Is San Diego a Bicycle Friendly Community?
Bicycle Accident Lawyer in California Lists Top Cycling-Friendly Cities
No matter where you live in the United States, there is likely a cycling presence and a bicycle-friendly community somewhere nearby. Many cities across the country welcome bicycle culture and wish to encourage more bicycle commuters as well as recreational bike riders both to reduce traffic congestion and promote healthy living. As a result, more cities are now developing and expanding their bicycle-friendly roads and infrastructure. However, a vibrant cycling culture adds more to a community than simply more transportation options. Taking steps to encourage cycling can also boost the economy of a city or town as well as improve the happiness and overall wellbeing of its residents.
California is one of the top ten states for cyclists, according to The League of American Bicyclists, and San Diego garners consistent recognition as a bicycle-friendly community. The commonalities between areas that are ideal for cyclists include state and local government action to protect bike lanes and enforce bicycle safety laws. Active cycling clubs and events also promote a bicycling culture, both for commuting and recreation. Below, San Diego bicycle accident lawyer Joshua Bonnici explains what else cities can do so cyclists can benefit from increased biking awareness and bicycle safety.
What Makes a City Bicycle Friendly?
A cycling subculture can flourish when local governments invest in bicycling and work to protect cyclists. This often includes efforts to create dedicated bike lanes and enforce regulations that protect bike riders from serious accidents with motor vehicles. With these measures in place, local bike clubs can actively encourage cycling events and other actions that promote bicycle safety.
Some important features of a bike friendly community include:
- Segregated bike lanes on main roads.
- Where there are no bike lanes, promoting “claim the lane” cycling. This involves cyclists riding in the center of a traffic lane, rather than close to the right side, to increase visibility and safety.
- Municipal bike racks outside of public buildings, commercial buildings and parks.
- Bike paths and boulevards in residential areas. These bike paths are not alongside roads, but instead they are only for cyclist and pedestrian use.
- Signs to alert motorists of cyclists, bike lanes and other cycling safety features.
- Tougher traffic laws and citation enforcement for motorists who fail to check blind spots or cause bike accidents by hitting cyclists.
- Police presence on bicycles.
- Promotional events to encourage bicycle safety and cycling in the community. This includes outreach and programs for public education about commuting by bike.
- Bikeshare programs, which allow convenient and often free bike rentals to encouraging cycling.
- Bicycle helmet laws for children. Many states already require bike helmet use for children under a certain age, and some have universal bicycle helmet laws.
What are the Best Cities for Cycling?
Many cities across the U.S. are considered bicycle friendly because of their proactive laws, strong bike culture and development of infrastructure that promotes cycling. Besides biking in San Diego, several other cities in California have bicycle friendly roads and regulations that promote bicycle safety.
Some of the most bike friendly cities in America, according to Bicycling.com and The League of American Cyclists include:
- Long Beach, CA
- San Francisco, CA
- Boulder, CO
- Denver, CO
- Chicago, IL
- Miami, FL
- Minneapolis, MN
- New York City, NY
- Portland, OR
- Seattle, WA
- Chattanooga, TN
- Austin, TX
- Washington DC
What are the Benefits of Having a Bicycle Friendly Community?
Cycling has become increasingly popular as traffic congestion continues to rise. Therefore, communities should encourage cycling safety by enforcing bike laws and taking steps to develop trails and bike lanes. Otherwise, these areas increase the risk of bicycle accidents, injuries and deaths. In addition to increasing the safety of cyclists, other benefits of a bike-friendly community include:
- Economic advantages. A culture of cycling promotes new businesses targeting bike riders. Additionally, bike lanes and parking encourage cyclists to visit cities and businesses. Many businesses report higher sales and greater customer numbers after the installation of bike lanes nearby. Furthermore, a greater range of transportation options encourages people and new businesses to move to a given area.
- Reduced traffic congestion. More cyclists commuting to work and other places means fewer cars on the road. This means less traffic, fewer accidents and shorter commutes for all.
- Cleaner air. Fewer cars on the road also means a reduction in air pollution. This along with other green initiatives are better for the health of a community, as well as encourages the influx of new businesses.
- Healthier, happier residents. A bicycle-friendly city encourages recreational exercise for all ages, which in turn contributes to the overall happiness of the community. Bike lanes, trails and boulevards also increase property values.
Hurt Biking in San Diego? You Have Rights
Bicycle accident lawyer Joshua Bonnici is an active member of the San Diego bicycle-friendly community as well as an experienced personal injury attorney. As an avid cyclist himself, he understands the dangers bicyclists face when there are no bike lanes or other safety measures in place. As a result, bicycle accident victims, no matter where they are, could not ask for a more capable advocate. He can help you recover the true compensation you deserve for your bicycle’s worth (often, thousands of dollars for top-end bikes) as well as your bicycle injuries.
Make the right call after a San Diego bicycle accident. Contact a cyclist attorney today. Free consultation and free accident review.