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City planning TikToker calls attention to discrepancy in bike infrastructure: 'An unacceptable way to build cycle paths'

"The way cities are designed play a huge role in how people get around."

"The way cities are designed play a huge role in how people get around."

Photo Credit: TikTok

An architecture account on TikTok explained why residents of certain North American cities might not use bike lanes despite seemingly favorable weather conditions for traveling on two wheels.

The TalkingCities account (@talkingcities) looked at statistics showing different locations in the United States and Canada and the percentage of people who bike to work.

@talkingcities Answer @gonzalobelden #greenscreen The way cities are designed play a huge role in how we get around #urbanplanning #urbandesign ♬ original sound - TalkingCities

The host observed that in California, only 0.8% of people use pedal power on the way to the day job, despite having a climate that would seemingly benefit folks who want to cycle. Meanwhile, in Yukon, Canada, a territory known for its colder conditions, the region has more than double that statistic.

What makes the difference is the type of cycle path residents can access. TalkingCities observed that cities with painted lines on roads to designate a cycle lane are much less appealing than a lane fully separated from the road.

Cyclists are understandably wary of vehicles, as drivers often don't follow speed limits or pay as much attention to cyclists as other motorists. And that's before we even get into rolling coal, in which some drivers modify their vehicles to emit plumes of black smoke at will, often in the direction of people viewed as environmentally conscious, like cyclists.

"The way cities are designed play a huge role in how people get around," TalkingCities said, noting that appropriate infrastructure is a key factor in transport decisions made by residents.

The comments section on TikTok seemed to know this issue all too well.

"I feel so unsafe riding my bike when I'm only a couple feet away from cars and the only protection I have is a painted white line," one user said.

"I hate the painted white lines," TalkingCities replied. "Such an unacceptable way to build cycle paths."

Bicycles and e-bikes are far better for the environment than gas-guzzling cars, and they also help riders to stay healthy. But if people want to improve their personal fitness or reduce planet-warming pollution, they should feel safe while doing so.

As TalkingCities observed, better city planning can make a huge difference in encouraging more people to swap dirty fuel–powered cars for more environmentally friendly alternatives.

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