Columbus, OH Has Big Plans for Bikes
According to a Columbus Dispatch article, the city of Columbus, OH has made a solid commitment to the future of bicycles. They plan to
add 31 miles of off-street trails and 58 miles of on-street bike lanes and routes.
Make N. High Street friendlier to bicyclists.
Build a Downtown bike station where two-wheel commuters would be able to change clothes and park their bikes.
The city has an ambitious 288 page plan on paper. They estimate that the
20-year plan has a total estimated cost of $167.6 million. About $20 million is required for the first phase, the Bicentennial Bikeway Plan, which has a target completion date of 2012.
I did some digging online, to see how the demographics of Columbus compare with those of Providence. Not surprisingly, Columbus has about four times as many people (711,470) as Providence (173,618) does. However, Providence is 2.75 times more dense (9,564/sq mile) than Columbus (3,471/sq mile). From the studies I’ve read, it’s pretty clear that cycling becomes more attractive as the density of people increases. This would indicate that Providence has the potential to be more bikeable than Columbus.
At present, I know Providence is in the early stages of a signing and striping campaign. My understanding is the striping is minimal. I haven’t a clue what it costs to put up signs, but if Providence were to invest a quarter of the money Columbus has proposed, would mean around $42 million over the next 20 years. So this begs the questions:
- Does Providence have a long term plan to provide funding for bicycle specific infrastructure, beyond the current signing and striping?
- How does the funding compare to what Columbus, OH has put on the table?
I’d welcome any comments from people in the know. If not, I’ll see if I can do some digging to turn up some numbers and long term plans.