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I gotta say, commuting by bike is right up there with favourite types of cycling for me. So, I was just wondering where people lived, and how safe you felt on the roads. Do you feel safe? Does your city support commuting?

Here in Calgary, AB, Canada (pop. 1 million), personally I think we have it pretty good for a few reasons:

- I don't experience vehicle/rider conflict on the roads too often; they are pretty good with moving over when they pass (even in an Industrial/Commercial area, where I work)
- I think we have the largest network of bike pathways in Canada, although I could be wrong
- every company I've worked for downtown has provided bike storage of some sort
- dry climate and not too much snow means it's possible to commute all year round (although it can get pretty damn cold in the winter)
- there are some bike racks on our city buses, but I think only on a couple routes.

I'm curious about other towns or cities. Is it safe and easy to commute for you?

cheers
 

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also living in Calgary and I've got to agree with everything you've said.

- as you mention, we have an excellent MUT system meaning most commuters to downtown are kept away from the major roads (bonus for both the riders and the drivers)
- when it snows, the MUT is typically plowed by 9AM the next day
- mostly respectable drivers. I've only had a few close calls in the time I've been commuting (sleepy drivers turning without checking for my flourescent yellow arse is the usual close call case)
 

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Calgary isn't bad, but isn't great.

They plow the major paths really good, but forget to do the major river crossing bridges.

They have lots of paths, but regularly forget to get them installed in new neighbourhoods, or allow really dumb blockages to occur.

They are absolutly ridiculous with some of the closures for "safety" read *****y homeowner.

They continue to believe that putting all mut users together when there are options is a good thing.

They believe a fence and a sign is better than allievating the problem.
 

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Fairly friendly. The city is not too large. Biggest issue is that all the corporate stores are on the rich end up town so if you have to go shopping that area is not bike friendly. Otherwise everything is okay. Sometimes a motorist will occasionally yell at me to "get the #*(@ off the road!" But that's not too bad. Most cars do a full lane change pass around me. They're building up the trail network and most of the highways have a tunnel along them so it is easy to plan safer routes anywhere. But it's in Wisconsin, so it can get to -20 to -30 for a few weeks in the winter and then as it thaws the roads turn into potholes.
 

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is buachail foighneach me
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i don't live in a city, my commute is entirely rural with decent enough shoulders. however, i've travelled alot, and the two best cities i've seen for riding/commuting would be anchorage, ak followed by san diego, ca. anchorage has alot of paved bike paths running all throughout the city and along the highways. the roads can get treacherous in the winter, but it's still better than philly or nyc(lived in both). san diego has a really large network of bike lanes, paths and routes. i only rode through the city, but was really impressed with the bike infrastructure. this was back in 2004.
 

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Head First
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Sacramento is great. For my commute I've got 19 miles of car free bike trail and one mile in downtown with sketchy traffic. It's not horrible though, and the weather is pretty good. Especially right now.
 

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Pittsburgh seems pretty good to me

I dont know if it just that there are enough bikes where I live people are used to keeping there eyes open or what but so far its been great commuting or just cruising around, I live about 10 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh in the Strip and can get pretty much anywhere I need to on a bike safely (and I am a new commuter, I know you experienced types can zip down most any road)

We have miles and miles of easy trails that are nice to just cruise when I want few hours of silence or a chat with my girl friend when she rides with me, its great being able to peddle an easy 20 miles (the trails are flat running along the river) and not having to pay attention like I do in traffic. I am rehabbing a broken knee and it is just fantastic to have the trails

I can roll over to Frick and ride around on some nice single track (still trying to find the best places, I worry about plowing over a spandex clad speed walker/attorney that cant here me calling because he/she has there iPod blaring away to the latest........oops I am rambling

I lived in both Souther California and the gulf coast of Florida and never would have thought Pittsburgh is where my biking addiction would be reborn.

 

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NormalNorm
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I live in Hamilton, ON.....and its not too good. We have a "mountain"(really a large hill) in our city. Not one bike lane goes up the so-called "mountain". There are only a couple of streets that have bike lanes. For a city that hosted the Worlds in 2003...they have no idea about cyclist and commuting.
 

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Red Rider
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So, I was just wondering where people lived, and how safe you felt on the roads.
I live in Atlanta, Georgia and I feel pretty safe commuting on the city streets. My work commute is good too. The roads are a lot rougher on my work commute because it's mostly backstreets that aren't maintained very well and the other part is in an area heavily traveled by tractor-trailers.

Do you feel safe?

Yeah, I feel pretty safe. Most of that comes from doing it so much that it's a habit or past trial-and-error situations that you learn from.

Does your city support commuting?

I think it does. I have seen a few developments in the last 3 years. A few are:

- Bike racks on all the city buses. You can also take your bike on the train.
- On some of the newer streets and neighborhoods, they are painting bike lanes.
- Georgia got a cycling license plate last year that uses part of the fee for bike related
developments and improvements.
- Bike racks in a few key areas. (Could use a few more.)
- The city's mayor and a few other local politicians are involved in a bike rally that promotes
cycling in the city which was established about 3 years ago. They actually ride bikes
through the city with the group of cyclists.
 

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I live in a city of 3500-4000 my commute is very good on the way to work , but somwhat sketchy on the way home because I have to cross the main hwy through this area during rush min. traffic. the city council has no plans for bike travel .
 

