Monday, May 16, 2011

Fredericton Bicycle Infrastructure and Brookside Park and Go

The weather here has been miserable and I have not had a chance to cycle around the city much. When it rains in Fredericton, it most definitely rains. Most people in this city depend on their cars to get around when the weather is bad, but fail to see the advantages of public transit or using their own body. The environmental benefits are obvious, as it reduces CO2 emissions other than the emissions required to actually build the bicycle. Social benefits are also obvious, as you are not surrounded by plastic, steel and glass, thus exposed to the people around you. How often do people pass each other in their cars and flip them off, honk and act like an idiot? On a bicycle, you can reach out and say hello. I suppose one could say it would be a better place?

Fredericton does not invest heavily in street cycling infrastructure, at least not evidently. Yes, there are many places to lock your bike, use the washroom, get a drink and have a smooth surface to ride on, but there is little to accommodate the cyclists on city streets. Downtown, the streets are narrower and many motorists become impatient travelling behind a slow cyclist. Frankly, I do not feel safe with an impatient motorist a few inches behind me. I understand it’s hard to accommodate cyclists downtown with it’s current plans in an old city, but I urge the city to think of the future when building new streets. I will admit, our downtown is beautiful and full of unique little shops run by excellent entrepreneurs.

Also, to anyone from Fredericton who cares to read my blog- Apparently the shuttle bus from Brookside Mall to Downtown is doing excellent! Need I remind you, it is FREE. During the Princess Margaret Bridge closure, don’t hesitate to park your car at Carleton Park and walk/cycle downtown or carpool with a buddy. On Wednesday mornings, you can even walk with the mayor on the walking bridge. It’s a great way to appreciate your city and meet new people. On random dates, there were also be prizes awarding citizens using alternative ways to get around.

Here is a beautiful picture of Fredericton's downtown during the winter, courtesy of Caveat.Doctor via flickr.


Stick around for tomorrow, and I will share what kind of bicycle I use, tips and ideas.

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