Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tacoma News Tribune: "BIke Lanes are a Key Element in Complete Streets"

The Tacoma News Tribune printed a great editorial today about complete street, bike lanes, and traffic calming in North Tacoma.

It is a worthwhile read and it is encouraging to see the TNT get it right again on transportation issues.

The messaging around quality of life, public health, and climate change is right on:

For instance, within the next several weeks, bike lanes will be added to South 12th Street between Sprague and Union avenues. To accommodate the change, the eastbound two lanes will go down to one lane.

Critics of such changes often ask why capacity should be taken from motorized users and given to bike lanes when there aren’t that many bicyclists. One reason is that cyclists may be avoiding a particular street because it’s so dangerous. Build bike lanes and more people likely will be willing to venture out and use them, perhaps even switching from cars to bikes for at least some of their transportation needs.

From a quality-of-life perspective, making that choice available is important. Fewer cars means less pollution. More people riding bikes means healthier residents. Little wonder that the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department is a key supporter of the Complete Streets concept.

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