AARP Wants More Bike Lanes on Roads with 'Complete Streets' initiative

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One of the largest non-profit organizations in the world is on the side of city and suburban bikers. Boasting 40,000,000 members, the AARP represents the interests of people over the age of 50.

With an initiative launched in 2009, AARP called on city planners and public officials to design something it calls “complete streets.”

These streets feature sidewalks, transit facilities, signalized crosswalks, and — the kicker— in-road bike lanes.

The concept is not news. But this month an executive at the organization updated AARP members on the idea.

“For years, U.S. transportation policy has focused almost entirely on construction and maintenance of roads to accommodate more cars,” wrote Nancy LeaMond, executive vice-president of the AARP. “And while cars are obviously critical to our transportation network, they are only part of the equation.”

LeaMond said that the AARP is “pleased” that transportation planners are expanding their view and design of travel networks to accommodate all modes of travel (driving, walking, public transportation, and cycling).

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Diagram from AARP “Complete Streets” report

The League of American Bicyclists recently released a ranking of states, with North Dakota named least bike friendly state in the union. One reason for poor rankings was a lack of dedicated bicycle infrastructure, something addressed by the Complete Streets initiative.

Why does the AARP care? Key points in the AARP report address…

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Posted by Hotmann - 06/11/2013 03:08 PM

Having “Complete Streets” is unbelievably nice as a cyclist. I grew up in west Texas where riding a bike is almost shameful. I had to pick routes through neighborhoods because no major roads have bike lanes and the high speed limits make biking on them very dangerous (although I did it occasionally). Now that I live in Fort Collins, where 90+% of streets have a bike lane, I am able to bike safely anywhere in the city and don’t have to make complicated route plans.

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