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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Chattanoooga, Bike Friendly?

  The question comes up frequently, "Is Chattanooga a bike friendly city?"  Bicycling Magazine has included Chattanooga in their top 50 American Bike Friendly Cities.(see here)  Pretty neat to be recognized.  But are we really a bike friendly city?  My answer is, compared to whom?  I could name a dozen ways just on the top of my head on how biking is better supported in other cities. Oh, to live in one of those places!

   But, in comparing us to other southeast cities, I guess we are pretty well biking advanced.  If you look at the map of where the cities are located, you will see the southeast if not well represented.  Chattanooga is the only bike friendly town in the 4 state area of Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi.  The south had a deeply ingrained auto culture that has been hard to break through to give bicycles a fighting chance.  I am proud that Chattanooga is breaking through that barrier to make headway and to have our efforts noted is a great achievement.  So yes, on a southern scale, we are very bike friendly.

  My reaction to hearing the news was similiar to the Lady J's reaction that she wrote for the Chattarati  We are not there yet, but we are trying.

  Now, if we truly want to be a bike friendly city, following the example of Copenhagen would be moving in the right direction.

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