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President, CEO of Earth
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redrider_stx said:
So, I was just wondering where people lived, and how safe you felt on the roads.
I live in Atlanta, Georgia and I feel pretty safe commuting on the city streets. My work commute is good too. .
I was in Georgia last fall and Atlanta sure looks like a nice city for cycling. Not too much traffic (compared to some cities I have seen), and plenty of people on bikes and bikes locked up everywhere.

I was staying out in the 'burbs, tho (Kennesaw) and the traffic and bike/pedestrian infastructure was far inferior. THousands and thousands of cars everywhere; sidewalks, but no-one using them; I think I saw one bus the whole time I was there.

Georgians are nice people though. :D
 

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I live in a town of about 5000 people in Ontario, Canada. THe town itself is good for cycling because there are wide streets, and a 40km/hr (~24mph) speed limit that most people obey, as well as many bicycle/pedestrian paths through the undeveloped wooded areas, and a small xc ski/bike trail system on the edge of town.

Most of the people here work at the plant in the next town - about a 15km drive away on a busy highway with no shoulder or bike lane. However, there is a service road closed to vehicular traffic that cuts through the woods and follows an old pioneer route directly to the plant, and employees are allowed to bike or walk or run on that road to work.Since it is a secure site, nobody even locks their bikes - they are all just leaned up against trees, and it's like they are on vacation :D

In the winter there is a trail though the woods by which people can XC ski to and from the plant. The trail is not groomed and is quite hilly and demanding. Also, the plant is at a few hundred meters higher elevetion than the town, so the ski and bike to work is generally more demanding than the ski and bike home. In fact, most skiers gert a drive in to work and only ski home - its like eating desert without finishing your veggies:)

I lived in Ottawa for six years before I came here and it is quite a good city for cycling. There are bike paths and lanes going across the city in most directions, and people are generally polite to cyclists.

Before Ottawa I livd in Toronto briefly and it is also a good city for cycling. Traffic is quite heavy downtown and cars are often moving slower than bikes. I didn't ride much outside of the downton, though - its nasty out there.
 

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I live in Birmingham England and to be honest its rubbish. The roads are to narrow and to busy, theres a high number of buses and lorrys that are in to much of a rush, the standard of car drivers is poor to say the least. what cycle lanes there are are either full of parked cars, dont go where you want to go, take you up the steepest hills, strangely vanish for no reason when you get to a part of the road when you really need them.

on the plus side however we do have quite a good network of cannals, parks and other non road ways to go and if your lucky enough to be able to string them together in a route to take you wher you want to go then its a really fast way to get around the city and even to the outlying towns around the west mids if you have the legs and and strong wheels.
 

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A Gentleman and a MTBR'
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I live in downtown sacramento, commuting from the suburbs to here is good thanks to the jebediah smith memorial trail (i think). Biking downtown is alright depending on the street, there are a ton of oblivious drivers though. A bike path along the railroad that bisects the city would be awesome though...
 

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Minneapolis/St. Paul here. Pretty bike-friendly metro area. I rent a bike locker on the university campus, keeping my bike out of sight and out of the elements - the latter being more of a concern when they plow the snow over the bike racks. A lot of bike lanes or wide shoulders around the U of M campus, in downtown Mpls., around several parks and lakes, etc. Several rails-to-trails leading out of the city. A lot of public transit is bike-friendly as well, with racks on most buses and the light rail. Most drivers are pretty courteous, though I've had my share of those who are not. As far as that goes, I hear suburbs can be a little scarier, but I don't venture out there very often. Added plus: great local mtb group (morcmtb.org) has a number of trails within a stone's throw of the city.
 

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Athens, Ohio here and the highways are death traps because too many people try and force you into the guard rails and well if you live in town it's not good either because almost all the streets are brick, uneven, and full of holes, not to mention narrow. No bike lanes exist either. The sidewalks are also death traps due to broken beer bottles, trash, and tree roots (it is a college town afterall).

It makes me sad because I only live 2 miles outside of town on a major highway, but the few times I've attempted to commute they were white knuckle adventures.
 

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Hairy man
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Seattle, WA. I like it. Nice wide streets, a couple pretty useful rail trails, fairly laid back traffic. Bike racks on the buses, lots of bike shops around. It's pretty hilly, which is a bit of a pain for the commute.

I used to ride in Boston, MA. Aggressive drivers, narrow roads, snow and ice... Seattle is a lot better. Though Boston did have and adrenaline factor.
 

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Chicago suburbs here... I have it made for most of the year, as I live right down the street from the IPP (crushed gravel trail in the rails-to-trails style). I can hop on that and get almost all the way to work without having to ride on the road. However, in the winter and early spring, the gravel trails are a sloppy mess, so I'm forced onto the roads. I see others commuting on the streets around me, but I can only handle so much of it. Some areas are nice, with wide shoulders, but the streets are usually busy with little to no shoulder. And I don't want to even start on the quality of drivers around me...

Did I mention that I got hit by a car back in August? And that he turned left in front of me, while being directed to stop by a police officer? Thankfully he was turning into a parking lot and we both managed to slow down a LOT. I walked away with bruises and a bent front wheel, but I left some nice marks on his hood!
 
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