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Matt commented on Cycling around Grand Rapids

Idaho Stop--yes please.

Group rides to increase awareness, street by street--truly a good idea. It will be tough to balance education with agitation, as a massive ride might aggravate drivers if executed during a high-volume portion of the day. Still, there is definitely something here.

Did anyone know about this Guaranteed Ride Home Program? (https://www.wmrideshare.org/guaranteed-ride). Basically, if you use alternative transportation and need an emergency ride home, you can get reimbursed up to $55 per use.

Also, here's a relevant article on bike commuting that recently came out from Rapid Growth: http://www.rapidgrowthmedia.com/features/bikinginGR_commuters.aspx

And here is the city's 21st-century mobility strategy.
http://s3.amazonaws.com/downtowngr.org/general/FinalDraftGRForward_GOAL3_MOBILITY_STRATEGY.pdf?mtime=20151105175248
In-depth (and promising!) bike discussion starts on page 212 (or page 32 as listed by the .pdf file).

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Matt commented on Cycling around Grand Rapids

Yep--that's the one!

I looked into it a bit more after I made my comments and found this: https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2016/11/bicycle_crashes_decline_follow.html.

It looks like the number of accidents involving cyclists decreased from 72 to 42 over the previous year: May-Sept 2016 vs. May-Sept 2015. This is great news but I don't think the campaign decreased the perceived divide between drivers and bikers. I still get random people yelling at me, I still have cars passing too close to me or riding right behind me, I still sit at lights that do not sense me and fail to change unless a car comes to a stop at the intersection. Worse yet, I do not know anyone who has chosen to start commuting to work via bike because it can be a scary thing to do for the first time--especially when you haven't been educated on how to safely ride among auto traffic.

I'm grateful for the GR Driving Change campaign as a baseline. But if we really want to change the way people drive, we need more bikers. If we want more bikers, we need stronger biking education.

There are some programs working toward this already--the GGRBC (https://www.bikegr.org/) is just one of several. I believe Spoke Folks and Boston Square also prioritize education.

With all of that said, I think I'm eager and impatient and perhaps my energy would be best used by getting involved with such an organization rather than arm-chairing from my computer screen.

And perhaps the bike-sharing scheme mentioned by Cristina will be a strong force for what I'm talking about. I'll have to look into that more too!

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Matt commented on Streetcars - Part of Our Past and Part of Our Future

Sadly, you're probably right. We may not have the room for the infrastructure required of an efficient streetcar. Perhaps we go underground or overground! I imagine the costs of either option are prohibitive to those who would be involved in such a project.