Your City: A Bicycling Survey

I love Chicago. I moved here 3 years ago for a job and because I wanted to live in a big city. I stay because there’s so much to do and I enjoy walking, biking and taking public transit everywhere.

Chicago’s bike infrastructure and sizable bike community are huge pluses. Compared to most North American cities, Chicago is advanced in this aspect, but the bar is not set very high. What I really want is serious European-style infrastructure with separated and protected bike lanes.

I’m optimistic about Chicago’s future as a bicycling city, but real progress lies in the far future. In the meantime, I wonder if a quiet town with light traffic would be better for bicycling, even if there is absolutely no infrastructure. And while I’m wondering, how about cities like Portland, Boulder, Minneapolis and Davis, those shining bike-cities?

Thinking about Chicago – what I like and don’t like and how bicycling plays a role – makes me interested in how others view their cities or towns. We’d love to hear about your experiences, if you feel like sharing.

1. What city do you live in?
2. What brought you to your city originally?
3. What is keeping you in your city?
4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?

Please leave your answers in the comments! We can all compare notes and learn more about each other’s experiences.

  • http://cris.livejournal.com cris

    1. Boston
    2. University
    3. Friends that I’ve made since graduating from university. My girlfriend and I often joke that we’d move anywhere so long as we could take our friends with us. I grew up in Vancouver, and wet springs make me homesick for the Pacific Northwest, but I plunge into love with New England every time fall comes around. I like the palpable sense of history in the Northeast. It’s still young compared to cities in Europe or Asia, but there’s a richness here that you don’t get out west.
    4. We bike everywhere, but bikeability isn’t something that’s important to me or where I live. I cut my teeth as an urban rider on the streets of Boston during the Big Dig, when it was deemed the worst city in the nation for bicycling. I’ll ride anywhere if it’s got good people, good neighborhoods and good opportunities.
    5. I won’t work anywhere that’s more than an hour bike commute from my house. Similarly, I won’t live somewhere that’s less than a ten minute bike commute from my office. That tends to filter out a lot of the less pleasant neighborhoods for biking.
    6. I think Boston’s made a lot of progress over the last few years. I somewhat lament that the bike share has been long delayed, but other aspects, like new bike boxes, sharrows and improved signage are welcome. I don’t need the city to be Amsterdam or Montreal, with segregated lanes, and, personally, when I’ve visited Montreal — I’ve loved using the Bixi but can take or leave the separate bike lanes. It’s nice to be protected, but such a pain in the ass for making turns! Though, overall, I’m happy with just seeing a lot of people out on bikes.

  • http://southernspokes.wordpress.com/ Niklas

    1. Mobile, AL
    2. Great opportunity to work in water resources engineering
    3. The work brought us (wife and kids too) here and will keep us here until I get more experience and become more marketable to move where we really want to be
    4. You bet I think about moving to a more bikeable city! Every day.
    5. Yes, cities that are more walkable and bikeable are simply more livable. They are designed for people not just cars.
    6. There are reasons stereotypes exist. I live in Alabama. Take a guess at how quickly you think progress move here. We’re 25-30 years behind trends in cosmopolitan US cities and I don’t foresee this changing. So in 2040 Alabama will start thinking that maybe it could spend some money on bike lanes. :)

  • http://www.mnbicyclecommuter.blogspot.com/ Doug

    1) Duluth, Minnesota, USA
    2)Nine years ago we were living in St Paul, Minnesota (Minneapolis’ twin) and spending a lot of time traveling up to the North Shore of Lake Superior, which starts in Duluth. We decided to move here to be closer to all the outdoor activities we love.
    3)It feels right. Not too big, not too small. And the winters are very wintery, we both like winter. The summers along the big lake are cool. We don’t like hot weather. I’ve lived in Pittsburgh, Chicago burbs and the Twin Cites. I love all that a big city offers, but day-to-day I prefer a smaller community.
    4)No, I consider a lot more about a city or town than whether or not it is bike friendly. I like a town I get can out of on a weekend without navigating 40-50 miles of sprawl.
    5)We have very little bike infrastructure. But we do have low traffic roads and relatively courteous drivers. The low volume of traffic will keep me here.
    6)Until recently no. And I didn’t care that much about it because I’ve been able to use the existing auto infrastructure without too many issues.

  • Dave

    1. What city do you live in?

    Portland, OR

    2. What brought you to your city originally?

    Was born in the suburbs and moved into the city after getting married.

    3. What is keeping you in your city?

    A lot of things. Food, size of the city, small quiet streets, nice neighborhoods, food, comfortable climate, food, etc :) they say not many people move to Portland for work and such, they move here as a lifestyle choice – which is good, because Portland supports a lot of things I enjoy in life – and bad, because you get all the people who are very self-satisfied about their lifestyle choices.

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?

    Yes, but not in America.

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?

    At this point in my life, I would find it very hard to live in a place where I couldn’t ride my bike for most of my day-to-day stuff, so yeah, I would say it plays a big role in my choice of where to live.

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?

    Yes, albeit slowly. I feel like society is moving towards bike-friendliness here much faster than the infrastructure, but eventually you hit a critical mass that will have to be supported more and more by infrastructure. Portland is set up pretty well for cycling just by default. Basic things like bike parking are rapidly improving here.

  • Cycler

    What an inspired post. Not only a chance to reflect about our own cities but to learn about the other members of this online community..

    1. Cambridge (our fair city) MA
    2. I originally moved here from my hometown of Houston TX in search of more urban density. My best friends from high school, college and my first job ended up all being here, and NYC was too urban and unfriendly. After a postdoctoral interlude in Salt Lake City, we returned here for the Scientist’s job at MIT.
    3. Hopefully a tenured faculty position. We’ll know in a year and a half.
    4. not really, although I love Portland and the Oregon coast is one of my favorite places in the world, Cambridge is pretty damn good in terms of motorist awareness and has been very progressive about bike facilities in general. the only reasons to move are February and March :)
    5. bike infrastructure is pretty good and getting better, so I can’t imagine many places where the bike infrastructure is enough better to trump other considerations.
    6. I’m an optimistic person in general, and I think that there’s a lot of momentum in general towards bicycling being taken seriously as a transportation mode that needs to be considered in any planning process. I think we’re at a critical point in the greater Boston area when we could reverse a lot of the car centric development that took place in the last 50 years and move towards a much more sustainable city. I hate to say it, but another summer or $4 plus gas could make all the difference.

    • Dave

      Oh yeah, forgot to mention the coast. Beware about February and march here though, they mostly consist of grey skies and drizzle constantly :)

  • http://backbooth.thesane.net Eli

    1. Minneapolis
    2. College
    3. Family, house, partner’s job, community, bikeability!
    4. They don’t come much friendlier in this country, and the Missus isn’t keen on moving to Copenhagen.
    5. Only as part of an overall commitment to the city. We love it here, and part of the reason is its bike infrastructure; still, even if it didn’t have that, I can’t picture us moving.
    6. They’re working on it almost constantly, and given the 5-year strategic plan for bicycles that I just read, yeah. I think we have good reason to be optimistic.

  • http://cyclinginauckland.co.nz Su Yin

    1. Auckland, New Zealand

    2. To complete university studies.

    3. A cool job and a lovely boy ;-)

    4. Sometimes … but the cost of moving is higher than my tolerance of so-so bike infrastructure and reckless driver threshold.

    5. Not really. I’ll always long for a bike utopia but I’ll keep cycling no matter where I am.

    6. Yes! We recently voted in a mayor who is sympathetic to public transport and non-motorway causes. A number of bike-friendly councillors were elected too so hopefully that will get some bike infrastructure projects off the ground. But mostly it’s the mindset of car-centric Aucklanders that need changing the most.

  • alaina

    1. What city do you live in? Durham, NC
    2. What brought you to your city originally? Grad School
    3. What is keeping you in your city? still in school
    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? My life is pretty bike friendly here. I lived in St. Louis before and while I loved the city, my job and home and other parts of life were too far away from one another for biking. I love being able to bike to work, school, the store, and home.
    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? I have no idea. It’s too far away to think about.
    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve? Just last month, a street on my commute was repaved and bike lanes were painted in. I was pretty excited.

  • Everett

    I was just going to pass on making a comment, but I didn’t see anyone from my city, so here I am.

    1. What city do you live in?
    Ferndale, MI (Inner ring suburb of Detroit)

    2. What brought you to your city originally?
    Finished high school in the suburbs and attended college in downtown Detroit.

    3. What is keeping you in your city?
    Family is all here and my wife and I both have jobs that we love.

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
    Yes, but not for that reason. We eventually want to move somewhere warmer, or more exotic, or less flat… Most of the cities that we would consider tend towards a more European lifestyle anyway and are inherently more bike friendly. Cycling is not the primary motivator.

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
    No. Detroit, and Michigan, have much bigger problems than bike infrastructure. Detroit has great cycling infrastructure, it’s just not officially recognized as such; see number 6.

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
    Ferndale already has pretty extensive bike lanes for such a small city, but could use a few more racks. Detroit and other neighboring cities are creating more and more bike infrastructure every year. The area we live in was designed to support a much larger population. As a result, the right hand lane of many major streets is the de facto bike lane. Imagine having a 10′ or 12′ wide bike lane on most of your major roads! It’s great for cycling.

  • http://cris.livejournal.com cris

    Su Yin, I have a couple of friends who spent a few years living bike free in Nelson before moving back to Massachusetts, and they had great things to say about every aspect of living in New Zealand, except how aggressive drivers were and how scary the narrow road conditions made riding around the islands.

    Best of luck with your new mayor.

    • http://cyclinginauckland.co.nz Su Yin

      It’s not so bad if you adopt a confident stance on the road. Most people are lovely and will give you way/space :)

      It’s the rural roads — or state highways as they are known — that are a bit narrow but city roads are of your average width.

      Come visit some time!

  • Mike

    1. What city do you live in? Omaha, NE
    2. What brought you to your city originally? I grew up here, but have moved downtown for college.
    3. What is keeping you in your city? College
    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? Yes, but not really seriously. Work/friends/family are all here.
    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? It plays a minor role.
    The infrastructure here is limited, but I do enjoy many of the trails.
    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve? I am optimistic the infrastructure will continue to slowly improve, but am confident it will never be substantial. I see the occasional bike lane and trail continuing to pop up. I think Omaha’s light traffic make’s it inherently more bike friendly than a bigger city (especially if you aren’t out in the suburbs where everything is spread out OR afraid of battling some hills).

  • Pamela

    1. What city do you live in? Chico, CA
    2. What brought you to your city originally? Returned to finally finish my degree and to simplify my life from southern California.
    3. What is keeping you in your city? I ended up getting a job at my university after graduating.
    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? No. This is a very bike friendly city. The university is in the center of town and parking is very limited. Everyone bikes here.
    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? Part of why I chose this city is because it was voted one of the most bike friendly cities in Bicycling magazine. Yes, it does play a major role in my choice to stay.
    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve? In the 12 years I’ve lived here, the bike infrastructure has improved even more. College students are encouraged to leave their cars at home; bike lanes and racks are everywhere; the local bike coalition educates and advocates; there are miles and miles of wonderful bike lanes. Oh, and did I mention it’s FLAT. No gears needed on commuter bikes. I love my town!

