Protected Bike Lane meeting
Eight months after opening the King Street protected bike lanes experience has been overwhelmingly positive. As of June, cycling rates were up 79% (from 381 to 720 in a 12 hour count). People bicycling on the sidewalk had decreased from 70% to 9%.
With the King Street protected bike lane, Honolulu joined 70 other American cities embracing protected bike lane design in use in Europe for decades. The real power in protected bike lanes is that they make bicycling accessible to the masses. National surveys have found around two-thirds of people would like to bicycle more, but need bikeways protected from cars to feel comfortable cycling. HBL’s survey of bicyclists and potential bicyclists on Oahu found that 77% preferred protected bike lanes or bike paths.
The King Street protected bike lane is just the start of a network needed to truly make cycling accessible. A Minimum Grid of protected bike lanes that bring one within a half-mile of everyone in Honolulu and one-mile of everyone in urbanized Oahu is needed to make cycling safe, convenient, and accessible.
The opportunity to transform Honolulu shouldn’t be understated. Starting in 2009, Washington DC started investing big in protected bike lanes, working to build a network. In the four subsequent years cycling rates increased from 2.5% to 5% of commute trips. This is a long way from the 45% bicycle rate of Copenhagen, but it’s headed in the right direction.
The City knows that we need a Minimum Grid of protected bike lanes and will be revealing their plans to begin building this network at a September 1, 2015 public meeting. A key part of this is the City’s commitment to construct at least one new protected bike lane each year in 2015 and 2016.
Come to the Tuesday 9/1/15 6:00pm meeting at Neil S. Blaisdell Center, Hawaii Suite to show your support for the implementation a Minimum Grid of protected bike lanes that will make cycling truly accessible to all.