Did you know that the City of Madison has had a bicycle parking ordinance in place since 1988? With the rise in popularity of bicycling, we can expect to continue to see bike friendly rules, regulations, and solutions to problems facing bicyclists. Aside from bicycle parking, there are many other solutions to improve bicycling- seen in various areas throughout the country. An example includes traffic calming (similar to the Dutch woonerfs).
Photo by Richard Drdul.
Traffic calming involves engineering roads in different ways to slow the speed of vehicles and make the roads more friendly for cyclists. In the Netherlands, a woonerf is a street where the needs of drivers are second to bicyclists and pedestrians. Drivers must often proceed at or about walking speed.
Many of the traffic calming techniques are quite creative and seem to dramatically affect bicyclists. Some examples include:
1. Roads that can only be entered on one end by vehicles, but at any point by bicyclists. This encourages only those who live on that street to drive the road and for other drivers to use a main thouroughfare.
2. Speed bumps, roundabouts, chicanes, raised cross walks at intersections-all work to reduce the speed of drivers.
3. Narrowing of lanes- this has the effect of causing drivers to travel as slower speeds.
Let's hope this trend toward friendly streets continues.