Saturday, February 25, 2012

Our changing streets - Eugene bike paths

More bikes means more eyes on the street. That can cut crime. Last week I spent time working with my Safe Cascadia friends in Eugene, Oregon, one of the most bike friendly cities in the country. Recently Eugene copied other bike friendly cities (Davis CA, Portland OR) by installing special bike traffic signals. They have also dedicated half a roadway to bike lanes.

Three thoughts come to mind.

1) From what I saw, Eugene cyclists seem unaccustomed to stopping at red lights. Police enforcement may become the new vogue (last year cops issued 114 tickets for bikes running stop lights and signs). Thousands of lost and stolen bikes already clog police evidence rooms. Clearly, bike enforcement is a growth industry.

2) Bike trails might also put illegitimate eyes on the street (drug dealers, burglars). Police rarely target bike criminals. Bike cops can do that but bike cops are an underfunded and small part of police patrol.

3) There are comments in an earlier blog about assaults on the Pinellas Trail in Florida. That 30-mile trail has added security features due to crime concerns.

All which leads me to ask: Could the design and siting of bike trails need more CPTED and security attention?

That's a rhetorical question.

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