Summary of Proposed "Best Bicycling Routes" Plan
Shreveport is a bikeable city. It has a relatively flat landscape, mild weather, and many grid networks of residential streets. However, bicycling for transportation within the city is often perceived by residents as difficult, dangerous, and unwelcomed by motorists. This proposal recommends a number of inexpensive actions that can make Shreveporters see their city as more bikable, and can entice many of them to often choose to cycling over driving. Implementing these suggestions can enhance Shreveport's quality of life, by making its residents to see bicycling as a safe, efficient, healthy, and pleasant form of transportation.
Increasing the visibility of the bicycling option is important for motorists as much as for cyclists. The visible presense of bicycle symbols in lanes, sharrows, and route signs hightens motorists' awareness of the possibility of cyclists. That visibility also increases cyclists' sense of security, and their rights to share the road with motorists.
Bike lanes and "sharrows" are among the bicycling symbols that would increase the presense of the cycling option in both motorists and potential cyclists. In many instances, we propose using "sharrows" instead of bike lanes, as lanes can be interpretted to imply that bicycling is inappropriate on streets without such lanes.
We also propose displaying on signs that indicate "best" bike routes, not to imply that cyclists cannot use alternative routes, but that biking is most pleasant on the recommended routes. Streets would be painted with sharrow symbols that indicate the routes, and signs would be posted indicating routes.
In addition to route signage, maps of the network of routes would be periodically and strategically posted as well. Cyclists would use the maps to plan routes to their destinations.
We would also suggest that a public service campaign be mounted that would promote use of the best routes network, as well as educate cyclists and motorists in safe cycling practices and rights of road sharing.