  • http://endlessvelolove.blogspot.com/ G.E.

    1. Unincorporated Longmont, CO (it’s about – specifically where I live – 20ish miles north east of Boulder, and about 35 north of Denver)
    2. Both myself and my hubby were unemployed, and his father lived in the mountains here in Colorado. Hubby got a job in the area, so we settled in.
    3. Owning a house that we cannot sell in this market without losing several tens of thousands of dollars.
    4. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. {sigh} Though there is beautiful scenery, and a cute little old town downtown area here, it is small and centered around families with small children… That’s not a bad thing, but just not our lifestyle. There’s actually somewhat of a bicycling community here (in the ‘real’ city), and some infrastructure, but unfortunately, we don’t get to use much of it on a daily basis because of distance.
    5. Not a major role, but it is a factor. I’m used to being honked at now while on a bicycle, and I’ve learned to ignore it (though it does frustrate me at times). I think it’s made me more confident and I’m not afraid to ‘take a lane’ if it’s necessary. I would like to be able to do things on a bicycle though that don’t require hours out of the day (like it does now because of proximity to the nearest places).
    6. I’m giggling a bit about this question. In a state that’s literally known for its bicycling/bicyclists, one would think that infrastructure would be high on a list of priorities, but I think living in a smaller city (under 90k population), and being a spread out, farm-like town, it is unlikely. It’s funny that Boulder, which is about a 45-60 minute bicycle ride away has much better infrastructure, while here, there really isn’t much to speak of… and what is available is often too close to parked vehicles to truly utilize properly.

    Gosh, now I feel like I’m just bashing this poor town! It’s really a nice place, but just not the type of place I’d ideally live. I think even Denver is better because, although one has to deal with much more traffic, places are closer and more easily traveled by bike. In fact, when I have long days in class in Denver, I do take my bike to just venture around the city… helps me get a sense of both worlds to see which side I really do enjoy more.

    • http://rorowe.posterous.com Robert Rowe

      I tried cycling from Boulder towards Longmont, and I can vouch for the huge disparity in infrastructure between the two not-so-far-apart cities. (for the record, I only made it to Niwot before I was exhausted from the hills.)

      • http://endlessvelolove.blogspot.com/ G.E.

        {laughing} I completely hear you, Robert! My husband and I did the ride from I-25/Hwy 119 (east Longmont/west Firestone) all the way into Boulder a couple of years ago. It was an interesting adventure and the hills on the highway are an interesting adventure! I think our bikes are better suited to these rides now, but at the time, on mountain bikes, it wasn’t fun.

        • lucienrau

          1. Providence
          2. Residency for my wife.
          3. My wife’s job.
          4. Yes. There are some bike lanes painted here, but they’re mostly the recipient of glass and gravel as the streets are never cleaned. The whole bike infrastructure is for weekend warriors in RI.
          5. Much of a role. We’re trying to be car-lite with children and it’s tough here.
          6. Cautiously optimistic. The guy who will hopefully be our next mayor has some good transportation plans.

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QCXr79Rkcw bicyclemamy

        1. What city do you live in? west palm beach, florida.
        2. What brought you to your city originally? warm weather in the winter, a need to be close to the ocean(the pisces in me), a longing for the love contained in latin communities.
        3. What is keeping you in your city? the weather, the city’s beauty, my neighborhood, kooky family members, and i love my job.
        4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? sometimes, but it seams like every where else is too cold for my liking (although i haven’t checked out colombia yet).
        5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? no. i am of the mindset that i will never let anything hold me back from doing what i desire.
        6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve? not really. people who mostly ride bikes here are immigrants or homeless. no one seems to care about that part of wpb’s culture.

        • http://palmbeachcyclechic.blogspot.com Margarita

          Hi I live in West Palm too and have started this biking blog. I live in downtown but work out west and I am tempted to try to ride to work but yes, okeechobee scares me and all I see are migrants and poor people further enhancing the stereotype that people on bikes are poor. Bike infrastructure west of downtown is almost non existant until you get to Wellington. Though maybe the more advocates we have, it will improve. I see lots of people on bicycles on the Tri Rail at least so that is a very positive thing. Maybe if you want to do rides together, we could meet up :)

  • http://gravatar.com/sbsolter Sarah

    1. Boulder, CO.
    2. Husband’s job.
    3. Boulder is the right size both physically and population-wise for my tastes. It is no problem to get anywhere in the town by bike in a reasonable amount of time. It is surrounded by open space and has a clear definition. It is beautiful here. It is also fantastic for biking!
    4. Nope, because I am in one of the most bike-friendly cities in the U.S.!
    5. It definitely plays a role, although I’m not sure how major. I think I don’t quite realize how good it is because I haven’t lived anywhere else where I biked as much as I do now.
    6. They make bike infrastructure a high priority here. They are continually improving it, even though it is already very good!

    • http://rorowe.posterous.com Robert Rowe

      (replying to this comment, as I’m also in Boulder, CO, but just moved RECENTLY from Philadelphia suburbs)

      1. What city do you live in?
      Boulder, CO
      2. What brought you to your city originally?
      Partner is working on her Masters in the city.
      3. What is keeping you in your city?
      Partner, the *sun*, and the overall lifestyle.
      4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
      Nope! I moved *away* from a bike-ignorant town.
      5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
      Possibly, but I’ll ride wherever I have to. :-)
      6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
      I have no doubt! (Especially with all the construction going on…some of that *has* to be for us.)

    • http://www.hoshimotors.net pilypas

      As others have noted, Boulder is a beautiful place to ride. Especially for a place that has real winters! There are lots of bike paths, mostly recreational, and a commitment to bikes as a transportation alternative. Even paradise has room for improvement. There is a somewhat antagonistic relationship between some driver’s and cyclists, especially on roads in the near mountains. And while there are miles and miles of bike paths, cycling as a replacement to car use could be better supported. Going across town on the existing paths is not very efficient and getting in and out of shopping areas by bike can be challenging. Still a way to go before Boulder is Amsterdamized!

  • http://Cecily.info Cecily

    1. Vancouver, BC, Canada.

    2. I married a Canadian and became a citizen. The marriage is over, but I’m still here.

    3. Inertia, and not wanting to move back to the Syates. Plus, I have a job I like here, and the job market for librarians is pretty bad right now.

    4. I think about Chicago, oddly enough. It has great bike infrastructure, a vibrant arts community, great public libraries, and something I really miss, a sizable black community. I am keeping my eyes and ears open.

    5. It absolutely plays a part. I have a car but would leave it behind in a heartbeat. At the very least, a town should have reliable, extensive public transportation (including light rail and commuter trains) to make me want to live there. Separated bike paths would be dreamy.

    6. I am very optimistic about Vancouver’s bike infrastructure, especially now that we’re the home of the 2012 Velo-City conference. Active transport has been a part of city planning since the 90s, and it is getting better with the introduction of separated. Ike lanes and the development of a connected bike network. If only someone could do something about the hills!

    • http://justlikeridingabike.wordpress.com Traci

      Not that I blame you for not wanting to move back to the US, but I see quite a few job postings for librarians in Atlanta :) That won’t get you away from hills though – you’ll have to go to Chicago for that – haha!

      • http://cecily.info Cecily

        Heh. No, Atlanta isn’t in my plans, sadly. I can’t take the summer heat there anymore!

  • philippe

    1. Paris – France (Can I play too ?)
    2. I’m born here.
    3. That’s where our job are, my wife and I. Where our kids life are. And we like it here. We like the life in a big city, even if we want more space and more green…
    4. To move, yes, but bike friendliness was not a factor.
    5. No. To be fair, Paris is very bike friendly by US standards.
    6.Yes.

  • http://bicyclingsd.blogspot.com beany

    1. What city do you live in? – San Diego, CA
    2. What brought you to your city originally? – Husband wanted to live by the beach
    3. What is keeping you in your city? – good weather, perfect job, reluctance to move, wonderful friends
    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? – yes
    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? – Sometimes I think it does
    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve? – Yes.

  • http://www.knittingneels.com Aileen

    1. Dublin, Ireland.

    2. Moved from the west ten years ago to go to college.

    3. Work and college; I’m studying part time and usually get a few gigs to keep me ticking over.

    4. Often think about moving to Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark or Germany. Probably never will; I find the Dutch and Germans a bit hard to get on with sometimes. But I always enjoy visiting there, which I’m lucky enough to do often.

    5. Yes. Dublin’s a small, mostly flat city. Depending on where I’m working or studying, it takes me betwen 25 and 35 minutes to reach my destination from door to door. It doesn’t rain nearly as much here as people think and bus, train and car costs are only getting dearer by the minute.

    6. I see small signs of its improvement every day. Between the escalating costs of public transport and parking, and the huge success of the Dublin Bike scheme, the number of cyclists on the road is shooting up. Our voice is louder and the city council often listen: resurfacing of bike lanes, extension or insertion of new ones, fixing potholes, increased bike racks. I remain ever hopeful that we will go the way of the Netherlands.

  • Peter

    1. Warkworth, Ontario, Canada (where? a town of 700 souls 40km from anywhere, closest real towns are Cobourg and Peterborough, closest big city is Toronto)

    2. Work,(elementary teacher) 8 years ago,

    3. built a house on 50 acres 6 years ago. It is beautiful but hilly and I only live about 9km from work.

    4.Miss life in cities I’ve lived in: Montreal, Ottawa, Peterborough, but life here is amazing and affordable. My wife has chosen to stay home with our boys while they are young and we couldn’t have done that in any city. Plus…Maple Syrup made around the corner!

    5. There is no cycling infrastructure, in fact, I may be the only cycle commuter in the municipality of Trent Hills.

    6. Yes, there is a Cycling Master Plan being created right now and the county wants to aspire to be a cycling destination (less commuting, more tourism) and Cobourg and Port Hope are showing signs of wanting to incorporate it into their plans already, largely because they are on the rail link to Toronto. By the way, The Bike Train (from Toronto) will be stopping here and in Kingston, a coup for our little Tourism department which means I may be able to ride 40km to Cobourg and head into the city with my bike on the train. Also, I want to set-up a cycle touring destination at my farm…any Torontonians interested?

    • Cam

      Yes, yes, yes! I’m a Torontonian with roots and family in Cobourg…biking in the Northumberland hills is so wonderful…Trent Hills is just as grand!

      • Peter

        That’s awesome Cam, thanks for the vote! Cobourg is a great town and Northumberland is close to T.O. so…I’ll get working on my Organic Free Range Chicken, Eggs and Vegetables Cycling Hostel right away…do you think it would fly?

        • Stuart

          1. Sydney, in sun-drenched Australia!
          2. I was born here.
          3. Sydney is a pretty cool place to live, so no real desire to move away!
          4. I sometimes pine for the infrastructure of the Netherlands, but I don’t think I’d last a minute there – it snows in the winter!
          5. Not really, I’m pretty sold on the Sydney life… though of course more cycleways would be welcomed :)
          6. In the inner city – yes! The City of Sydney council is putting lots of political capital (and money) into forcing some decent infrastructure onto the roads (including *shock* removing some parking spots!).
          In the suburbs – not so much. There’s less will from local politicians, and a very endemic car culture.

