Health FB

It’s Infrastructure Week at the Cycling Thread!

This is a place for all enthusiasts of two wheeled muscular powered contraptions (and also Glyph).

Today I’d like to talk about the various ways cities make cycling safer and easier that are collectively known as “Bike Infrastructure”. Protected bike paths, multi-use paved trails, bike signals at intersections, etc. Are there any really good paths in your city? Are there things you wish your city would do differently?

Something in particular I wanted to gauge the opinion here about is the public bike repair stands. They cost about $1,000 not including installation. I’ve seen more than a few around the city, sometimes as part of newly built bike paths, sometimes attached to bike-rental hubs, and sometimes just in new developments. The idea is they provide an publicly accessible source of tools for any problems a rider might encounter. Personally speaking though, I’m dubious of their usefulness. Anyone with the skill level to know a tire lever from a spoke wrench is going to have those tools at home already. A cyclist who doesn’t have those tools won’t know how to use them, so having them be publicly available won’t help. I have used a stand like this once when I changed a flat tire, but I only had my hand pump on me. So I was able to limp to a station with 20psi and then use the pump to inflate to a proper pressure. I’ve also encountered the issue of going to a stand and finding it completely non-functional due to weathering or vandalism. Maybe if there was some consistency to their locations (like if there was an ordinance that all gas stations had to have one) they’d be more useful. But in my mind they’re an easy, cheap way to make an area look bike friendly without doing anything that might inconvenience a driver like building a protected bike land.