Kingston’s Looking for a “Big Jump”

If you’ve been following along as our work on the Kingston Greenline has progressed, you might have heard us talk about the Green Lane Project. Starting in 2012, the Green Lane Project was PeopleForBikes‘ campaign to build the sort of bike lanes that everyone would want to use – protected bike lanes.

An example of a two-way protected bike lane, with plastic flex-posts, in Columbus, OH.

An example of a two-way protected bike lane, with plastic flex-posts, in Columbus, OH.

Here in Kingston, we took the successes of the Green Lane Project to heart. Research has shown that protected bike lanes are the best way to increase ridership, particularly among groups that are less likely to ride without them: women, senior citizens, and families.

So, as part of the project to redesign Broadway, we joined with others to push for a protected bike lane along Kingston’s main transportation artery.

That design is still working its way through the necessary approvals, but just last week the City of Kingston took another major step in the march toward a fully-connected bike system with its application to PeopleForBikes’ next initiative, the Big Jump Project.

The Big Jump Project is a three-year effort to help 10 places achieve a big jump in biking – a doubling or tripling of people riding – by building a network of safe and comfortable places to ride and engaging the community. The goal is also to validate a core concept: that if a city does all the right things, more people will ride and the community will be a better place to live, work and play.

Turns out that Kingston was one of 80 cities across the nation (1:8 odds are pretty good!), and one of only 13 cities with populations under 50,000 to apply. The 10 winners will be publicly announced in January — but that won’t be the end of the line for the other 70 or for the rest of the United States. Instead, PeopleForBikes sees this as the beginning of a nationwide focus on finally connecting the all-ages biking networks that can make our communities significantly better for millions of people.

So cross your fingers for Kingston, and let’s keep working to make our great city an equally great place to bike…for everyone!