I’m looking forward to Sunday, March 19, 2013. That’s the day Daylight Savings Time begins, and it’s essentially the debut of spring. (Okay, the official start comes 24 hours later.)
After a long winter here in Colorado marked by black, icy backroads, thoughts of an extra hour of sunshine-infused riding time are pretty appealing. My four-mile bike trip home will benefit. Our weekend bicycling window will expand, too.
Yes, I’m pretty excited about the coming of spring, but it’s mostly about the big picture. This should be a sensational season of progress for bicycling throughout in America.
The upcoming launches of bike-sharing systems in New York (5,500 bikes) and Chicago (4,000) should be amazing. Both of these cities have been working hard (and fast) to make bike riding safer and easier by building better bikeways. In a few months, many thousands will experience these improvements for the first time when they try bike sharing. (By the way, systems are now operating in more than two dozen U.S. cities).
Our Green Lane Project will continue to thrive. The actual number of U.S. green lanes, which are separated and (often) protected spaces for bike riding in cities, doubled from 50 to 100 during the last 12 months. In 2013, the total could very well double again.
This is the year we push toward (and hopefully beyond) our goal of one million supporters for PeopleforBikes.org. Seems like yesterday that PFB was a just an ambitious idea—a way to unite and activate more Americans who love bicycling. Building political clout is still a key goal as we move into phase II. (Please stay tuned.)
During the last five years, the federal government has invested nearly $4 billion in more than 14,000 projects that make bicycling and walking safer. Cities and states have contributed even more. It’s no wonder that during this stretch the number of trips made by bicycle has doubled (or close) in so many U.S. cities. Chances are better this spring that you’ll find networks of safe and appealing trails, paths and lanes close to where you live.
I’m all for the adventure and quiet of cold-weather (even in-the-snow and in-the-dark) riding. But I am so ready for March 19. It’s time to spring forward.