As we draw to the close of another biking season, I have found myself riding even more than usual. I do this every year – it’s like I want to get every possible ride in before the weather gets too cold or messy to ride comfortably. And every time I get on my bike in Homewood, it reminds me of how much I love living here.
The bike lanes are amazing. I was happy when they went in, because it showed how committed our community is to progressive thinking and healthy living. But I had no idea how much I would love using them. Bike lanes make us safer by demonstrating the need to share the road. They encourage people to use their bikes for short trips, by reminding them that it’s a viable option. And best of all, they help keep cyclists off the sidewalks downtown, making room for more pedestrians.
Of course, my bike errands to Walt’s have been more difficult the last couple months, with the construction on 183rd Street. But truthfully, my car trips on 183rd haven’t been so great either. Outside of that, though, biking in Homewood has been a real joy this year.
And more bike riding is good for the whole community, not just the individual rider. A single bike lane has the same people-moving capacity as two lanes for motor vehicles. Striping two bike lanes is like adding four motor vehicle lanes of capacity - for the cost of paint!
When I ride, I have nowhere near the parking headaches either. Providing a parking space for a customer's car costs $7000. Providing parking for 10 customers on bikes costs $500, in the same amount of space, and makes it easier to find parking for customers who have to drive. So everybody wins.
When you look at the some of the most successful, progressive communities in Chicagoland, you will see that they have cycling as a viable transportation option. I am proud to live in a village that shares those values.