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Bike Infrastructure As A Public Health Issue

Cycling is often promoted as a neighborhood revitalization tool and sustainable transportation option, but it’s easy to forget that it’s a public health and safety issue too. Every block of protected bike lane is a subtle yet important victory: A possible heart attack prevented. An automobile crash avoided. A day of feeling good being physically active instead of sitting in traffic.

There’s enough information available about the benefits of cycling that it amazes me that every city in the country isn’t making this stuff a priority. Even places that do get it sometimes have to be prodded a bit. Check out East Harlem, NYC:

This is the story about how East Harlem residents and street safety advocates — with leadership from Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito — banded together to win complete streets on First and Second Avenues. After the city backtracked on a plan to build protected bike lanes and pedestrian refuges up to 125th Street on the East Side of Manhattan, this coalition mobilized to put the project back on the table. Later, when the safety improvements came under attack from a few business owners, public health professionals joined Mark-Viverito and NYC DOT to combat misinformation about the redesign and see it through to implementation. Source: Street Films