A recent study determined Charlotte ranked 435 out of 566 American cities in rating America’s best places to bike. Well, it is not the last place, but the study illustrates that Queen City has a long way to go in becoming more bike-friendly.
Charlotte did receive higher rankings for bicyclists who choose to ride for fun or exercise, but the numbers who commute by bicycle or choose to travel around Charlotte by bike are extremely low.
The major reason for this minimal ridership results from the current bicycle network being inaccessible to everyone. Plus, the current system does not make bicyclists feel safe.
Charlotte bicycle accident attorneys at Price Petho & Associates P.L.L.C. can help those who have been impacted by these unsafe conditions.
Taking a closer look at the rankings.
This 2020 study, “America’s Best Places for Bikes,” conducted by People For Bikes rated the cities on a scale of one to five with five being the best. Charlotte received an overall score of 1.3 out of 5. The Low marks came in safety (1.2), biking network (1.3), and acceleration, the city’s commitment to creating and growing a bicycling community, receiving less than a point (0.5).
A lack of infrastructure and poor street design are two major factors for the low scores and have caused Charlotte to be seen as an unfriendly city for bikes. Promoting growth in biking commuting is an uphill battle when safety is in question.
This is not the first time Charlotte has failed the bicyclist. Studies and surveys from 2017 show Charlotte’s cyclist fatality rate was the third-highest in the country. Only Phoenix and Sacramento had a higher rate. Also in 2017, Charlotte was ranked the 12th most dangerous city in America for bicycling.
Consequences for poor grades
Over the last few years, the city has made significant strides in improving the perception of the city concerning bike friendliness. New bike lanes and riding trails have been added. The city has adopted groups like Charlotte BIKES.
New Bicycle Program funding has been allocated over the last two years for signature projects like the Cross Charlotte Trail and the 6th Street Cycle Track. The Charlotte Shared Streets was also started. Currently, this project temporarily designates eight streets strictly for biking, street walking, wheelchair rolling, skateboarding, and rollerblading.
Charlotte’s 2021 Fiscal-Year Budget also includes $4 million allocated for the creation and upkeep of bicycle programs.
What this means to you
Ultimately, all of these numbers represent people. People who have been injured or killed riding their bicycles. The unfortunate truth is riding a bicycle can be a dangerous experience. Even when you are wearing a helmet and following all the rules, you can still suffer severe injuries. Bicyclists not only have to look at vehicles, but they also have to be extremely cautious when navigating unsafe street conditions.
If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in a bicycle accident, contact the Charlotte personal injury lawyers of Price Petho & Associates P.L.L.C. or by calling 704.850.6322 for a free consultation.