Bike Baton Rouge News
Find out about what's new for Bike Baton Rouge. Browse and click on the headlines below to read more, or use the search feature to find keywords.
- Dec 15, 2017 But it's too hard!! Dec 15, 2017
- Nov 16, 2017 Big Changes! Nov 16, 2017
- Oct 30, 2017 Bike Baton Rouge Receives Grant Funding from New Belgium Brewery Oct 30, 2017
- Oct 23, 2017 ACTION ALERT : Metro Council to vote on Bike Share funding. Oct 23, 2017
- Oct 20, 2017 Why did the pedestrian cross the road? Your rights as a pedestrian. Oct 20, 2017
- Oct 16, 2017 Councilwoman Wicker Rides with Bike Baton Rouge Oct 16, 2017
- Sep 26, 2017 Who's Who of Baton Rouge Bike and Ped Advocacy (Part 2) Sep 26, 2017
- Sep 1, 2017 Member's General Meeting Thursday 9/7 Sep 1, 2017
- Aug 9, 2017 Who's Who of Baton Rouge Bike and Ped Advocacy (Part 1) Aug 9, 2017
- Aug 3, 2017 Bi-monthly meeting date change! Aug 3, 2017
- Aug 3, 2017 Volunteer for the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project! Aug 3, 2017
- Jul 25, 2017 The misunderstood link between bike lanes, sidewalks, and crime Jul 25, 2017
- Jul 21, 2017 Who pays for transportation improvements - and what are they paying for? Jul 21, 2017
- Apr 13, 2017 Riding in Baton Rouge - A note on riding on sidewalks Apr 13, 2017
- Apr 11, 2017 PRESS RELEASE : Bike Baton Rouge announce winners of annual Mike Bitton Awards Apr 11, 2017
- Mar 21, 2017 PRESS RELEASE : Bike Baton Rouge promotes spring bike safety with tips for motorists and bicyclists Mar 21, 2017
- Feb 27, 2017 Meet the Board - Sarah Schramm Feb 27, 2017
- Feb 16, 2017 PRESS RELEASE : Bike Baton Rouge presents #mybikestory week Feb 16, 2017
- Nov 15, 2016 PRESS RELEASE : Cranksgiving bike ride combines donation drive and scavenger hunt for a good cause. Nov 15, 2016
- Oct 21, 2016 PRESS RELEASE : Mayoral candidates comment on bicycling in Baton Rouge Oct 21, 2016
- Oct 7, 2016 Open letter to Baton Rouge's Mayoral Candidates Oct 7, 2016
- Oct 6, 2016 Meet the Board - Tina Ufford Oct 6, 2016
- Oct 4, 2016 PRESS RELEASE : Bike Baton Rouge to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month Oct 4, 2016
- Sep 26, 2016 Announcement - Bike Baton Rouge Annual General Meeting and By-Laws vote - October 5th at 7pm Sep 26, 2016
- Sep 7, 2016 Launching the Official Baton Rouge Bike Map! Sep 7, 2016
- Sep 7, 2016 PRESS RELEASE : Bike Baton Rouge launches Official Baton Rouge Bike Map Sep 7, 2016
- Aug 22, 2016 Meet the Board - Part 7 - Michael Domingue Aug 22, 2016
- Aug 1, 2016 August Metro Council Meetings and Green Light Plan Tax/Millage Aug 1, 2016
- Jul 14, 2016 Meet the Board - Part 6 - Claire Pittman Jul 14, 2016
- Jun 2, 2016 Bike Baton Rouge Updates and News Jun 2, 2016
- May 31, 2016 Meet the Board - Part 5 - Samantha Morgan May 31, 2016
- May 24, 2016 Meet the Board - Part 4 - Mika Torkkola May 24, 2016
- May 23, 2016 Senate Bill No. 171 heading to final House reading on Tuesday! May 23, 2016
- May 17, 2016 Meet the Board - Part 3 - Alaric 'Ric' Haag May 17, 2016
- May 15, 2016 Bike to Work Week - Events and Information May 15, 2016
- May 13, 2016 Press Release - Bike Baton Rouge presents National Bike to Work Week (5/16 - 5/20) May 13, 2016
- May 9, 2016 Meet the Board - Part 2 - Doug Moore May 9, 2016
- May 4, 2016 Senate Bill No. 171 to be heard Wednesday May 11th. May 4, 2016
- May 2, 2016 Meet the Board - Part 1 - Mark Martin May 2, 2016
- May 2, 2016 Press Release - Bike Baton Rouge recognizes bicycling advocates at Mike Bitton Awards ceremony May 2, 2016
- Apr 28, 2016 May is National Bike Month - join our challenge! Apr 28, 2016
- Apr 27, 2016 A brief history of "Yeah, Bike!" Apr 27, 2016
- Apr 20, 2016 Announcing the recipients of the 2016 Mike Bitton Awards Apr 20, 2016
- Apr 20, 2016 Press release - Bike Baton Rouge announce winners of annual Mike Bitton Awards Apr 20, 2016
- Apr 18, 2016 Press release : Bike Baton Rouge Parks over 400 bikes at April Festivals Apr 18, 2016
- Apr 17, 2016 Welcome to the new site - bikebr.org Apr 17, 2016
- Apr 13, 2016 Press release - Bike Baton Rouge applauds passing of SB 171 from Committee Hearing Apr 13, 2016
- Apr 11, 2016 Press release - Bike Baton Rouge and Varsity Sports support SB 171 with Run / Ride event Apr 11, 2016
- Apr 8, 2016 Press Release - Bike Baton Rouge statement on Senate Bill No. 171 Apr 8, 2016