  • http://www.idreamofhaggis.com Jennifer

    1. Glasgow, Scotland
    2. I love Glasgow!
    3. I moved here after many years in Toronto, Canada, as I fell in love with this city and its people
    4. Not really. I sometimes get envious of Amsterdam or Copenhagen though.
    5. No.
    6. Yes, the Scottish government and local Glasgow council have started to invest more money into bike paths and becoming a more bike-friendly country

  • http://sweetheartsholdhands.blogspot.com/ Nicola

    1. What city do you live in?
    Hull, UK
    2. What brought you to your city originally?
    Birth. :)
    3. What is keeping you in your city?
    Grad school, I’ve got another 5 years to go.
    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
    Hull is very bike friendly, but I would like to move away for a while when I’m done with school.
    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
    Not so much the infrastructure as the attitude of drivers. I sometimes think that bike lanes make my life harder, because drivers whizz past without considering how much space to give you because you’re in the bike lane and they’re in the car lane. So I would definitely consider that when I’m thinking about where to move.
    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
    It’s very good anyway! I actually wouldn’t mind if it stayed as it is at the moment.

  • http://twitter.com/JustinHaugens Justin Haugens

    1. What city do you live in?

    Charlotte, North Carolina

    2. What brought you to your city originally?

    I lived in Gastonia, a city just west of Charlotte, from 2000-2004 after graduating high school, returned to Illinois–this time Chicago rather than mid-state, I felt like I wanted to return to Charlotte. The opportunity came up to return, for better or worse, I am here! Moved in January 2009.

    3. What is keeping you in your city?

    Melissa and I are both in school right now, I’m completing my bachelors while she just started her masters. I’m in management and she’s in community planning.

    There are a few moments we’re waiting for to define a time line as to when we’ll end up moving.

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?

    All. The. Time.

    My approach to transportation in Charlotte took a major turn around January 2010 when I started riding the bus to campus and work. To get to the bus, I would ride my bike to the stop. Eventually I was physically able to ride the entire distance to work, 20 miles round trip, I ride the bus to school to avoid arriving sweaty.

    Riding in Charlotte isn’t bad road wise, we do lack an expansive marked bike lane structure, the issue is more driver related. SHARE THE ROAD isn’t a movement all hold dearly, what city does though?

    When it comes to the regular trips I take, work and school, I never have an issue. For some reason it’s always when I’m making the other trips, to the store, for a bite to eat, or simply out for a ride.

    Ever had a handful of change thrown at you from a car?

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?

    Has already affected my choice of staying here. It’s not just Charlotte’s bike infrastructure, it’s also Charlotte’s lack of motivation to improve the public transit. We have a single light rail line with the extension occurring, cross your fingers, in 2019. TWENTY NINETEEN.

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?

    Charlotte, like most cities, has adopted the “We’ll improve infrastructure as we improve other infrastructure.” That’s acceptable when the city has a lot of work to complete, but what if a lot of work has been done prior to accepting this approach? Now you could be looking at 10-20 years for a reasonable amount of work to be completed.

    I can’t wait that long.

    • Pam

      I live in Charlotte. As far as infrastructure it is getting better. It really depends on where you live as to how bikeable Charlotte is. I live in Plaza-Midwood 3 1/2 miles from Uptown. I bike to work everyday. We have a post office, library, stores, etc. closeby. I haven’t used the car all week. I ride everyday. The company just installed secured bike racks, showers and lockers for bike commuters. I do drive once a week to the grocery store. Occasionally I drive to the mall but most of the time I shop while I’m on my bike. The Charlotte Area Bike Alliance is a good group I’m a member of. We advocate for more facilities, education, etc. The Charlotte DOT completed the signed bike routes and published a map last year. And Google has the bike option on our city maps. I’m pretty pleased with cycling in Charlotte but it could always be better.

  • Clare

    No comments from London yet! Time to stop just lurking!
    1. What city do you live in? London, England.
    2. What brought you to your city originally? Was born here, but then moved to the countryside when I was 12, then came back for university. Then I kind of bounced between the two for a while but have always felt that I “fit in” better in London.
    3. What is keeping you in your city? The open-mindedness of Londoners (whether adopted or native – it doesn’t seem to matter) which is hard to find anywhere else in England. Re bike-ability – there are so many more people cycling in London now (and cycle routes/maps!) more than about ten years ago when my student self first jumped on an old mountain bike and first attempted my way across town.
    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? Well, Dottie’s Chicago work commute pictures along the lake shore look so lovely. However, I does seem from what I’ve read that outside the big cities the US as a whole is much less bike-friendly than the UK (I’m thinking of the comments posted in response to the article on the Aurora Critical Mass which you linked to).
    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? It definitely is one of the things which makes me think about staying in London rather than moving back to the countryside – I don’t feel as safe riding in the countryside. The roads are often to fast, with people racing between towns, winding country lanes where driver are NOT expecting to see a cyclist around the next bend. 6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve? Yes, especially with the bike hire scheme being rolled out and becoming a viable alternative for many people to use rather than more traditional forms of “public transport”.

  • http://www.cyclinmissy.com Cyclin’ Missy

    1. I live in Grand Rapids, Michigan – the second largest city in the state after Detroit.
    2. I origninally moved to a town near GR for grad school and later moved to the city for work. This is where my hubby grew up. GR has grown on me a lot since I arrived.
    3. I’m still here due to jobs and a love for urban life and the state of Michigan.
    4. I have definitely thought about moving to a more bike-friendly city. It seems like a utopia to think about being able to ride everywhere. I’d even move to a larger city – what fun! And above all, somewhere warmer without the months of snow and ice that make getting motivated to ride more difficult for me.
    5. The bike infrastructure does play a role. I love the hundreds of miles of paved bike trails and mountain bike trails, though I wish they were closer to my house. Bike-friendly streets are just beginning to develop here in Grand Rapids, so that aspect of the city is still wanting.
    6. I am optomistic that my city’s bike infrastructure will improve. We have a bike-friendly mayor and many active cycling groups in town. Progress is slow, but it is happening. I have high hopes for our future!

  • Katie

    1. Indianapolis
    2. A job
    3. The friends I’ve developed here and the affection I’ve developed for the city. I love that there is always something to do and that it’s easy to get around downtown by bike.
    4. Sometimes. Especially if that city is Amsterdam.
    5. Infrastructure on its own doesn’t play a major role but general bike friendliness and the bike community does. And also laws that protect cyclists.
    6. Yes, Indianapolis is very new to bike lanes and other basic infrastructure, but I have seen an explosion of cycling in the short time since I moved here. We also have a good greenway system and a new Cultural Trail, which people are excited about. It can feel like slow going but it’s going.

  • http://www.seejenbike.wordpress.com seejenbike

    1. Seattle
    2. I came here for school, and to get out of my small hometown.
    3. We stayed for jobs, and because we liked the city: the neighborhoods, the outdoors, the culture, etc.
    4. We are actually moving to Portland early next year (as Dave mentioned, for lifestyle choices more than job opportunities). Seattle is very bike friendly, but Portland is even more so, and that’s one of the main things I’m most looking forward to.
    5. I think Seattle’s bike infrastructure is good. They are constantly adding bike lanes, fixing potholes, etc.
    6. Definitely. Seattle’s mayor is a bike commuter, and we have some strong organizations working hard to keep Seattle as one of the most bike friendly cities in the US.

  • http://www.csbikes.org Robert

    1. What city do you live in?
    Carol Stream, Illinois

    2. What brought you to your city originally?
    Affordable housing for two 20-something professionals. The other suburbs were just too expensive.

    3. What is keeping you in your city?
    The fact we couldn’t sell our house even if we wanted to. :-) Also, my wife and I have a good job in the ‘burbs, and our house is quite nice.

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
    Naperville and Schaumburg are far too expensive. Neither my wife nor I are city folk. Portland, OR seems nice, and if a fantastic opportunity opens up in Amsterdam or Copenhagen, I wouldn’t rule either of those cities out.

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
    Not really… what we have is “good enough” for my needs, as I’m comfortable riding on streets. I do actively lobby for more improvements.

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
    No, because in the west suburbs it’s really easy to pull out the “it costs too much” fallacy and get away with it, since everyone and their parents drives everywhere. I can only hope to advocate for common-sense improvements, for the culture to encourage less teenagers to drive (seriously, it’s seems a lot more expensive to drive around than it was 13 years ago) and for elderly people to rediscover active transportation.

    • Melissa S.

      Robert, come to our Critical Mass on the 31st!

  • http://knittinglemonade.blogspot.com Kara

    1. Salt Lake City
    2. I came to Utah for college. Basically stayed after I graduated due to my family moving here.
    3. Family and I guess my job.
    4. I think about moving to a bigger city or abroad. However, I get nervous about the ability to bike in a bigger city. SLC has a very manageable downtown to bike in and I have gotten really comfortable with it. I think about biking in a NYC and I get a little anxious. But I am sure I could used to it.
    5. Two years ago, I would have said no. But now, I can’t imagine my bicycle not being a part of my life. So my ability to ride would definitely factor in my decisions to move someplace.
    6. SLC has really made efforts to add bike lanes and improve infrastructure. Our downtown is going through a major rennovation and they are incorporating a more bicycle-friendly lifestyle in the renovation. We also have bike valet at a lot of downtown events and a bicycle commuter station by the train for cyclists to take showers and get ready for their commute or work.

  • http://limadean.wordpress.com Nadine

    1. What city do you live in? Kansas City (live in KS, work in MO)

    2. What brought you to your city originally? I grew up in a nearby suburb and attended college in the city.

    3. What is keeping you in your city? My job and friends.

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? YES. Often!

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? We’re saving up for a car because the bike infrastructure is so dismal. However, we have made it through a year without a car. We intend to move out further from the city center, though, and that means less bus access and a much longer trek to work.

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve? Not really. Our mayor was interviewed on a local radio program and seemed very uninformed about cycling concerns. There are advocate organizations, though, so that gives me hope.

  • David from Madison

    1. Madison, WI.
    2. born/raised, married, kids, neighbors
    3. It’s 77 sq miles surrounded by reality
    4. It’s pretty darn bike friendly and working on getting better. But people sure like their big cars/trucks. I find Boulder very attractive, but expensive for me.
    5. Somewhat. I couldn’t see living in a big city, with all those people…..
    6. Yes, I’m seeing a lot of movements……

  • http://kronhaus.wordpress.com lindsey

    1. What city do you live in?
    Durham, NC

    2. What brought you to your city originally?
    Birth!

    3. What is keeping you in your city?
    I moved back after college and got a great job that I’ve been with for 5 years now.

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
    I always daydream about what it would be like, but I’ve never been tempted to move because of that. You tend to do the best with what you’ve got, right?

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
    No – I live here because I love it, and all the pieces of the puzzle fit (for now, at least)

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
    I have seen it improving just over the past few years! A lot of economic stimulus money has come our way in the form of road repairs, which included changing some bottlenecking roads to two way with bike lanes. The more people I see on bikes, the more confident I am that our infrastructure will change to support those people riding!

