Cycling down the path of life

Danger Bicycle Orlando

 

To an outsider Orlando Florida may seem like an attractive city to ride your bike on vacation. The flat topography presents no back-breaking hills, the climate is possibly the best in all of the United States, and who wouldn’t want to tour the awesome array of theme parks on a bicycle? Well, all the locals interviewed in this short film confidently  describe Orlando as the least friendly bicycle city in America.

Perhaps part of the problem lies in the massive growth that Orlando experienced in the last 30 years. It grew by just 25% in just the last 10 years, despite the great recession. Developers and town planners have successfully geographically dispersed all the amenities without the simultaneous development of a complete street plan making it almost impossible to get around any other way than by car. Maybe your city has been similarly developed to Orlando?

The result is that you have a population desperate to enjoy their environment but honestly risk their life every time they take to the streets by bike. This narrow scope of development creates a culture of tension on the roads. The congestion leads to frustration and impatience with anyone that motorists perceive shouldn’t be there.

The solutions offered in the video below are familiar, but require political will on the part of our local elected officials. Infrastructure, education, and an unwavering commitment by our politicians to create the best all-inclusive living conditions possible are desperately required.

 

Cycling in America’s Least Bike Friendly City

Cycling in America’s Least Bike Friendly City from Mikey Massas on Vimeo.

 

 

11 Comments

  1. Man, this sounds eerily similar to Los Angeles – great climate, horrible street planning.

  2. Does anyone else see the hypocrisy of someone talking about rude motorists while running red lights and weaving in moving traffic?

    If you want respect, the first step is to make sure that you are being respectful of the rules of the road.

    • You make an excellent point, and I personally completely agree with you. The suicidal road warriors give us all a bad reputation. Even the less threatening average commuter that safely rolls through a stop sign surely makes the blood boil of all the motorists who happen to witness this type of transgression.

      If we think of the road as a resource in high demand by competing users, we’re going to see people fight for access. There’s a critical need for streets that have a 3 foot shoulder, or a dedicated bike path, to separate the different user groups.

      Cyclists in many US cities have no other option than to ride on the road amongst the traffic to get from A to B. Was the riding in this video aggressive? Yes.

      • I would use the word “illegal”.

  3. These guys have no idea what damage they are doing to bicycle advocacy. The douchebaggery on display is utterly stunning. Running red lights! Splitting traffic! geez…

  4. Orlando motorists seem quite friendly to cyclists in the videos I’ve seen where cyclist obey the rules of the road. Such as here:
    https://vimeo.com/9827254

  5. For a perspective of cycling in Orlando from cyclists who are actually law-abiding, check out this fun little documentary: “Spokes People”

  6. Here is an example of the “rogue” element of cycling attempting to advocate for its right to share the road while splitting lanes, running red lights and, for one of the cyclists portrayed, not wearing a helmet. If it weren’t for the value of understanding their frame of mind in order to develop and deliver the right education to them for cyclists as drivers and equal road users, this video is a waste of time. No need to pick on Orlando. Any city, large or small, would and should be hostile and have animosity toward the kind of cyclist portrayed here. If only the motoring public could distinguish between the “rogue” element and law abiding cyclists.

  7. The bikers you bike on these dangerous streets in the cities may seem like they know what they are doing, but all it takes is one stupid driver to not see them to end their lives. When biking in the city, there needs to be more caution instead of more confidence.

  8. Better planning for cyclists is needed, and we are finally seeing awesome results here in Central Florida. Connectivity of pedestrian and safe street networks here are a joke, but like I said, we are working on it– and working on it well. We are getting rid of the poor practices of the last 50 years, and looking toward the future.