Biking can be a great form of transportation. In McMinnville, our city is small enough that biking across town does not take that long, and if it was easy to bike across town, someone could use a bike to get a lot of their trips and errands done without depending on a car. There are also all of the health benefits of active transportation to consider!
Avid cyclists may not mind riding their bike in the street, riding close to and right alongside cars, and occasionally having to move into traffic to negotiate their way around a parked car, at a stop sign, or through an intersection with a stop light. However, that type of bike riding could be scary for some people, and it definitely is not an environment that small children or most families would feel comfortable riding in.
This has been supported by research and studies, which have found that “Americans have varying levels of tolerance for traffic stress, which is a combination of perceived danger and other stressors (e.g., noise, exhaust fumes) associated with riding a bike close to motor traffic. While a small fraction of the population will tolerate sharing a road with heavy or fast traffic, a large majority is 'traffic-intolerant,' willing to tolerate only a small degree of traffic stress. According to one popular scheme for classifying riders, the traffic-intolerant majority is called 'interested but concerned,' in contrast to the 'enthused and confident' and the 'strong and fearless,' smaller groups that will tolerate greater levels of stress.”
Are there other options for bike facilities that more people would be comfortable using? Perhaps an expanded off-street bike trail system or protected bike lanes that provide connections, not only between residential areas, but also to other destinations such as our schools, the historic downtown, and other shops and stores. Are there missing links or specific areas in McMinnville that make traveling through town by bike difficult? Should those types of things be included as a Great Neighborhood Principle?
"Great Neighborhood Principles" will help us explore what makes a neighborhood in