  • http://nowforthen.wordpress.com Evie

    1. Washington, DC
    2. Came here for law school
    3. Law school is keeping me here for now, but I’m doing everything in my power to get away after graduation.
    4. DC is very bike friendly indeed, despite all the traffic. Still, when I consider other cities where I might want to settle down, it would be awfully nice to find one that’s even more bike friendly. I’m originally from Madison, WI (hi, David!), so between that and DC, there’s a pretty high standard that’s been set.
    5. Let’s just say that if I have to stay in DC, the bike infrastructure will be one of the very few redeeming qualities of the city.
    6. In a little over a year here, I have already seen some improvements of the bike infrastructure, most likely due to the influence of the old mayor, who was an ardent cyclist himself. But since we now have a new one, who knows?

  • Jennifer H.

    What city do you live in?
    I live in Charleston, SC. But not the cool downtown part, the suburby outskirts part.

    What brought you to your city originally?
    Nursing school, almost 5 years ago.

    What is keeping you in your city?
    The housing market mostly. We’d love to move and buy a place in VA, but we can’t sell our condo. Also I have a good job (though my husband doesn’t) and some good friends. And I’m now in a masters program, so moving seems like a monumental task.

    Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
    Yes! We could never afford to live in downtown Charleston, which seems to be pretty bike-friendly. We’re looking at Harrisonburg, VA (anyone out there from that area?), or basically anywhere within an hour’s radius of Charlottesville.

    Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
    Not a major role, but a minor one at least. Our suburby area is not bike or pedestrian friendly. The only place I can safely bike to is Wal-Mart, and that gets old. There’s nowhere within safe walking distance.

    Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
    Not really. Downtown maybe, but here there just isn’t a big push for it.

  • http://roseread.wordpress.com/ Cathy

    1. What city do you live in?
    Beverly, MA. A costal city 15ish miles north of Boston
    2. What brought you to your city originally?
    Cheaper rent than Salem (where I work) but still close enough.
    3. What is keeping you in your city?
    A tenure track academic librarin jo in the humanities. Friends and family all over Metro Boston, and I grew up in the area.
    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
    No. I didn’t start riding until I came to the North Shore, and while I’d like more bike infrastrucutre, I think bicycle education would be a better use of resources. I’ve been stopped by police and told to ride on the sidewalk. I’ve also been a pedestrain and been forced off the sidewalk by cyclists. Motorists, pedestrians and cyclists need to be better educated about the rules of the road. Sure, I’d love some more bike lanes, bike paths, and lots more bike racks, but I think education is more important.
    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
    Nope. If I get tenure, I’ll always stay nearby.
    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
    No. My city is pretty broke. They don’t plow very well, or fix potholes.

    • http://letsgorideabike.com Dottie

      Both sides of my family are from that area, Salem and Beverly. I know my Gram is not happy with the lack of bike infrastructure there and drivers seem extra aggressive.

  • http://suburbanbikemama.blogspot.com/ Vee

    neat survey

    1. What city do you live in? Newton, Ma ( more like urban suburban
    2. What brought you to your city originally? Compromise with husband who wanted house with yard and my needs for a subway line and close to real city.

    3. What is keeping you in your city? Schools for kids. Mortgage. And… a lot of neat little villages and a place that is actually perfect for biking as I would prob never had tried it in a real city. I love trains, buses and walking too much.

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? I dream of living in portland Or but we won’t be moving anytime soon. We are tried and true North easterners.

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? I’ll stay here anyway. But the fact that I can bike around makes me like it more. The fact that it needs help makes me want to get active in making changes.

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve? yes- the tide does seem to be turning a little bit. I don’t think it will ever be portland or copenhagen. But maybe a bit easier.

  • http://thecitycyclist.blogspot.com Ryan

    1. What city do you live in?
    -St. Catharines, Ontario (just outside of Niagara Falls)

    2. What brought you to your city originally?
    -Moved here when I was one.

    3. What is keeping you in your city?
    -Bad time to sell the house.

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
    -Everyday

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
    -Yes. We have quite a few bike lanes, however many were poorly designed. Of course we have more bike lanes then most cities in this province.

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
    -Uncertain. We’ve made progress however we’ve taken some steps back as well. We’ve had a bike lane removed and the city has backed down on bike lanes on other streets because of businesses.

  • Dweendaddy

    1. What city do you live in? Nashville, TN
    2. What brought you to your city originally? Job and family.
    3. What is keeping you in your city? Job and family.
    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? No, but I think about cities that are more bike friendly all the time!
    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? No, jobs and family are so much bigger, and I will always bike, no matter how bad the infrastructure is.
    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve? Not really, there is very little now, and very little movement to change, except for representation on this blog!!

  • http://www.TheJulieBlog.com Julie

    1. New York City
    2. Husband’s medical residency
    3. His residency is 5 years long.
    4. No, because NYC is great.
    5. it’s definitely a bonus of living here. The bike situation is getting better every day literally.
    6. Yes! it keeps getting better and more cyclists seem to be taking to the streets!

  • http://reallifespirituality.com/ Akemi

    1. Eugene, Oregon
    2. After living in Portland suburb for 2 years, I wanted to move to a 2BR townhouse (a lot quieter than apartments) as I work from home. I couldn’t find any good one in the area, but I moved myself 100 miles south to Eugene. Oh, yes, the joy of working for myself.
    3. Because I was born and have always lived in a large city, I was a bit concerned about moving to a small town like Eugene. Surprise, Portland is good (as some people mentioned) but Eugene is even better! Nice, cozy, friendly town.
    4. Both Portland and Eugene are very friendly. Dedicated bike lanes everywhere. Eugene also has a bike path along a creek — no motor vehicles allowed. (If you are thinking about visiting us, I heard some hotels rent bikes for free.)
    5. Not necessarily — I just bought my bike this weekend and found this blog! But the overall people & environmental friendliness is critical. Bike path is just one show of that spirit.
    6. How about a roofed bike path? (It rains from November to June around here.)

  • Rachel

    1. What city do you live in? Riverton, NJ, a small town outside of Philadelphia

    2. What brought you to your city originally? I’m from this area, and I ended up back here after college.

    3. What is keeping you in your city? I work here, and my husband is in law school in the area.

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? Sure, I certainly don’t relish being limited to where I can get to on my bike without having to ride on any major highways, which is just plain unsafe. Plus, I have never loved driving, and every time I can go somewhere without using my car is a blessing.

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? Unfortunately, since my husband does not ride and considers it a silly eccentricity of mine, I don’t think I can realistically expect to base the decision of where we will live on bike infrastructure. I would, however, prefer to move back to a city environment once it becomes feasible which I could only hope would allow me to switch more or less completely to cycle transportation.

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve? Well, not entirely. I know there is a desire for it here, but because the main road going through my town and the 3-4 neighboring towns is not wide enough to add a dedicated lane according to a study on my town posted on it’s website, I wonder if it’s even possible. I would love to start an effort to explore adding some kind of path in my town, but I don’t honestly know where to start.

    • Matt

      I see MissSarah hasn’t clocked in so I’ll speak for Edmonton.
      1. Edmonton, Alberta
      2. Work, I’m a project manager in heavy industrial construction. Mostly that great red herring the oilsands.
      3. I’m originally from the east coast and I miss the ocean. Edmonton is a great city though. It’s far more community based than either of the two other cities of >1m that I’ve lived in. The whole river valley is either park or golf course. And other than the river valley it’s quite flat making for very easy riding with cargo.
      4. Not specifically because of bicycling.
      5. No. I’ve always ridden in traffic so separate bike lanes aren’t necessary for me.
      6. Yes, it has spread and improved quite a bit in the 10 years I’ve lived here. my main complaint is that most of the money budgeted for bicycling infrastructure is for leisure trails going nowhere useful.

      • http://loopframelove.blogspot.com Deborah

        I’ll echo what Matt says about Edmonton (especially about missing the ocean, I’m a Maritimer too)…
        1. Edmonton, Alberta
        2. Came for grad studies, stayed for work.
        3. I’m home with kids right now, so it’s really hubby’s work that keeps us here – but we love Edmonton. The quality of life here is amazing.
        4. A warmer winter climate would be nice, but I wouldn’t move just for cycling reasons.
        5. I’ll stay put and help advocate for infrastructure improvements, thanks.
        6. This is where I disagree with Matt – in my part of the city the new-ish trails connect my neighborhood with shopping areas and public transit hubs, and the bicycle transportation plan that the city is gradually implementing so far includes sharrow-marked roads (not separate but a start) and separated multiuse trails that are connecting up the bits of infrastructure that don’t connect to anything useful. And we have just elected a forward-thinking city council. So I’m very optimistic about bicycling infrastructure improvements here.

        • Janet

          1. What city do you live in? Mountain View, California (40 miles south of San Francisco)
          2. What brought you to your city originally? Silicon Valley software engineering job.
          3. What is keeping you in your city? Diversity of people, terrain, activities. Great weather for outdoor activities.
          4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? Nope. My city is very bike friendly.
          5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? Yes. It’s part of the complete lifestyle package. I always wanted a “walk from home” lifestyle, but my suburban city is too spread out for that. With a bike, I substitute a 5-10 minute “roll” for a 5-10 minute “stroll” and I get everywhere I need to be.
          6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve? Yes. It’s gotten better every year for the last 20.

  • Aliza

    1.What city do you live in?

    I live in the Bronx, New York (one of the five boroughs of NYC).

    2. What brought you to your city originally?

    I was born and raised in New York.

    3. What is keeping you in your city?

    Work, I am a teacher and I love what I do but……

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?

    Yes, especially a city that is friendlier all together. Don’t get me wrong I love New York and no matter where I go I will always be a New Yorker but I am considering moving to a warmer and two-wheeled friendly city or town. Any suggestions! LOL

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?

    Not really, my job keeps me here but the Bronx does not have the bike infrastructure as Manhattan or Brooklyn does though moving to both boroughs could be an option but then my whole income will solely go to rent, NO Thanks! I love to have a life. However, I am considering moving to bike friendly town in a couple of years until then I’ll keep hoping that the Bronx will get a bike infrastructure makeover.

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?

    Yes, I believe that the bike fever is building in New York especially in the Bronx since the M.T.A hiked up fares. This past summer I saw people riding their bikes down my street everyday at least twenty per day, a huge jump from the summers before and I lived on my block for fifteen years. I believe as people change their modes of transportation to two wheels the city will eventually seek to build more secure bike lanes.

  • Ellen Allerton

    1. What city do you live in? Chicago! (Lincoln Square)
    2. What brought you to your city originally? Born & raised here
    3. What is keeping you in your city? I love city life! My neighborhood is easy to walk to everything I need. And whatever isn’t in my neighborhood is completely bikeable, even in the winter.
    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? Nah, chicago could use some improvements, but I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.
    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? I’d prefer that there are improvements but that’s not why I stay.
    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve? Sorta… I’ve been pulled over by cops 3 times this month for supposed “incorrect” biking. It’s frustrating when cops discourage people to bike…. but hopefully the ATA can keep pushing for better rules and laws.

    • http://letsgorideabike.com Dottie

      Go Chicago! Sorry to hear about being bothered by the cops. I’ve never had any problems. What was the supposed issue?

