Sunday, January 02, 2005

Bikes vs. Segway

The Missouri Bicycle News reports that the city of Columbia has purchased bicycles for their public works employees to be "used for experiencing the riders perspective when designing roadways or intersections and when evaluating locations that have been identified as potentially unsafe."

Designing safe, multi-use roadways is a well-studied phenomenon and it seems silly to think that engineers need to ride bikes to practice effective design--a thorough study of John Forester's book, Bicycle Transportation would certainly be sufficient.

Nevertheless, utilizing bicycles as transportation options for local government staff should be promoted.

Police have been doing this for years--although the recent trend by many big-city police departments using the ridiculous Segway should be of concern.

Never mind the fact that Segways don't add much aesthetically to the urban landscape, bicycles are much more versatile and inexpensive. More public servants on cycles will also improve the general awareness of bikes as efficient forms of transportation. Let's hope that the engineers in Columbia, MO translate their new commitment to multi-modal transportation into sensible road design.

(Linked to Outside the Beltway)