?! Santa Fe a bike-friendly town ?!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    lurker spaz
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    Idea! ?! Santa Fe a bike-friendly town ?!

    Maybe someday soon...

    http://www.santafenewmexican.com/mai...rticleID=44418

    Santa Fe striving to become bicycle friendly

    Jill Janov | For The New Mexican


    Sunny and festive year round, this mountain town attracts cyclists from around the world because of its picturesque winding streets with clearly marked bicycle lanes.

    Local residents also bike to work and to shops along the city's seamless network of smoothly paved bicycle routes. Bike racks are everywhere. Motorists are courteous. The roads are clean, and traffic congestion is minimal.

    Sound like Santa Fe? Of course not. But this is how local bicyclist Dan Baker imagines the Santa Fe of tomorrow -- and several city officials are behind him.

    "Santa Fe is perfect for bikes because it's compact," Baker said. "It would be a dream of mine to go downtown one Saturday morning and see a couple hundred people on bikes going from art gallery to coffee shop. Someday I hope it will happen."

    It's happened elsewhere. Portland models bicycle friendliness. The city is a paradise for cyclists with its ample bike parking, safe routes and bicycle celebrations, all backed by political leaders, dedicated city staff, comprehensive bicycle plans and effective bicycle advocates. Oregon mandates funding for bike facilities from gas-tax revenues.

    The benefits are countless. Portland's efforts have curbed sprawl and traffic congestion, promoted smart growth, reduced the need for parking lots, revitalized downtown areas and motivated residents to get active. Best of all, residents have transportation choices.

    Public-health experts say Americans are inactive in part because communities are designed around cars. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is studying how neighborhood design influences residents' levels of physical activity.

    Citizens in cities such as Chicago; Copenhagen; Curitiba, Brazil; and Palo Alto, Calif., have seized the streets back from the automobile with bicycle-friendly decisions about land use and transportation.

    "It think that it's a good idea," said Santa Fe City Councilor David Pfeffer. "I'm 100 percent behind bikes and the council is solidly behind it. It's healthy. It's fun. It's clean. It's nonpolluting. It gets people away from television, and it's quiet. It has all the good things, and there are no bad things about it."

    Pfeffer admits Santa Fe has a long way to go.

    Many roads in Santa Fe and the surrounding county have no space for bicyclists, fast-moving traffic, potholes, broken pavement, dangerous drain grates and debris. Some paved shoulders are not striped. Others end abruptly, forcing bikes into traffic.

    "It's an uphill battle," Pfeffer said. "We're starting with bike lanes, and we're addressing the conflicts between traffic-calming measures and bicycle safety."

    In April, the city approved spending $1.5 million for hike and bike trails and on-street bicycle improvements. A bicycle and trail advisory committee chaired by City Councilor Patti Bushee will advise the City Council how to spend the money.

    The committee's next meeting is open to the public and begins at 5 p.m. Tuesday in Sweeney Center.

    Bushee said the fund could support various types of bicycling and pedestrian projects. Bike advocate Baker is urging the committee to consider on-street bicycle amenities and not just recreational trails. Trails are suited for joggers and dog walkers and not ideal for cyclists.

    Other city efforts have included updating bike and trail maps, reviewing bike and pedestrian plans, connecting bike-route networks, adding bike racks on buses and ensuring new traffic signals detect cyclists as well as cars.

    "We're closer than ever to committing resources -- both human and fiscal -- toward implementing a more bicycle and pedestrian friendly strategy for Santa Fe," Bushee said. "It's not only smart for the health of our local citizens and for their recreation pleasure, it's also an issue of economic development."

    This economic development could include a boost in bicycle tourism.

    When Bushee first came to Santa Fe, she noticed it was not a bike-friendly town. She said it's slowly improved in recent years thanks to vocal bicycle advocates, bicycle-friendly city councilors and support from U.S. Rep. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M.

    "It's a goal of mine to see that people can ride their bikes from downtown to the community college -- that there would be a safe way to get from one side of town to the other on bicycle, on foot or whatever means they choose, other than a car," Bushee said.

    Mayor Larry A. Delgado will issue a proclamation Wednesday stating that Santa Fe strives to be regarded as one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the nation and attain high marks from Bicycling Magazine when it ranks America's most bicycle-friendly communities. The proclamation also will urge Santa Feans, especially city workers, to ride to work on May 14 -- Bike-to-Work Day.

    For information about Bike-to-Work Day or about cycling in Santa Fe, visit http://www.bikenm.org. For information about bike-friendly cities, visit http://www.bicyclefriendlycommunity.org. If you have comments about road conditions for cyclists in Santa Fe, call the city traffic engineer's office at 955-6619.

    Every Thursday in Out and About, Santa Fe residents Jill Janov and Ben Delaney provide ideas, tips and commentary about outdoor activities, sports and gear. Contact them at [email protected] or [email protected].

  2. #2
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    Got a good chuckle out of the beginning of that article.... more of one at the end online at the website, with all the reader comments, including one wise guy who actually proposed bike or pedestrian only access to the plaza! Geez. If I worked at J. Crew, I'd want to be able to park <i>right in front!</i> The discussion months ago about closing just the plaza off to traffic met with an awful lot of resentment and nay-saying by those who work "downtown". Heaven forbid if one had to walk 1/10th the distance from their car to their place-of-work that I used to walk to get to the subway in NYC to get to work!
    "It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you haven't..." -

  3. #3
    lurker spaz
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    ... and if we just ... Actually...

    Quote Originally Posted by glenzx
    with all the reader comments, including one wise guy who actually proposed bike or pedestrian only access to the plaza! Geez.
    I suggested pedestrian / bike only access to all of downtown! I was really hoping someone would take that bait . Oh well! Cutting off car access to just the plaza would be an easy sell in comparison.

    Dr.F.

  4. #4
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    ... and if we just ... How's this for bike friendly?

    Dan showing off the bikenm.org letters
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