  • http://justlikeridingabike.wordpress.com Traci

    1. What city do you live in?
    Atlanta, GA

    2. What brought you to your city originally?
    Husband’s job

    3. What is keeping you in your city?
    Jobs, the housing market, a geriatric dog (don’t want to traumatize her with a move anywhere else!)

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
    I think about moving to Copenhagen every single day :)

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
    That’s not the biggest concern for staying where we are, although will be a huge factor if we decide to move. Wherever we happen to live next has to have better bike infrastructure than Atlanta, which won’t be too difficult! We’d love to eventually live in another country, so maybe a great biking city could be in our future at some point!

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
    I think it will improve, although very slowly and don’t expect it to ever reach the level of larger U.S. cities such as Chicago. Atlanta is king of sprawl and people love their huge gas-guzzling vehicles (for driving the 100+ miles daily for many), so unless we have a very long period of time with gas prices higher than about $4-5 dollars per gallon, people will continue to drive.

    • http://www.portlandize.com Dave

      @sara dokinchan: I’m sure as those widened sidewalk paths become more common, people will get more used to them. That is how many of the bike paths in Amsterdam are set up (they are on the same level as the sidewalk, and just paved with a different material or a different color), and the pedestrians (except for tourists) do a good job of staying out of them, because they know what they are and there is plenty of space to walk without walking in the bike path.

  • http://www.anaphase.com/blog Annalisa

    Lots of MA people have answered already, but I’ll play too. I’ve really enjoyed reading everyones responses.

    1. Boston, MA
    2. A dot-com startup in 1999. Before that I lived in New Haven, CT, and Columbus, OH, where I went to college. I’ve been bike commuting on and off for over 20 years.
    3. My work & professional network. My house, but that’s a lesser reason.
    4. Yes, although Boston has gotten really bike-friendly, especially within the last 5 years. It’s remarkable, honestly, how much it has changed since I moved here almost 11 years ago. I love Boston in many ways, but I also like to move around. Ironically, while I’ve lived in Boston since 1999, I’ve always worked in Cambridge. Perhaps I should move to Velouria’s side of the river. :)
    5. Yes, in the sense that I don’t want to live anywhere with a poor infrastructure, so IF we move, it would have to be someplace bike-friendly.
    6. Yes. Like I said, there have been remarkable changes here over the past 10 years. Bike lanes are going in more frequently now. The MBTA is adding more secure bike parking at subway stations. You can bring your bike on the T and commuter rail during weekends of off-peak hours. More buses are getting bike racks on them. Coming from Ohio via Connecticut, I have very few complaints about the public transportation and bikeability of the city. What I would like to see, however, is fewer cyclists and drivers acting like entitled jerks.

  • Deborah

    1. What city do you live in? Minneapolis
    2. What brought you to your city originally? Visited and loved it… moved up here and then found a job. That was 20 years ago.
    3. What is keeping you in your city? Force of habit. Plus I really do love the place. My son (now almost 17) is a Minneapolitan through and through and says he doesn’t ever want to live anywhere else, though I’m pretty sure he’d like Portland! ;}
    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? Sure. Especially one that actually sells Dutch city bikes somewhere (Minneapolis isn’t there yet).
    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? No, that wouldn’t be a deciding factor either way. But I’d sure love the Twin Cities to become ever-more-bikeable.
    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve? Yes. Like Eli said above, the city has just published an ambitious 5-year plan that really could make a big difference. Wish those new bike lanes and paths were in place RIGHT NOW. It’s also my hope that all of these great new bike lanes will not be in the door zone. That’s a widespread problem right now (that, plus bike lanes that just end in the middle of busy intersections). Right now Minneapolis is supposedly the #1 bike town (per Bicycling magazine) but I’d say it’s a much better place for recreational biking than for real commuting by bike. At least that’s the case in my neighborhood. I hope soon it will be great for all types of biking.

    • Rosa

      It does seem like we’re an experimental station for different kinds of bike lanes, sometimes. It’s interesting how sometimes I’ll see people online praising things (like the terrible flashing-light Greenway crossings) that I find really poorly designed.

      I called the Greenway coalition last week to find out who I could call about an accident I’d seen and found out part of why things are so difficult, though – the specific crossing I hate the most (26th St & the Hiawatha trail, which I have to cross at least twice a day) is in between 3 different legal jurisdictions who would all have to agree on a solution and then share funds somehow.

      Anyway.

      1. Minneapolis, southside
      2. fell in love (with a bike mechanic)
      3. I love it here, I love our neighborhood, now I love my son’s public school so we’re definitely here for 8 more years.
      4. If I could find a city as progressive as this one, but warmer, I’d move in a minute. Stupid winter.
      5. Sort of. I rode even when I lived in a small town where people threw beer bottles out of cars at cyclists; if we moved we’d pick a place we could bike/transit from in whatever city it was.
      6. Maybe. I worry that the cycling fervor will cool off and the city will decide infrastructure is too expensive. But I think the streets are getting safer for bicycles aside from specific infrastructure, and unless the recession gets better quick or gas suddenly becomes limitless and cheaper, we’ll keep seeing more people biking because that’s what they can afford – if we can get those folks (the sidewalk riders/salmon/gear-free Huffy riders) into “the community” we’ll have real political force.

  • http://tamaraeden.wordpress.com Tamara

    How can it be that I, barely able to call myself a cyclist, is the first from L.A., Hollywood to be exact.

    1. What city do you live in?
    I live in Los Feliz, which is just east of Hollywood, CA.

    2. What brought you to your city originally?
    I grew up in the San Fernando Valley, yes, I’m a valley girl (not really). I ended up living in San Diego for ten years and when I decided to move back to the LA area I wanted to be near work and urban. I ended up here in Los Feliz.

    3. What is keeping you in your city?
    I love my job and well, it would be expensive to leave! Husband and I do plan on moving a tad west to the Pico area, though I do LOVE Los Feliz.

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
    Not really. I actually like riding in the city. Los Feliz is a bit hilly for my physical state and preference but I don’t think biking would change where I move.

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
    No. Truth be told, I don’t ride nearly enough for that to be a consideration. However, I do think infrastructure is EXTREMELY important.

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
    Yes, but as is all things in this metropolis, everything takes time and a lot of patience. Even with infrastructure, unless we can train drivers (of which I am a good one:) ), cyclists and commuters in particular will have to ride even more defensively than perhaps we’d like.

    CHOICE QUESTION: Do you commute to work?

  • Bronwyn

    1. Los Angeles
    2. I came to Southern California for college, spent a few summers working here, and then moved to L.A. proper after graduation. I’ve been here ever since!
    3. My husband and I have a home here, and a large and supportive base of friends. Career-wise it would probably make more sense for me to be on the east coast, but I love L.A. and the live my husband and I have made for ourselves. Oh, and the weather can’t be beat!
    4. I’ve thought about it, but if we were to change cities it would be for something much more major, like a career change or to start a family. Cycling infrastructure would be a bonus, but not the sole reason for moving somewhere else.
    5. Although I would of course LOVE more cycling infrastructure, it doesn’t have much bearing on our choice to stay where we are.
    6. Very much so! L.A. has already improved by leaps and bounds within the last few years, and with the recent show of support from Mayor Villaraigosa, the strengthening of the L.A. County Bicycle Coalition, and the city’s first and hugely successful ciclovia (among many other things!), I think we’re on the right track. In fact, after CicLAvia a few weeks ago I am more optimistic than ever about the state of cycling in Los Angeles. It was hard not to be moved by the huge show of support from cyclists, pedestrians, and even some motorists throughout the city.

  • http://carfreepvd.wordpress.com carfreepvd

    1. Providence, RI

    2. Spouse got a job at Brown University. We had lived in New England before and were happy to return.

    3. When there is an academic in the family, you stay where the job is. However, we both really like it here, and we would probably stay no matter what.

    4. I don’t think I’d like to live in a city that is significantly less dense than Providence. For me, density is more important than bike-friendliness (although there is often a correlation, up to a point).

    5. No. There’s not much real bike infrastructure in the city. I’ve biked in cities with better infrastructure, and it is nice to have it, but I’ve become very comfortable with riding as a vehicular cyclist in Providence. The roads are a reasonable width that often allow cyclists and motorists to share the road. Because most of the streets are narrow, the speed limits are almost always 25 MPH. That means there’s not much difference in speed between me and the cars passing me.

    6. Bike infrastructure improvements seem to be low on the priority list. I’d really like to see some sharrows around here, along with a motorist and cyclist education campaign on how to use them.

  • Karen V

    1. What city do you live in?
    Boise, Idaho

    2. What brought you to your city originally?
    Job for my husband

    3. What is keeping you in your city?
    I can’t imagine leaving. There are so many things to like about Boise and very few to not like. I am not an athletic person but since moving here I have taken up trail running, mountain biking, road biking and skiing. Being active is easy here, and I feel better for it. There weather is great all the time, there are public trails in the foothills just a few blocks from my house, there is a paved path along the Boise river through town, there are many popular road cycling routes, and the closest lift-access skiing is less than 20 miles away. Life here is good! Just in case I’m being too positive about Boise, the things I don’t like are the one-sided politics and the distance from the ocean.

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
    No. I’m sure there are more bike-friendly cities, but Boise is doing pretty well.

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
    Yes. Being able to bike is part of why I love Boise.

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
    Yes! At least I don’t think things will get worse.

    • Veronica

      Shhhh! Stop telling people how awesome Boise is, or they’ll keep moving here!

      • Karen V

        I know, I know. Sorry! Sometimes it’s hard not to brag.

        • theurbanryan

          1. Atlanta, GA
          2. I moved here for college and stuck around. This is the first large city I’ve lived in (grew up in a college town) and living here completely realigned my plans in life. I’ve been car-free for 8 years and have lived in the center city for most of them.
          3. My job, primarily. I have a chance to improve some things for car-free folks, and hopefully get some more to try it. I like Atlanta, too, but it’s frustrating sometimes – it’s certainly not my ideal city – that would have well-funded transit (who has that anyway, though), gridded streets, Chicago-like density, etc. Atlanta’s never bothered me enough that I have a lasting desire to leave though.
          4. Yes – somewhere that actually routinely at least considers adding bike lanes and paths. And more transit-friendly.
          5. No. I’m sticking it out here; bike infrastructure is minimal for most trips. We do have some short paths in several neighborhoods, and a few lanes, but they’re not long and don’t really connect many places. Out transit system is really bike-friendly though; no restrictions whatsoever on trains and bike racks on all buses. That makes it work for me.
          6. Yes, but most new projects focus on connecting neighborhoods on standalone paths. Not so much discussion about bike lanes on major streets – there are still going to be lots of missing links (if I understand the plans correctly). But it’s certainly progress, and will eventually grow the number of cycling opportunities.

    • http://elietc.blogspot.com eli

      No Kentuckians yet, so I’ll represent!

      1. Lexington, Ky

      2. My family moved to Louisville from Houston when I was 10, so I sort of grew up in Kentucky. Everyone I knew was going to college in Lexington (UK), so after my trial escape to IU for my freshman year got to be too expensive with out-of-state tuition, it made sense for my in-state return to be to the place where most of my friends lived.

