This year’s National Bike Summit is a bit low-key compared to recent years — the excitement of working with a Democratic president and Democratic-control Congress has been tempered by the midterm elections and the need to work with a GOP House bent on budget cuts. As a result, this year’s big “ask” is that Congress not cut spending for active transport projects. But that isn’t to say that there’s not some good action going down.
Beyond the naming of 55 new Bicycle Friendly Businesses — including the City of Minneapolis and Clockwork Active Media Systems — today’s big reveal at the Summit was the new National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) Urban Bikeway Design Guide. Unveiled by New York City’s controversial Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, the Design Guide provides cities with practical, working solutions to help create complete streets that are safe and enjoyable for bicyclists.
While some of the recommendations are not included in either the AASHTO Guide to Bikeway Facilities or the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) — which can sometimes limit adoption in some jurisdictions — many of the recommendations are already in use in Minneapolis. Donald Pflaum of the Minneapolis Department of Public Works, a long-time friend to cyclists in Minneapolis, was one contributor to the new guideline process.
The knowledge-sharing embodied in this document is an outstanding tool for cities across the country to tackle creating communities with increased friendliness to active transportation via contextual complete streets solutions.
Image of NACTO bike box by Richard Masoner, via Flickr/Creative Commons