As some of you know I am a member of the Washoe Regional Transit Commission’s Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee. And you also know that I ride 3+ times a week in all weather, traffic and road conditions. And you know that I’ve put a lot of thought into matters of bicycle commuting, traffic safety and the Reno bike community. Here are some of my thoughts:

The north/south Reno bicycle route thing is good and half done already in a number of ways. Forest St. is great to Lakeside and Lakeside is great to Moana Ln. and Plumas is great to McCarran. I don’t think we should expect a clear route with no turns.

Moana is a best case, but only from Neil to Longley, then it’s a deathtrap. (quite literally) And I see 5+ other cyclists on it every day.

The routes are there. We just need to connect them. And Meadowood mall should be deemphasized as a transit hub. It’s already the bus hub making bus trips beyond it impractical. Not to mention the fact that Meadowood is dangerous to approach from the south on a bike.

Even where there are great bike lanes cars still cross over. We need rumble strips between traffic and bikes.

And we consistently get bewildered looks from motorists who can’t adapt to the presence of a cyclist and drive and dial the cellphone at the same time, leading one to believe that driver education and law enforcement are lacking.

And on and on. The map thing isn’t a waste. [RTC BPAC has been assigned to revise, update and ground-truth the Truckee Meadows Bike Map] At it’s best, as Carson City, Tahoe and Truckee show, it is a marketing effort that benefits residents as much as visitors by raising awareness. If we need to ground truth it we should do it. We should design and market the map as the foundation for our assertion that 1) Reno is a great place to be a cyclist, 2) a lot of Reno residents ride bikes a lot, and 3) more needs to be done to insure the safe access to streets for those residents.

I’m going to take photos of every spot on my section and document it on Flickr with descriptions and tags and then we can add those images to a google map.

In the end I think the issue is simple. The streets are designed for CARS because most people drive cars. We just need to show that enough bikes are using the streets that it warrants spending money to better optimize streets for cars + bikes. As more citizens begin to ride bikes then the city and RTC and fed will be failing a larger percentage of the population, and support will grow. We should figure out how best to use and mobilize those numbers. I think RTC understands that, and that’s why we are here; to help as Reno transitions into the best cycling city in the west!

-M