      3. My boyfriend and I have sort of taken turns being the reason to stay here. He graduated college a year before I did, so he stuck around to wait for me. Then, by the time I graduated, he had a decent job here that he didn’t want to give up. By the time that job fell through, I was already enrolled in Library Science grad school back at UK. God willing, we will move after I graduate in December 2011. We are waaaayyyy ready.

      4. ALL THE TIME.

      5. Yes. Lexington is trying, and we realize that, but it’s just not doing it for us. There are a couple bike lanes downtown, but they randomly end, or go through turn lanes, and it’s just not that pleasant to ride most places. Even in the places where there is decent infrastructure, motorists HATE bikers. And, most bikers (especially around the college) are bad bikers. They ride on sidewalks, the wrong way in bike lanes, etc. It’s really frustrating. Lexington does have a small group of smart, pro-bike people, and we like them…but it really is a small minority.

      (We also want to leave because Lexington has poor resources for vegans and is not close to water of any kind)

      6. I think that it will, but not any time too soon. Even if infrastructure does improve, it will still take a long time for motorists to change their attitudes towards bikes.

  • http://www.bikeskirt.com Elisa M

    1. What city do you live in? Birmingham
    2. What brought you to your city originally? to be close to family…although they moved away 2 years ago!
    3. What is keeping you in your city? The community and the hope.
    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? nearly every day.
    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? I think that you can make change wherever you are and the more you ride, the more you will change minds and opinions. So…probably not; but it would be nice!
    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?

  • http://emeraldsedai.livejournal.com/tag/riding%20clyde Anne Hawley

    1. Portland OR
    2. I’m a native
    3. I LOVE IT HERE!
    4. I’m honestly not sure there IS one that wouldn’t require emigration–and I’m a bit too old for that.
    5. Yes, in that as I get older, I can continue to cycle safely in the urban core.
    6. I think Portland is right at the edge of having to go for real, separated bike infrastructure, or else languish and fall behind. It’s not at all clear which way it will go. But they’ve just recently put in some AWESOME sharrow-marked bike boulevards that I use several times a week very happily.

    • parker

      1. What city do you live in?
      Corvallis, Oregon (population about 53,000)
      2. What brought you to your city originally?
      I sought a transfer within my (then) company to our city, as a good place to raise our family.
      3. What is keeping you in your city?
      We’ll never leave! I took early retirement from my company, am now a college teacher & loving it. My wife is a musician & teacher. Our city is centered around Oregon State Univ.
      4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
      Our city has been LAB “Gold” for years. (BTW, we also lived 10 great years in Davis, Calif.)
      5. Does the bike infrastructure play a major role…?
      Our city is small enough that extensive infrastructure isn’t needed: there are bike lanes on all major streets, and some very nice multi-use paths. Residential streets are quiet and no problem for an experienced biker. I bike several thousand miles each year, about 10x the number of miles I drive. I also use public transportation (buses & Amtrak trains, both of which take bikes on board). Motorists are generally very considerate (many of them are also bikers).
      6. Optimistic that infrastructure will improve?
      I expect that small “fix-it” improvements will be made all the time. A major focus of our biking advocacy community is education of bikers, both children and also university students who often arrive in town clueless about good practices.

  • Mike

    1. What city do you live in?
    Winnipeg, Manitoba

    2. What brought you to your city originally?
    My wife finally got a tenure-track faculty position.

    3. What is keeping you in your city?
    Her job.

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
    All the time. But that’s not the main reason for wanting to move.

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
    Not at all. In my opinion, Winnipeg has only a pretense of bicycle infrastructure, but I get to all the places I need to with no difficulty by bicycle, so that doesn’t matter much. There are really only a few places I have any desire to go to here, and they’re all close and fairly easy to get to. I have found it necessary to avoid roads with “improvements” for cycling recently (there’s a “bike boulevard” near my house that was just completed, but every change made simply encourages motorists to drive faster).

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
    Not at all. The local government just is currently completing a substantial number of active transportation projects, but only because federal money is being offered, with a tight deadline. It is clear that it is more about grabbing that money and getting some of it into the local economy than about really encouraging cycling or making it more convenient or safer. The changes that I’ve seen so far are poorly thought out and likely (I’m estimating) to cause more cyclists to get struck by motorists (replacing four-way stops with yield signs and mini-roundabouts, and taking away street parking, then painting gutter-only bike lanes makes for more high-speed motor traffic and unsafe conditions for new cyclists trying out the “bike boulevard”). Outside the city it’s even worse. The roads are flat, straight, and long, and have gravel/dirt shoulders, and there are hardly any bike paths (there are a few in the city, but they’re all designed for recreation, not transportation.

    Oddly enough, when we lived in the Boston area, we had two cars, and now we don’t drive at all. The winter is cold and long, but I still expect the bakfiets to keep the kids warm enough. Which reminds me — it’s about time to put those studded tires on…

  • http://lavenderkissed.blogspot.com/ Kelly

    1. San Francisco, CA
    2. Birth
    3. Inertia
    4. Absolutely! I grew up bicycling for fun in the quieter neighborhoods of SF, but never really did it as a commuter until my husband and I lived in Rotterdam, NL in 2001-2 while I studied for my MA. Once we returned to SF though, I couldn’t get over how aggressive and non-bike friendly the drivers are and long to live someplace where I can have biking be my main transportation again.
    5. Among many other reasons, yes.
    6. Even for my negative responses above, I have seen a lot of improvements in SF’s infrastructure for bicyclists in the past decade, but it has a long way to go before it compares to a Dutch city.

    • Drew

      1. What city do you live in?
      Stuttgart, Germany

      2. What brought you to your city originally?
      Work

      3. What is keeping you in your city?
      Work that allows me to live in and travel Europe

      4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
      Though Stuttgart, like most of Germany is very bike friendly I do think about moving back to the states in a few years and my choice of location will be based on how “Bike Friendly” that city is

      5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
      No, as much as I love Germany and Europe I plan to return to the US in a few more years however the bike infrastructure of where I plan to go does play a major role (but I already answered that one above)

      6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
      Yes, it improves each and every day here. The paths/Bike infrastructure here is amazing.

      • Lexy

        1. I live in Madison, WI
        2. I grew up in Madison, but lived elsewhere for college and the post-graduate years. I returned to attend graduate school.
        3. We stay in Madison because of the proximity to my family, my job, friends, the climate, the affordability, the safety…
        4. I think very few cities are as bike-friendly as Madison. If we did move, I would be sad to leave Madison’s bike infrastructure. We don’t currently have a car and rely on bikes and the bus.
        5. Yes.
        6. Yes, I think the bike infrastructure will improve. Our current mayor is very focused on biking.

  • http://www.naturallycyclingmanchester.wordpress.com LC

    1. What city do you live in? Manchester, UK
    2. What brought you to your city originally? family related reasons, I was 16 :D
    3. What is keeping you in your city? I love this city, this is my home. Vibrant, friendly, a city full of character… with a growing cycling population (albeit slowly).
    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? sometimes, on bad days lol! Usually to Amsterdam or Copenhagen (obvious choices, I know!)
    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? well, I’d like to think that I’d rather play a positive role in promoting cycling and its infrastructure, rather than leaving this city just for the lack of.
    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?oh yes, with time and with people’s interest. Cycling can play a major role for a more sustainable city and lifestyle, so, yes, I am positive.

  • ksnurse

    I’ll check in from the center of everywhere. The geographical center of lower 48 is only 1.5 hrs drive from me.

    1: Wichita
    2: Came here for school and work
    3: Work. although on a 5 yr plan to move to some acerage a little ways out.
    4: Not really although I’m envious of those who do live in more cyclist friendly areas
    5: Not really, just got back on a bike 3 months ago for the first time in 30 yrs so still relearning. I’m thankful for this and couple other blogs that speak to the slow style and are helping bring back cycling for the avg rider who isn’t concerned with speed.
    6: Somewhat. Our current Mayor held a family bike day this past May and hopes to make it annual. We have a couple great bike/hike paths and city has just put in bike lanes on 2 streets for distance of about 2 miles as a trial. Education is a much needed factor here though, the motorists aren’t cyclist friendly and I get honked at and yelled at a lot as I take the lane, but one advantage to being older-I no longer worry about what they think, I’m gonna ride where I’m safest.

  • http://www.greaseragmpls.wordpress.com lowrah

    1. Minneapolis, MN
    2. School, I like mid-sized cities, rumors that the people here are really active and enjoy the outdoors year round and that winter isn’t that bad.
    3. The BIKE, DIY, foodie, active/ athletic culture here. I’ve had an easy time making friends through mplsbikelove.com, exco-tc.org, http://www.greaseragmpls.wordpress.com and other groups that I’ve joined over the years. The people here are ridiculously cool and the city is just my speed.
    4. I don’t think about moving often, but if I were to move it would have to be to a bike-friendly city.
    5. I’m never going back to where I came from because it was impossible to get around without freeways and cars and the car “culture” there was overwhelming. I prefer riding on roads to bike lanes most of the time, but having paths for long afternoon rides, being able to picnic right off the trail or taking the Cedar Lake Trail on a Friday night in winter without having to worry about cars killing you is certainly nice. I like the combination of trails that go around lakes and greenways that take you somewhere. The Nice Rides niceridemn.org that are for rent in town, the Greenway getting plowed regularly and that nice wide lane on Hennepin are reasons that make me want to stay.
    6. New things are happening all the time here. I hope that Nice Rides will get more people riding and will make bike infrastructure even more prominent in Minneapolis. Bicycle boulevards and greenways are coming! Traffic calming is happening! There is a lot to improve on, especially for our year-round riders, but I am hopeful.

  • http://mariannika.wordpress.com/ Marianne

    You definitely have a lot of MA readers/commenters! My corner of the commonwealth hasn’t been represented yet, so I’ll jump in and play.

    1. What city do you live in? Lowell, MA, a mid-sized city about 30 miles northwest of Boston.

    2. What brought you to your city originally? Hmmmm, we were living in San Francisco and I was desperate to come back to the east coast. I was hoping to move back to Boston/Cambridge but my partner got a job in Lowell so that’s where we ended up. Neither of us had ever been to Lowell when we moved here, luckily it was love at first sight.

    3. What is keeping you in your city? We love it here, and both of us work here.

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? No, but I do dream of visiting places like Copenhagen or Amsterdam where bikes are totally ingrained into the transportation culture.

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? Not really, although I think that the bike infrastructure in Lowell is somewhat improving, albeit slowly. Lowell is a small area-wise and pretty flat and it spans both sides of the Merrimack River so traveling by bike is pretty easy and quick (especially if you have to cross the river.) The city is also in the process of gentrifying itself (which I have mixed feelings about) and has brought in quite a few smart growth folks who all sing the praises of bikes so at least the idea is out there.

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve? Somewhat. The city and local businesses are pretty good about adding bike racks if people ask for them. One of the local buses recently got a bike rack put on the front which is progress, unfortunately it’s the downtown circulator bus which travels in a 1.5 mile loop. We’re at the point where the improvements vary between helpful and showy.

