Monday, May 19, 2014

We need bike routes

Today was day 4 of my six month challenge and I got in my 4th ride.  I am so glad I gave myself this challenge as it has kept me motivated to get on the bike at least once a day. Granted my rides have been short, but they have been rides which is the important part.  I have been staying in the neighborhood partly because its a known territory, but also because I have nowhere close that I need to get to that is accessible via bike route.

Just last week, Lisa over at BikingLasVegas.com posted the fact that there is a new version of the RTC bike map available on their website at http://www.rtcsnv.com/cycling.  Excited to see all of the possible routes I could ride near my home, I went to the site and downloaded the map/brochure.  Here is what the entire Las Vegas area looks like:


As you can see there are many bike lanes, multi use paths and bike routes designated through out Las Vegas and Henderson.  Gray lines are just major roads without bike lanes.  Now I live in the southwest part of the valley.  Here is a closeup of a roughly 3 miles radius from my house:



As you can see the only road with any bicycle route near me is Blue Diamond Road (Hwy 160).  Now this is a 4 lane, divided road at this point, with cars traveling 55 to 65 mph.  While OK for an occasional ride, I don't relish riding there in the dark or near dawn or sunset due to the lack of visibility.

I assert that if there was additional cycling infrastructure I would be even more likely to ride to run errands or head to a store or shop instead of just riding to ride in the neighborhood or for exercise. I've actually tried to figure out a safe route to ride my bike to work, but cannot find one. The first 2 to 3 miles from the house are on roads with no shoulders, no bike lanes and no streetlights making them not safe for morning or evening commutes when its likely to be dark.

With this glaring lack of bike friendly roads in my area, I decided to write to the RTC and see what their plans are for creating bike friendly streets.  The default automatic reply said it would take up to 3 weeks for them to get back to me. I'm not holding my breath but I hope I do get a response.

So, my personal challenge has been a success so far and it will continue.

Are you riding more this month being that it is bike month?

Get on your bike and ride!