In the 20th century, America dreamt big and built bigger, constructing an intricate interstate highway system that changed the fabric of our nation. But as we step into an era marked by climate change and a need for sustainable development, could the ambitious vision for our next big infrastructure project be…bike lanes?
For many, the idea of bike lanes might conjure images of small town projects, short city trails, or perhaps that solitary bike path in your community. But what if we told you that bike lanes and trails might be at the forefront of a national strategy to combat climate change, reduce traffic violence, and move away from an all-encompassing car culture?
The Big Picture: A National Bike Infrastructure
Thanks to a recent initiative by nonprofit PeopleForBikes, this is no longer a mere hypothetical. The Great Bike Infrastructure Project, their latest advocacy portal, seeks to assemble a comprehensive map detailing planned bike lanes, off-road trails, bike parks, and more that are on the anvil across the U.S.
But what’s truly revolutionary is the goal behind it: to stop seeing these individual projects in isolation and to begin envisioning them as cogs in a grand national machine designed to address climate change and reframe our transportation choices.
Seizing the Moment with Federal Funding
With the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, federal funding for cycling projects has seen an impressive increase, almost sixfold. PeopleForBikes wants communities to harness this momentum. As their CEO, Jenn Dice, rightly points out, the window of opportunity is open, and it’s time to act swiftly and decisively.
Mapping the Future of Biking in America
The first iteration of the Great Bike Infrastructure map, though still in development, offers a panoramic view of potential bikeability projects across the nation. By pooling resources from various platforms, from local government sites to news articles, they’ve charted out projects with realistic chances of gaining traction in the upcoming years.
This initiative isn’t just limited to the experts. You, too, can contribute! Whether it’s a newly approved project in your locality or finer details on existing ones, your insights can shape this national roadmap. The map also doubles up as a handy table, allowing advocates to draw parallels and use successful projects as benchmarks for their local campaigns.
Why It Matters: Advocacy & Implementation
One of the recurrent challenges with bike infrastructure projects is that they often face hurdles in the final stages. All too frequently, they fall victim to NIMBYism and are the first to face the axe when complications arise. This is where spotlight advocacy plays a critical role. By highlighting these projects at crucial junctures, it ensures that they don’t just start but also see completion.
Dice encapsulates this vision perfectly: while we have the know-how and the expertise to bring such projects to fruition, what’s missing is the scale. This campaign isn’t just about promoting cycling. It’s about reimagining an America that values sustainable transportation, community connections, and prioritizes the environment.
In essence, the nationwide bike lane project is more than just creating trails; it’s about shaping the future of American transportation. By integrating years of pilot programs, advocacy drives, and accumulated experience, PeopleForBikes is gearing up to redefine the next chapter of America’s infrastructure story. And as staunch supporters of safety, community, and innovation, we at OnderLaw are excited to see where this journey takes us.
Your local bike lane isn’t just a convenience; it’s a statement. It’s a stride towards a greener, safer, and more connected America. Let’s pedal together into this sustainable future!