I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the Bloomington City Council for voting unanimously in favor of expanded bicycle accommodations on city streets.
Bike lanes and other similar treatments have been shown to improve safety for both bicyclists and drivers.
From an economic development perspective, it’s a great common-sense move; it costs next to nothing, will bring people to the downtown area, and will attract to the community young, skilled workers like me who are choosing alternative modes of transportation in record numbers.
As chair of Illinois Wesleyan’s bike committee, I would also like to thank the council for recognizing the educational aspect of the sharrows they’ve approved. One of the things I see bikers doing all too often is riding in the wrong place, either against the flow of traffic or on the sidewalk. Sharrows are a phenomenal way to show cyclists where they need to be.
The bike committee at IWU is thrilled that the council has decided to launch this project with a connection from our campus to downtown. I expect this safe route will encourage our students to spend more time downtown.
Finally, given the poor state of our pavement, it’s worth noting that bicycles do far less damage to our roads than cars do over time. If more people start to choose bikes over cars for more trips, all this money we’re about to spend on our roads will take us much further into the future.