Next time you are riding down the street in Baltimore, take a moment to appreciate the new bike lanes that are popping up everywhere! From the contraflow lane on Lanvale to the sharrows in Harbor East, we are witnessing the transformation of Baltimore into a more bikable city.
Investing in bicyle infastructure certainly gives more bang for the buck than infrastructure for motorized vehices. The League of American Bicyclists Economic Benefit of Bicycle Infrastructure Report notes,
"In urban areas, where cars and bicyclists travel at similar speeds, bike lanes can accommodate 7 to 12 times as many people per meter of lane per hour than car lanes and bicycles cause less wear on the pavement. The cost of a bike lane varies depending on the location, the condition of the pavement, lane-painting expenses, changing traffic-light signalization, and other factors, but can cost as little as $5,000 a mile. It is most cost-effective to create a bike lane when an existing road is being repaired or a new road is put in.
California is on the expensive end of the spectrum. Using state-wide averages and local cost history, the city of Roseville, Calif. estimates the cost of signage and striping for a mile of a standard bike lane in California to be $60,000. In contrast, the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) is paying $75 million to repave, not rebuild, just three miles of Interstate 710 in Los Angeles. Thus, for the cost of repaving 3 miles of rough pavement on Interstate 710, CalTrans could sign and stripe 1,250 miles of California roads for bike lanes. That’s more than the distance from Los Angeles to Seattle, Wash. "
For thier smart transportation initiatives, Baltimore, Rockville and Anappolis have been distinguished as Bicycle Freindly Communities by the League of American Bicyclists. Please thank Nate Evans, Bicycle and Pedestrian Planner for Baltimore City, Matt Folden, Transportation Planner for the City of Rockville and Iain Banks, City of Annapolis Personal Transportation and Parking Specialist, for making a little go a long way!