Jennifer Toole, a Columbia resident and bike system consultant, spoke about how some other communities became bike friendly. She explained that the miles driven in a car per capita in the US has actually peaked in 2006. This was the first time this happened since the invention of the car.
Jennifer highlighted Boulder Colorado because it has about the same population and demographics as Columbia.
"Bike paths criss-cross Boulder County like spiders’ webs. If you can’t find a road to get where you’re going now that has a big, fat shoulder — or if there isn’t a dedicated multi-use path to lead you where you want to go — there will probably be one in the near future. The Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan, which outlines the vision for how the county should be developed, calls for a network of regional trails connecting all the towns to one another. Check out more information on the regional trails at www.bouldercounty.org and check out a map of the city of Boulder’s bike paths here."
Boulder has even closed off some of its streets downtown and made them walking mall areas.
One of the reasons many of us are afraid to ride on our roads is the closeness of the cars passing us. Having a car pass you at 45 or 50 miles per hour with inches separation is a scary experience. Some cities like San Francisco have created a buffered area for some separation.