Can we re-think the sidewalk and the bike lane?

Bicycle Lanes retrofitted into grocery store parking lot-small Bike and Pedestrian Lanes Mulhouse #3

I have placed these two images from Europe in several social media channels, in order to stoke discussion about whether similar approaches could work here.  For the sake of discussion let’s defer on whether the differences between European and American engineering design, safety standards and/or laws-ordinances would allow these or similar designs in the Roanoke Valley.  Instead, let’s assume that developers could re-purpose a portion of a mall or grocery store parking lot to contain pedestrian paths and/or bike lanes; or that local governments could re-configure the concept of a sidewalk as a multi-user path.

Do you think it would work here?  Would developers be interested in participating?  Would a different approach to the concept of a sidewalk help increase our “amenities” from economic development and transportation perspectives?  Do you have new and different ideas on non-motorized transportation?  Do you have your own pictures of non-motorized transportation infrastructure that you can share via a link in the comment box?

We would like your feedback and discussion.  Please use the comment boxes below to add your ideas. 

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5 thoughts on “Can we re-think the sidewalk and the bike lane?

  1. Dave

    You are asking the wrong question. Rather than asking, “can we do this? will they let us?” I would ask Is a place with a network of these someplace you’d like to live? Would you like to use something like this? If your communiy values it, then you can find a way to make it happen.

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  2. Lee

    Mark,

    I applaud your interest in this topic.
    My background – I have been involved in riding a road bike for about 25 years although I do not, and have never, use my bike as a means to get to work or shop. All my riding is for fun and health and some social benefit. \
    My thought – I do not have any data to support this idea but I believe we, as a country, are too heavily involved with the auto, at this time, to make much of a shift to using the bicycle for transportation. I’m guessing there are a number of reasons that contribute to this but if our national “mind set” doesn’t change we will never have many people engaged in riding, regardless of the road or sidewalk or trail.

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  3. Chris

    Having lived in Europe for a number of years I have seen how they have blended auto’s, buses and bikes in a very safe and productive way. Because of this many Europeans do bike to work and shopping to avoid the very high price of gas. I’d support better bike lanes in the region. I see the challenge of motorists sharing the road. As a bicyclist and motocycilist I know we are not there yet!

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