"With improved road surfaces, dedicated bike lanes and a wealth of resources for cyclists, the city that was once perceived of as blatantly antagonistic to riders now has a bike-friendly reputation nationwide."
So given the improved road surface on Earhart and Carrollton.... what's holding up PAINTING SOME BIKE LANES on Earhart & Carrollton... maybe even Leonidas..??? This seems a very EASY step to make.
If you want something to happen....
"The City Council has set a goal of attaining "gold" status by 2018."
You have to make a space for it! Painting bike lanes does just that....
Six years ago, bicycling from Canal Street to Poland Avenue would have been a ride fraught with challenges, including dodging traffic and avoiding cavernous potholes. But in the years since Hurricane Katrina, conditions have improved so dramatically that bikers are turning out in record numbers -- so much so that New Orleans has been designated a bronze level "Bike Friendly City" by the League of American Bicyclists.
Thanks to millions in disaster aid from the federal government, many miles of roads have been improved since 2005. The city footed the bill for adding bike lanes to the repaired roads, quadrupling its bike-lane mileage from 11 miles in 2005 to 44 miles today, with an additional 15 miles planned.
Studies conducted by Kathryn Parker of Tulane University's Prevention Research Center show that ridership along St. Claude Avenue increased by 57 percent after bike lanes were added in 2008. On South Carrollton Avenue, the number of cyclists jumped a whopping 225 percent after bike lanes were striped in 2010.
Richard Campanella began biking from his Bywater home to Tulane University, where he works as an urban geographer, nine years ago.
Thirty thousand miles later, Campanella can testify to the fact that many more commuter cyclists are on the streets. Although road conditions are a key reason, there are other factors motivating bikers as well, he said.
"There is an increasing appreciation nationwide of a simpler lifestyle involving biking and walking," Campanella said. "There's a rising interest, especially among young people, in sustainability and concern about global warming. And there is also a recession and high gas prices."
In New Orleans, 18 percent of households in the city don't own a car, a statistic partly responsible for fact that New Orleans ranks sixth among like-sized cities in the percentage of workers who commute to work by bike, according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau's 2009 American Community Survey.
Bart Everson, who has been commuting to work by bike for eleven years, said he started doing it to save money, but soon became hooked by the "sheer pleasure" biking brings.
"I carry a camera with me and I stop to take photos of interesting things, things I would never see or be able to appreciate in a car, much less be able to stop for," he said.
Everson is a major force behind the effort to create a 3.1-mile bike path along the derelict Lafitte Corridor, which will connect the French Quarter to Canal Boulevard, linking seven neighborhoods along the way.
Whether cyclists are spurred by economics, philosophy, health goals, pleasure or frustration, they now have a bounty of resources available to them that didn't exist a few years ago.
If they need a place to "park" a bike downtown or elsewhere in the city, they can rely on as many as 69 bike racks installed by "Where Ya' Rack?" an initiative of the Young Leadership Council. If they need a map of dedicated bike routes and lanes, they can log on to the web site of the nonprofit Bike Easy and find one.
If they're curious about biking conditions on a favorite back street, they can access "Chain Gang," a detailed map of street conditions generated by NolaCycle from data collected by volunteers. If they need inexpensive parts to repair a bike, they can visit Plan B, a bike co-op in Faubourg Marigny.
And if they plan to ride to a local event but don't know where to safely stash a bike, Bike Easy provides "Bicycle Valet" service at some events -- such as the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival, Wednesdays at the Square and the Lafitte Corridor Hike -- where bikes are stored in secure "corrals."
With improved road surfaces, dedicated bike lanes and a wealth of resources for cyclists, the city that was once perceived of as blatantly antagonistic to riders now has a bike-friendly reputation nationwide. But bronze level recognition just isn't good enough for some: The City Council has set a goal of attaining "gold" status by 2018.