The Great Columbia Transportation Race

Sunday, November 18, 2007 | 8:34 p.m. CST; updated 7:57 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 8, 2008

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Steve MacIntyre November 19, 2007 | 11:54 a.m.

This is a great study. It succinctly illustrates the superior efficiency of bicycles for trips up to 3 miles in length. Many people forget to factor in the walking trips at either end of a journey, which are usually significantly farther for motorists than bicyclists.

I have a few comments regarding the trip to Columbia Regional Hospital:
1. The chosen bicycle route distance appears on the map to be much farther than the car route, but the car route distance is indicated as farther (3.1 miles, as opposed to 2.9 by bicycle). Is this correct?
2. While I understand that the issue of perceived safety is more important to many inexperienced bicyclists, I would argue that taking Broadway is safer than the Walnut/Conley route, for the following reasons:
a. Broadway has wide lanes, and an additional lane for cars to pass, as well as a pedway along the new portion to the east of Old 63 for much of the 45 mph speed zone
b. Cutting through the Lowes/Sam's Club parking lots at the end of Walnut Street means passing through very busy truck loading and customer parking lots where erratic automobile and pedestrian behavior seems much more likely to result in traffic conflicts and accidents (albeit at slower speeds than on Broadway)

Again, I want to commend the contributors on this illustration. I hope it encourages more people to try bicycling and other more sustainable transportation options.

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