Why can't we just get along?

Bike Friendly?

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Editors Note: I originally wrote this 5 years ago on what was then a personal blog. Things haven’t changed much. It was revealed this week that Arkansas is the worst state in the country for bicycling. Although I do have concerns about how the ranking is calculated I also know that Arkansas has a long way to go to being bicycle friendly. I believe we are working in the right direction and I encourage you to join one of the active bicycle advocacy organizations we have to find out ways that you can help to improve cycling in Arkansas.

Also, as you enjoy the holiday weekend please watch for cyclists, pedestrians and others who may be on the roads. If you’re out riding, walking or running on roads and trails please be respectful of traffic laws and each other. 
I wish Little Rock was a city that had to find ways to be more car friendly. You know, one of those towns where the streets are clogged with bikes and walkers, maybe the occasional scooter. Buses were available to make the longer trip and cars were only used to get out of town or carry really large loads. But alas, like most American cities, it is not.
Yesterday my wife and I went for a bike ride to “test out” a route that she could take to her bus stop that takes her on the daily trip to work. We went on a Sunday morning because the traffic wouldn’t be so bad and we could try a few different things. The bus stop is near the Little Rock Zoo. This area has bike trails, a golf course, War Memorial Stadium and a park. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Well, there are no bike lanes to get there. If you are riding your bike to get to this beautiful green area you will need to ride some of the busiest roads and scariest intersections in the city.

I know that Little Rock has one of the most beautiful bike trails in the country. The River Trail, which takes riders, walkers, and runners on both sides of the Arkansas River and includes the Big Dam Bridge and will soon have another cool bridge on the east side (Clinton Library Bridge is now complete). It’s just wonderful to have but, how do you get there? Well, you put your bike on the rack and drive it over there. It is like this great hub with no spokes. We did just add bike racks to the buses. That was a very positive move but how do we get the buses to go anywhere but straight downtown. I have kicked around the idea of using this service to get to work but for the effort involved in riding to the bus stop, putting the bike on the rack and then taking it off to ride the short distance to work. I might as well just walk to the bus.

See also  Two Arkansas Cities Recognized for Bicycle Friendliness

Hopefully, we will figure this out one day. Whenever we do road work bike lanes should be added. Drivers training should include understanding the rights that cyclists have. As a kid, I rode a bike everywhere. Sometimes as much as 50 miles in a day all over the Washington D.C. area. Today, I wouldn’t let my kids ride a bike two blocks down the street. I have to load up the bike in the truck and take them somewhere to ride on the safe trails. They will never be the bike rider that I am. They will just be another car on the roads.

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2 Responses

  1. When I told you to go play outside, I expected you to tell me where you were playing! Dad found your blog first… Extreme! Looking good and sounding better! KJ

  2. I put it on the family blog but I don’t think anyone is getting updates anymore. I also put up video of Mc’s piano recital.

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