The importance of safe infrastructure - BikeSafe - Bike your Block Challenge

The importance of safe infrastructure

May 14, 2021

By Michelina Witte, staff author
May 14, 2021
By Michelina Witte, staff author

Hello Bike Your Block Challengers!

What a great way to celebrate National Bike Month. My name is Mickey and I am a mom and a cyclist. I want so very much for my kids to develop a love of cycling and for all things outdoors. But what I want even more is for them to have a plethora of easy-to-access, safe places to ride.

Part of this challenge is finding fun ways to sneak in activity and to help my kids to be able to point out places that are not only fun, but safe to ride. This inevitably brings us to a discussion about protected bike lanes – something that should be at the forefront of any discussion on transportation infrastructure changes in the current day. If we teach our kids now that there are ways to make cycling safer that involve small (and sometimes large) modifications to our built environment, then they will grow up to be “complete streets” advocates themselves and will certainly change the world for the better. We can’t all be like the Dutch overnight, but we can certainly vocalize our desire to see the kinds of changes that transformed places like the Netherlands into the biketopia it is today.

A protected bike lane in South Miami, designed in 2017; opened in early 2021

The more we get out there and enjoy life on two wheels, the more we want to see safe infrastructure changes made so that our kids and grandkids can continue to do so for generations to come. So let’s get out there and ride (and have a little competitive fun while we’re at it)!

Where is your favorite place to ride? Are there barrier-protected bike lanes there? If not, ask your local leaders why not and see if it is possible to make those changes a reality. Sometimes, all you have to do is ask.