    • http://www.anaphase.com/blog Annalisa

      I love and miss Lowell! Say hi to the old timers at Western Avenue Studios for me. :)

  • http://www.lafilleatomique.com Molly

    1. Philadelphia
    2. Born and raised! I had a brief stint in California, but I couldn’t stay away long.
    3. I love the hustle and bustle of a fast moving city. The east coast has so much more to offer than the west coast, because cities are so much closer. Philadelphia is right in the middle of the mid-Atlantic region, so there’s always things to do, places to visit, new stuff to try out.
    4. I wouldn’t solely move because a city is bike friendly, but if I consider a move, bike accessibility is a factor.
    5. It’s not something that makes or breaks my decision to stay in Philly, but I suppose it’s easy to say that when the city is easy to bike in.
    6. New improvements are being made constantly by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and other advocacy groups, plus we’re hosting the Philadelphia Bike Expo which will become an annual event, so I foresee good things!

  • Marc

    1) Seattle, WA
    2) My wife is from the Seattle area.. we met in college in Los Angeles. She brought me up here after the riots of Los Angeles.. I can’t believe I wanted to stay in So Cal. before that time.

    We actually started riding together on the Santa Monica coast. Now, after riding the Seattle to Portland bike ride twice together (7 times for me!), we laugh at what we thought were “long” rides.
    3) We love Seattle! We live in quite an “urban” part of the city.. but our backyard is the large Burke Gilman trail. I ride to work rain / snow/ or shine. We have a community market right down the street from us, so it’s easy to walk / ride to the store and get food. I joke that I have the biggest refigerator of all!
    4) Move? I visit friends in Eugene and Portland.. sometimes I’d think I’d like a smaller town, but still love all the big and small Seattle has to offer.
    5) Seattle proper is easy to ride in. Actually, the trails get TOO busy sometimes. I love reading about folks that just “ride.” I’ve given up a lot of the speed of my yore and just concentrate on just being out with my wife… and loving riding even more. You get more positive looks from peds and cars without the spandex too!
    6) Improvements are coming (reduced lane widths “road diets” to make bike lanes, more and more sharrows. I guess I’m impatient though. There’s still a large backlash from the car folks, and this surprises me so much in this “progressive” city. It’s easy to ride for fun, but I’d like better routing for actually getting places in the city.
    Marc

  • elizabeth b.

    1. What city do you live in? Nashville, TN

    2. What brought you to your city originally? Married a musician

    3. What is keeping you in your city? Work, and the fact that I really like living in a city full of creative people

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? Yes, but those thoughts are usually tempered with a dose of reality. On the other hand I have a great commute with a bike lane almost the entire ride, which is unusual for Nashville

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? We don’t have a great biking infrastructure, but I really believe staying where I am and working toward creating a more bike friendly city.

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve? I think that the mayor is taking steps in that direction, but as we all know change is slow.

    • Ginger

      1. What city do you live in? Lawrenceville, NJ (near Trenton / Princeton)
      2. What brought you to your city originally? Job in pharma
      3. What is keeping you in your city? Job in pharma
      4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? No — When I think about where I’d like to end up, I can’t seem to settle on one place.
      5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? Doesn’t play a major role but I certainly enjoy the biking opportunities here — bike lanes on a lot of streets, nice canal path that connects a lot of places I want to go
      6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve? We have some great bike advocacy groups in the area and some strong groups for bike/pedestrian concerns, so yes, I’m optimistic it will improve

      • Jen F

        1. What city do you live in? – San Diego, CA

        2. What brought you to your city originally? – Graduate school

        3. What is keeping you in your city? – I love my job, my boyfriend loves his job, we both like San Diego

        4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? – yes, though more often about moving to a more bike friendly neighborhood, closer to work and friends

        5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? – not really, I think it’s getting better all the time

        6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve? – Yes

        • Librarian

          1. Cambridge MA
          2. Grad school
          3. Work, family, homeownership, sustainable living, a community of like-minded liberals. BTW, I’m 45 years old and have never owned a private car.
          4.We are coming along slowly. By US standards, Cambridge ranks higher than most cities I’ve visited in bike friendliness (except Portland OR). We are, however, frustratingly behind European cities like Copenhagen or Amsterdam, though we undoubtedly have the knowledge and resources to adopt their best practices.
          5.No, I’d live here anyway. I’ve invested so much heart and soul in my community, and receive so much in return, that I wouldn’t move unless my prospects elsewhere were so dazzling that I’d be crazy to refuse. It is unlikely any distance prospect would lure me way, because I deeply value the depth of relationships I have gained from longterm residency.
          6. I am optimistic my city’s bike infrastructure will improve. It is so much better than 20 years ago! We’re building cycletracks (though controversial with vehicular cyclists) and bike lanes are springing up everyday. These changes help new cyclists feel safe and help train drivers to share the road. I dream of us becoming less car-centric, figuring out that more customers arrive in shops by bike, foot, or public transportation and making appropriate accomodations. I’m trying to do my part as a role model — another middle-aged lady commuting everyday on an upright bike in a skirt!

    • Mitch

      1. What city do you live in?
      Madison, Wisconsin
      2. What brought you to your city originally?
      Like most people I know, I came for the University. (My wife’s family on the other hand, was here before the Civil War. They’re exceptions.)
      3. What is keeping you in your city?
      I have a job I like (mostly), and a family I’ve raised here. Madison is a nice place to raise kids; the schools are good and the environment is safe, but it doesn’t feel like a suburb. For adults, it feels like a small town (which good and bad aspects) but it’s not boring like a small town.
      4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
      If I could find a way to support myself in Portland or Amsterdam or Copenhagen, I’d move there. Not primarily for the bike-friendliness, but that would be a point in those cities’ favor.
      5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
      Probably. Madison’s bike infrastructure is extensive. I can go almost anywhere I need to go on off-street paths or low-traffic streets, so I don’t use a car except for heavy-duty shopping or trips to the country. I’d be reluctant to move where I’d have drive everywhere.
      6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
      The Mayor wants Madison to get rated as a Platinum bike-friendly community (we’re currently Gold). We have some new Bike Boulevards this year, and there are plans to build a few new paths. As a cyclist, I’m pretty happy with my situation, but there are some parts of town where biking is still rather scary.

      • Christy

        1. Bloomington, Indiana
        2. I’m from IA; my husband and I had lived in New England for 10 years (his home region) and I was ready to get closer to home. One night we pulled out a map and I drew a large circle of an area that I considered “close enough to home” and after a few minutes of looking my husband said “I spent a weekend in Bloomington, IN one time and it was really nice.” Within two months we sold our house and bought a new one. Best move we’ve ever made!
        3. My job…I LOVE it! Plus, our children are in excellent education situations (while the schools are currently struggling, our son is in a fabulous charter school and our daughter is in an amazing class that has children ages K-6 in it). Indiana University is in Bloomington, so there are fabulous “city” opportunities with the arts, but the cost is affordable. PLUS, it’s a great town to live in. Very family friendly. feels like small town midwest.
        4. Nope
        5. Bloomington has been doing some very exciting things with regards to being a bike friendly community. There are several recreational bike paths. The city has numerous bike lanes (although they do seem to be on the hilliest routes), and there are bike racks all over, so you don’t have to lock your bike to signs.
        6. The only thing that I could “wish” for is that motorists were more cognizant of bikers and their rights. That being said, I know that I have become more understanding of bikers when I began to ride every day…I was not nearly aware enough of bikers previous to my conversion.

  • Michael

    1. What city do you live in?
    Southern coastal NJ pine barrens.

    2. What brought you to your city originally?
    Work opportunity

    3. What is keeping you in your city?
    Mostly my job–I would really like to move to a more bike-friendly area with milder climate, maybe in the southwest.

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
    YES! I was born in Seattle and grew up in Edmonds. Last visit I stayed on Dexter (just north of the Mercer or Denny) and I love walking out in the morning and seeing scores of commuters passing by –rain or shine (rain in my case). I also like Japan, where the bicycle seems to be the standard transportation for so many.

    5. Does the bike infrastructure play a major role…?
    Bike infrastructure? If I ride 25 miles south to Chatsworth NJ, I can pick up a rural road (CR 562 I think) with designated bike lanes. There is also about 2 miles of “bike path” near my house, but I prefer the road as it is faster and fewer pedestrians or people in “hoverounds.” In my county I rarely see a
    bike-lane sign or actual designated bike lanes and rarely see any bike parking with the exception of my home and my employer.

    6. Optimistic that infrastructure will improve?
    I am always optimistic and hoepful. Especaially with all the concern for “green” alternatives. And I do enjoy riding and commuting here–maybe I am the one guy that the motorists see regularly commuting, or it comes up in conversation. People become more aware and I can actually help to educate by example. Whereas in Seattle or Redmond I would just be one of the masses of bike commuters. But I do need to find like-minded people in the local area (perhaps a coalition) to push for better infrastructure–even just signage to remind motorists to look out for bicycles.

    • Peter

      I think you are right. People do talk about you and get to know cyclists on rural or county roads and by modeling cycling as an option, others will begin to ride the roads with you. Your positive attitude and actions will bring change even if it is slow. Unfortunately, it can make for lonely advocacy as right now all I have in my rural area is like-minded people on-line.

  • Scott

    1. What city do you live in?
    Chicago, IL.

    2. What brought you to your city originally?
    Grad school.

    3. What is keeping you in your city?
    I have a job here that I like very much, and the bicycle scene is excellent for the USA.

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
    I am ready to move to Copenhagen now if I could get a work visa and find employment there. It was discussed once that my fiancee could try to get a job in Sweden, and I would spend my time riding around the streets of Stockholm.

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
    Huge role.

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
    Yes, there are far more cyclists here now than when I arrived in 2003. My expectation is that there will be even more in the future, and my hope is that our new mayor will continue to build bicycle infrastructure.

  • Melissa S.

    1. What city do you live in? Aurora, IL
    2. What brought you to your city originally? I had left the military and wasn’t ready to go to where my families lived so I moved to where my friend lived.
    3. What is keeping you in your city? My fiance’ is finishing school here.
    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? Oh yes. We are seriously thinking about moving to Denver or somewhere very near there (Boulder is in consideration after reading the comments here).
    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? Sort of. I think that the infrastructure is getting better here but I still want to be close to my family. The fact that closer to my family means better biking is a major plus.
    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve? I do think it will improve. Already our city is doing things to improve. The park disctrict recently announced they are connected some gaps in our trail. Also, the city is talking a lot about improvements. Talk is not action, but it’s still good.

  • http://markus.alyra.org/ Savanni D’Gerinel

    1. What city do you live in?
    Austin, Texas

    2. What brought you to your city originally?
    Work

    3. What is keeping you in your city?
    The weather, the huge poly community, the green spaces, the growing emphasis on local business and active/healthy living.

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
    Yes, but not very seriously

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
    Yes

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
    Yes. I see improvements happening all the time. They’re minor, such as roads restriped to have bike lanes, and really big improvements get killed by business interests, but even small improvements help out a lot.

  • Horace

    1. What city do you live in?
    Sunnyvale, California

    2. What brought you to your city originally?
    Jobs!

    3. What is keeping you in your city?
    Jobs!

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
    I think about other cities, but few places will be more bike friendly than where I am.

