhaps the best thing about Chicago is the strong bike culture there. The
            Bike Winter program has events like a bicycle art show, bike film festival,
            bike poetry night, a polka ride, a tikki ride, free winter cycling classes,
            and much more. There is now free valet bike parking at big city festival
            events, a big Bike to Work Day Festival, the Bike the Drive ride where Lake
            Shore Drive is closed off in the morning for 15,000 riders, and the L.A.T.E.
            ride where LSD is closed off at night for 10,000 riders. There is the
            Chicago Cycling Club and the Windy City Cycling Club, and of course there is
            the big monthly Critical Mass ride that meets at Daley Plaza the last Friday
            of the month at 5:30pm, which happens to be tomorrow! About 1,000 riders
            are expected.

            Probably the only place I could live in Mexifornia would be San Francisco
            because of the strong bike culture there. I like all the cultural events
            offered by a big city like Chicago-- the free symphonies and festivals,
            dozens of theatres, foreign/indie film venues, ethnic restaurants, literary
            events, etc. New York is too big. Chicago is just right.

            -Bob Matter
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