How Can Laws Promote Bicycling?

Over coming months, we’re breaking down the building blocks of a Bicycle Friendly Community, and the first step is a solid legal foundation. While we’ve made many gains over the years, there are still plenty of examples “legal impediments” to bicycling. Last week, we looked at those impediments in more detail. Today, I’m looking at the oppostie: the city ordinances that improve or promote bicycling, which is a good marker for a Bicycle Friendly Community.

One easily visible example is a bicycle parking ordinance like the one in Santa Monica, Calif., which not only ensures an adequate supply of racks at destinations, but also requires event organizers to have monitored bicycle parking for 200 – 250 bikes if attendance is expected to reach 1,000 or more (requiring 3 attendants).

Better yet, the Santa Monica Bike Center, a non-profit and League Platinum Bicycle Friendly Business, is often contracted to provide this service, and the funds raised subsidize and expand the Center’s educational programs. When other event participants come to realize how much easier it is to arrive by bike (and have free parking valet service!) the word spreads and events become bicycle attractors rather than a frustrating cause of increased congestion.