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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Davis California

While out west, Quint and I took in a trip to Davis, California. Davis has the highest bike tranportation rate of the nation (25%). We had to check it out. We weren't disappointed.

They had everything needed to encourage people to bike. They had picturesque bike paths:

Where there were highways they built overpaths: and under paths:

Some intersections were so busy the count could be as much as 1000 bicycles PER HOUR! To faciltate all that bike traffic they got creative. Here is a bike roundabout:

And special bike lights:

Bike parking lots were full:

Not detail was over looked. Scattered around town were bike air stations.

It was totally amazing. We went to Sacramento from Davis, riding on a bikeway alongside the interstate the whole way. Living there, it might be possible to never get in a car.
Which makes me wonder why the biking rate isn't higher then 25%. It is very flat out there, almost always sunny weather, doesn't get too cold in winter, and as the Bike director told us, most people live within four miles of town. It is easy to ride bikes to surrounding towns,(Sacramento was only 11 miles away on totaly flat bikeway) and there are trains for furthur commute.
With all the encouragement with facilities and perfect terrain, I would think bike ridership would be up to 75%. I would love to talk to a car driver there and ask why the car? Almost all the reasons that people here give are not valid out there.
Even though the ridership is not as high as the conditions seggest they could be, it was still good to see bike numbers totally unimagined here. I would love to see a 25% ridership here!


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