- Apr 8, 2016 Press Release - Festival Season Apr 8, 2016
- Apr 4, 2016 Press release - Bike Baton Rouge provides valet bike parking at Fest for All Apr 4, 2016
- Mar 23, 2016 Press release - Bike Baton Rouge to provide free bike parking at April festivals Mar 23, 2016
- Mar 17, 2016 Press release - Statement regarding Plank Road bicycle fatality Mar 17, 2016
- Mar 3, 2016 Press release - Bike Baton Rouge announces meeting dates and new board members Mar 3, 2016
- Feb 25, 2016 Press release - Bike Baton Rouge seeking nominations for annual Bicycle Ambassador Awards Feb 25, 2016
“You could never do this in Amsterdam!”
There are a lot of things I could be talking about here, things you can do in Baton Rouge but not the Dutch capital city. But riding bikes freely and comfortably probably didn’t come to mind when you read this blog’s title. A little context….
For those who may not know Mark Martin, the Captain Nemo/ Santa Claus/ Moses of Baton Rouge bike advocacy, frequently hosts guests as they bike tour through town. He was hosting someone from Amsterdam, which is consistently ranked in the top 5 cities in the world for bike riding. As they rode around at night, the guest was amazed at the lack of cars on the road. “You could never do this in Amsterdam,” he said, “There are too many cars!”
Therein lies the irony: Baton Rouge during the day is a mess of automobile congestion exacerbated by poor road design, lack of alternative transportation options, short-sighted zoning laws, sprawl and some cultural factors. At night, however, the roads are largely free of cars save for the arterials. In Amsterdam, factors that contribute to it being such a great bike city – density, pre-auto road design, a dynamic tourist/nightlife scene – also basically ensure that there are always tons of cars on the road. Hence…. Baton Rouge, in some ways, offers better bike riding than Amsterdam.
Your mind = blown, right?
You know what else you can’t do in Amsterdam? Ride your bike at your own pace. Can you imagine there being so many bikes on the road that you are constantly stuck in bike traffic?? Or, much like walking in NYC, being unable to go at your own slow pace for fear of slowing everyone behind you? Personally, I can only imagine. While that is definitely a good problem to have, it does give those of us on two wheels a special appreciation for being able to pedal as fast or as slow as we feel like.
Now, given the choice between the bicycle infrastructure and culture of Baton Rouge and Amsterdam, I’d definitely pick the latter….but I’ll never be given such a choice, so the point is moot anyway. Baton Rouge remains paradoxical in terms of riding bikes – it has some of the easiest and best riding of anywhere in certain areas, but those areas are cut off from other such areas by unnavigable and impassible surface streets, waterways, railroad tracks, gated subdivisions and other obstructions which result in some of the worst riding conditions simultaneously. There does seem to be a slight shifting of the transportation planning ethos in that it seems the city/parish is finally trying to get its act together and start accommodating all road users.
We advocates are cautiously optimistic, as we’ve been burned before. But going forward, BR is in a unique position to get bike infrastructure right in a way where we get the best of both worlds: being able to bike most places while having the freedom to go at our own pace. Sure, we’ll always be somewhat constrained by the geography of sprawl, the short-sighted development patterns of the past and the weather, but if BR were to, over the next couple of decades, achieve 20% bicycle mode-share (an ambitious goal, we know), we could do so while our riders are able to go at their own speed and retain the enjoyment of it. After all, one of the best things about riding bikes is the feeling of independence it gives you. In places like Amsterdam or Copenhagen, riding bikes is ubiquitous. It’s not special, and it’s a result of conformity as much as anything else. For bike riders in BR, we’ll never have that problem. How’s that for a silver lining?
Baton Rouge will never be Amsterdam or Copenhagen. We’ll never be New Orleans either. We’ll never be anything other than…well… what we are. And you know what? Good! We look forward to it!