Friday, February 26, 2010

North American Pearls

If Boston's confounding roads have never been easy to explore by car, imagine the obstacles visiting bicyclists face. In 2006 Bicycling magazine put the city on its list of America's worst cities for cycling—for the third time. Enter Mayor Thomas Menino. Recognizing the benefits of a bike-friendly culture—for the environment, to ease traffic congestion, for public health—the mayor appointed a former Olympic cyclist as the city's bike coordinator, launched an annual cycling event, and became a biker himself. The city installed 15 miles of bike lanes and distributed 40,000 cycling maps. While Boston has a long way to go, Bicycling named it a "future best city" in 2008. Cities from Louisville to Los Angeles are ramping up their bike accessibility, and visitors are a big part of the game plan. The result may be a boost in car-free tourism across North America, like that which has existed in European cities such as Amsterdam and Copenhagen for years. These are the leaders among North America's bike-friendly cities: Portland, New York, Chicago, San Diego, San Francisco, Montreal, Washington D.C., Tucson. Read more here.