On Sunday, thousands of Santa Rosans braved cold, wet weather to demonstrate their appreciation for the sport of cycling. If you were out there, you know this was a true test of loyalty. Still, the city won’t be confused with famous cycling towns such as Davis or Boulder, Colorado. As Staff Writer Kerry Benefield reported on Sunday – read her story here – Santa Rosa lacks the dedicated bike lanes and the convenient bike racks that make cities bicycle friendly.
In July, during a visit to another celebrated bike town, Portland, Oregon, I wrote about innovative urban design and the emphasis Portland places on making life easier for bike riders. In Portland, for example, prominent parking spaces are given over to bike corrals.
Andy Cotugno, planning director for the regional agency known as Portland Metro, told me that local businesses there lobby for these bike spaces. “They know their market well,” he said, “and recognize that parking 15 bikes is better than one car.”
Portland is known as “Biketown, U.S.A.” If Santa Rosa wants to be mentioned in the same category, people will need to ride their bikes and to insist that city officials do more to support bikes as a way to get around the city.