Great bicycle ideas from near and far

Last Saturday, New York City closed Park Avenue from the Brooklyn Bridge to Grand Central Station to motorized traffic for the day and invited cyclists, pedestrians, skateboarders and inline skaters into the street. It was quite a social event.  Click here to see a New York Times audio slide show of what happened.

Jay McChord, a member of Lexington’s Urban County Council, has suggested doing something similar with a street or highway in Lexington one Saturday a month during nice weather.  It sounds like a great idea to me.  It could make for a great family-friendly, community-building day of fun.

Click here to read this story in Sunday’s Washington Post about what other cities around the world are doing to promote bicycle commuting and lessen the burden of high gasoline prices on their citizens.  Be sure to watch the video of Tokyo’s cool, high-tech bicycle parking system.

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to “Great bicycle ideas from near and far”

  1.   Robynn Pease Says:

    Dear Tom,
    Thank you for writing about bicyling in Lexington. This is an important issue with no easy solution. Even in bicycle friendly cities such as Portland, OR, there is ongoing tension between riders and drivers.

    Contrary to what you write, the sidewalk can be used for bicycling, as stated in LFUCG Article X, Secn. 18-155, (c). To imply otherwise indicates a lack of awareness of people who use bikes to commute to work, as well as older and young bikers. For example, I ride on the sidewalk along Nicholasville Rd. from Rosemont to Washington Ave on my way to work because it is safer than the road during commute hours.

    As Lexington becomes more bicycle-friendly, there is a need to accomodate the daily cyclist. As gas prices continue to increase while real wages decline, people are going to increasingly use bikes as major modes of transportation. I would ask that designers and advocates keep the needs of a diverse population of cyclists in mind.

  2.   Dave Cooper Says:

    Every time Lexington closes a downtown street, like during the 4th of July festival, spontaneous things happen and its all good. Drum circles, skateboarders, dogs, kids, pedestrians – the city comes alive. Its like magic.

    Id like to see Lexington announce they are going to close off a downtown street on a random Sunday for no reason, with no planned event, and just let the people make it happen – it would be interesting to see what kind of serendipity happens.

  3.   Eric Thomason Says:

    I challenge Lexington to attempt something similar to this. Woodland Avenue perhaps.

  4.   Brian Says:

    I’m glad to hear this is in the works, but I really wish more planning could’ve gone into this to establish a better, more inclusive route. It seems to me that when this was proposed, everyone got stuck on finding a straight stretch of road to close. While I’m glad to see that the latest plan for this initial “Second Sunday” event includes a street that runs through UK and downtown, I would love for future attempts to include a route that connects at least a couple of city parks and neighborhoods. The success of Portland’s Ciclovia-style event pays a large part in the fact that their route runs through neighborhoods and connects to at least four city parks.

    If you can pull people out of their homes, onto their streets and out into the parks on bikes and other modes of alternative transportation, I guarantee you will get more involvement. Otherwise, you’re going to have a lot of people pulling up in their vehicles, with bikes in tow, scouring downtown and UK for already scarce parking. To me, that almost negates the positives of such an initiative.