Bicycle Awareness

It's been a while since I mentioned anything about bikes - and that seems to be putting me in the minority! Indeed, before the temperature and gas prices dropped, it seemed more and more people were getting on their bikes. Unfortunately, it also seemed that more were getting hurt or even killed, too.

Minneapolis Mayor recently commented on these trends, noting in an e-mail update that, in Minneapolis, "there’s been a downward trend in traffic crashes since the late 1990s including in the number of reported bike-vehicle accidents. From 1993 to 1999, the average number of bicycle crashes was 334 per year. Since 2000, the average has dropped 269 per year, a 20 percent decline."

The Mayor attributes this decline in crashes, and high rate of bicycling, in part, to increased facilities for bicycling.

He MIGHT be on to something. Research by Gary Barnes and Kevin Krizek found that there was a notable increase in bike rates on new facilities in Minneapolis in the 1990's. However, a forthcoming study Fay Cleaveland and I recently completed indicates that "if you build it, they will come" is not necessarily true.

While publication of the latter study is forthcoming, a couple events will be taking place here at the Humphrey Institute on this very topic (details below). Hope you can join us!

TODAY!, October 29, 2008, 12:30 to 1:30 pm, Associate Dean Greg Lindsey will give a talk in room 184 on "The Built Environment and Physical Activity: Models of Urban Trail Use." Professor Lindsey is Associate Dean of the Humphrey Institute and specializes in environmental planning, policy, and management at the state and local levels. His current projects involve analyses of activity patterns on urban greenways and the effects of greenways in urban communities. http://www.hhh.umn.edu/people/glindsey/index.html

Then, on Friday, November 14, in room 215 at 9:00, Bike Walk Twin Cities and U of M Department of Computer Science researchers Reid Priedhorsky and Loren Terveen for "How Cities and Regions Can Plan & Map
Together: A Geowiki Solution for Instantly Sharing Planning Information" This will be a demonstration of the first Twin Cities geowiki, called "cyclopath" (you can view cyclopath at View Cyclopath at www.cyclopath.org) Please RSVP by 11/7/2008 to David at david.peterson2@ci.minneapolis.mn.us

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Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs