In honor of National Bike to Work Day, the team at Kilbourne Group has been discussing the impressive progress that’s been made in making downtown Fargo a bikeable neighborhood (Bike Score of 90!). We send cheers to Fargo leaders for their work to install North Dakota’s first protected bike lane along NP Avenue. Fargo’s Great Rides bike share has been considered the country’s most successful bike share program. Let’s build on our success!
We encourage Fargo residents and leaders to consider the viability of all transportation methods, in conjunction with proven data and facts, when casting votes and making decisions.
Study after study has shown that bike lanes promote safety, not only for citizens who can choose to bike without requiring an act of courage, but also for motorists who do not have to contend with cyclists for space in a driving lane.
Without bike lanes, traveling on high-speed, one-way corridors like University Drive and 10th Street would be downright impossible. If anyone did want to take the risk and ride on those roads, vehicle traffic would be moving much slower, and bicycles would be seen as a “nuisance.”
Bicyclists would often prefer to be out of the way of motorists, since cars are often traveling over three times as fast as bicycles, at speeds that could easily result in death if a collision were to occur.
Imagine if roads occasionally ended, and cars had to merge onto railroad tracks to reach their destination, instead of having their own dedicated roadway. Imagine how much of a nuisance and how dangerous it feels to have bike lanes end, and to be forced to either bike on a sidewalk – putting pedestrians in danger, or into vehicular traffic – putting both cyclists and motorists in danger.
In addition to safety, bike lanes have shown to promote economic growth where they are installed on existing infrastructure, meaning that bike lanes not only increase freedom of choice in transportation, but they actually work to help offset any cost their implementation might incur.
Now is the time for Fargo to address the lack of a connected bike lane network. Let’s expand our bike infrastructure – especially protected bike lanes – to allow more of our citizens the opportunity to choose bicycling more often, and in doing so reduce dangerous collisions and increase economic viability.
Happy National Bike to Work Day!