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
    Yes. I bike to work every day. My wife uses a bike and public transit to commute most days. We got rid of one of our cars. Since we moved here 10 years ago, several roads in Sunnyvale have been changed from 4-lanes to 2-lanes of traffic plus a bike lane; bike bridges have been built to facilitate freeway crossings; and both Sunnyvale and Mountain View have been designated as bike friendly communities (currently bronze level) by the League of American Bicyclists. There’s still more to be done, but things are pretty darn good.

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
    I am optimistic. Things have improved quite a bit over the past 10 years, and things seem to be forging ahead.

  • http://www.fullhandsx3.blogspot.com sara

    1. What city do you live in?
    New Haven, CT

    2. What brought you to your city originally?
    Husband’s grad school

    3. What is keeping you in your city?
    The great school where I work and our kids attend, our very first home, friends, intellectual environment, close to family but not *too* close, food, theater, city but small town feel

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
    There is a part of me that dreams of living in the Pacific NW, partly because its more progressive bike culture, but we are North Easterners,,,,

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
    Truthfully, no. Right now I think our decision to stay or leave New Haven will be far more driven by our children’s schooling needs that our biking wants.

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
    I am hesitantly optimistic that it is and will continue to change. However, I do worry that the change will be too slow to benefit my children in terms of them being able to ride for transportation in the next few years. We are in a transition period in our home: All three boys can ride themselves but we are still riding them on cargo bikes to get to where we need to go. However, the older two (especially) are getting bigger and our ability to ride them daily to school on/in a cargo bike is getting strained. Yet there are no safe routes for them to ride to school…. I am not optimistic that the City will invest enough in biking infrastructure and education to change this before my guys get out of elementary school.

  • http://mywheelsareturning.com Lee Maynard

    1. Traverse City, MI
    2. a summer internship for the regional Land Conservancy
    3. Community, friendliness of strangers, natural beauty, food, music, art, trails & natural areas close to town
    4. Yes, Denmark!
    5. Yes b/c it = Quality of Life
    6. Yes!

  • http://www.MyWheelsareTurning.com Gary

    1. Traverse City, MI

    2. Family brought me here and was raised here. Left during my twenties, came back in my thirties.

    3. I stay here because it’s a little city with a big city heart…sometimes. Despite a high retirement population, there are more and more young creatives living and passing through here. They are attracted to natural beauty, good food and active lifestyle.

    4. I think about Montreal on a daily basis.

    5. TC has an advantage of being small, so lack of bicycle infrastructure isn’t really a block for someone willing to ride with motorized traffic. However, as I get older and perhaps become less willing and/or able, it is something I consider. I lot of my advocacy work on the subject is directly related to my retirement years or getting streets designed so that I have more friends to bike with!

    6. Today, yes. Yesterday, not that much. It swings with what is the issue of the day and the public response. I trust that with a concerted effort in the next 5 years we can get beyond incremental improvements and grasp the advantage that a walkable/bikable city/region exhibits.

  • Art Vandalay

    1. Wheaton Illinois.

    2. Small houses on huge lots.

    3. Depressed real estate prices and a shrinking job market.

    4. I often fantasize about living in Amsterdam or Copenhagen.

    5. Actually it does. Here in western burbs of Chicago we have (literally) hundreds of miles of dedicated, separate bike trails. The thought of surrendering this is a major reason against moving away.

    6. Yes. The bike plan for DuPage County alone is spectacular. Thinking about it keeps me awake at night.

    • http://www.bicycle.webnode.com Jazzboy

      1. Toronto, Canada

      2. Spouse’s work.

      3. Our life, our jobs…

      4. Not really, because Toronto is already fairly bike friendly.

      5. It doesn’t, but I’m lucky that the existing infrastructure is pretty good and seems to be improving every year.

      6. There’s a municipal election going on right now and I don’t think that continuing the good work that’s been done in the past years to improve bike infrastructure will be on their list of priorities. So, I’m not optimistic at all but at least I’m satisfied with what we have right now.

      • http://thecitycyclist.blogspot.com Ryan

        Unfortunately for Torontonians, whomever gets in come Monday night, progress in bike infrastructure will be slow…if not reversed.

      • http://www.slowbikemiami.com Daniel M. Perez

        1. Miami Beach, FL
        2. Moved to Miami in 1995 from Puerto Rico in order to leave insularity (little did I know that Miami has its own kind…).
        3. Family and school for the moment. That won’t last long, though.
        4. Yes, very much so (looking at you, Seattle).
        5. Yes. Miami (greater, and city), though it has shown some improvement over the last couple of years, is just the kind of place where I don’t expect anything greater than the painting of a bike lane in an out-of-the-way route to be done. Ever. It’s a sad reality.
        6. See above. If the awesome bike advocates we have could move into positions of actual power, maybe. But there’s so much politicking and underhanded dealing in this city/county, so much misunderstanding and sometimes outright hatred of non-car forms of transportation, that I’m not sure how far it could go.

  • Julia Dahl

    1. State College, PA
    2. College at Penn State
    3. Finishing a degree
    4. Every day
    5. Somewhat
    6. No

  • Emily

    I live in Brooklyn. I came to live here based on my love for NYC that has existed throughout my entire life. I decided to move here on a whim. Brooklyn is much more affordable than Manhattan. I stay in Brooklyn because I feel that it is casual, neighborhood oriented, and culturally diverse. I spent two weeks in Maastricht in March and was blown away by the measures taken to accommodate bicyclists and how much cycling is part of the culture. It seems the city was built around bicycling. It would be wonderful to live in Holland or Germany or Belgium, but Brooklyn has come to be my home, and though it is not the most bike friendly city in the world, cycling in Brooklyn forces one to be both strong and independent, and I am proud to be a cyclist in this borough. The cycling infrastructure here is a bit fractured, but where there are bike paths, either green ways or regular street paths, I have found most motorists to be respectful. Cycling is by far the best way to tour Brooklyn, and for the seasoned rider, it is also one of the best modes of transportation. Our current mayor is putting an effort towards making our city more bike friendly by adding bike paths and green ways, buy motorists are not very respectful towards cyclists in general. When cyclists grow in number, change will occur.

    • Matt

      1. Dayton, OH
      2. LAw school for my wife.
      3. By the time she graduated we had roots here, owned a home, baby on the way.
      4. I think a lot about living in a bigger city, and many of the ones I would choose are bike friendly, but just this year Dayton was awarded BFC Bronze by the league. Different parts of a city are more bike friendly than others, so that can be a consideration for where we’d choose to live within a city.
      5. No. It could be a factor about where I would live within the Dayton area, but I can’t see changing cities, just to get to a bike friendly city.
      6. YES! YES! YES! Dayton already has over 240 miles of connected bike trails, but now finally the city is realizing that the streets themselves need to be welcoming to bikes, so that once we get off the trail, the street grid can safely get you to your destination. Sharrows and bike lanes are showing up in downtown and more are on the books. Things are getting better.

      • http://thechaicyclist.blogspot.com spiderleggreen

        1)Minneapolis
        2)birth
        3)I love it
        4)Portland
        5)Sure, if it doesn’t continue to improve it will become a sore point with me.
        6)Yes, but it is frustrating to see that city’s engineers insistence on doing things the old way is really slowing things up.

  • Eric Boyd

    1. What city do you live in?

    Ann Arbor, Michigan. Ann Arbor has an extensive set of bike lanes and non-motorized paths. Large numbers of cyclists bike to work in the city, with many of them biking to and from jobs at the university.

    2. What brought you to your city originally?

    Like many residents, the University of Michigan (in my case, graduate school originally).

    3. What is keeping you in your city?

    Job, family in the area.

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?

    Sort of. I’ve thought about moving to a city that’s bigger, with a larger bike-friendly infrastructure in absolute terms, but I think this small city is doing well in relative terms, given its smaller size (~114,000 residents) than larger cities.

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?

    I would say it has increasingly become so. My bike commute has become an important part of my daily routine and personal satisfaction. I would be very unwilling to move to a city where I could not ride to work (due to distance, lack of bike-friendly infrastructure, or worse weather).

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?

    Yes. The city has an ambitious non-motorized plan and is making steady progress in expanding the biking infrastructure. The rise in the number of bike commuters over the past few years (anecdotally observed by me) has been very encouraging.

  • Fred

    1. What city do you live in?
    St Paul, MN

    2. What brought you to your city originally?
    Grew up in Minneapolis for 30+ years but bought a house in St Paul because we found the neighborhoods and house prices are better. Plus a future light rail system will be built in our neighborhood.

    3. What is keeping you in your city?
    Job, house, general quality of life.

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
    Not necessarily more bike friendly but warmer definitely.

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
    No. I’ve been a cyclist long before bike infrastructure was even a concept that laypeople discussed.

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
    In St Paul, yes. In Minneapolis, no, not really. Despite the amount of infrastructure they install, they don’t seem to get it right enough times. Too much experimentation with basic and sound traffic designs. They don’t seem to be consistent in the design on the other side of the river.

  • http://the-notables.blogspot.com Paula

    I have been following your blog since spring and it has now become a daily read. :-)

    1. What city do you live in? Northeast Ohio
    2. What brought you to your city originally? My husband’s job and family.
    3. What is keeping you in your city? It is a quiet rural area with several lovely small towns in the area.
    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? I do, but mostly imagine that being in Europe.
    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? My city is easy to bike around without having to ride on some of the rural roads with speed limits of 40-55 mph. The Cleveland/Akron area has an abundance of recreational trails that connect with one another. I have enjoyed these trails for years but I have to drive my car to get to them. There is housing and neighborhoods near all of them so there are people that can take advantage of that. I am unable to ride my bike to work as it is too far away, but I would really like to have a job much closer to be able to do so.
    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve? Not sure if much will change as the side roads are safe to ride on. I can see them adding bike lanes to the faster main roads as some of the same roads connecting to bordering towns have done so.

  • http://anoutletofthemind.blogspot.com/ Chelsey

    1. Rapid City, SD
    2. I came to Rapid City for college.
    3. I met the man of my dreams in college and he got a job here, so we are staying long enough for him to get experience.
    4. Everyday. Rapid City is almost 100% against bikes. Every time I ride and get looked at like I’m a freak I think about moving back to a bike friendly place.
    5. Most definitely. There is very little bike infrastructure here.I think there is one bike lane and probably 10 bike racks around town.
    6. I am optimistic that it will improve. This summer a bike shop opened up downtown and there have been a few more bike racks popping up around town. The last time I was downtown I saw more bikers. If the city makes a few of the more popular streets bike friendly I think a lot more people would think about biking. Right now most of the city is un-safe for biking (a certain group of people harming people not protected by a vehicle and closed mined people thinking bikers are going to stop them from driving their big gas guzling machines).

  • Natalie

    1. Richmond, VA
    2. Husband’s former job.
    3. Staying because of friends, decent cost of living, I love my neighborhood, vibrant music and arts communities, and I like it here (it’s town #12, so I have some frame of reference).
    4. Sometimes, but my daydream usually involves moving to a place with better public transportation. I can’t bike when I’m schlepping large-ish musical instruments and their accessories, which I do for work and fun.
    5. Not really – I’ve been riding in the streets since we moved here. But it’s one more reason why I refuse to move out to the surrounding suburban counties even though I have a child (many middle class families leave the city because of school issues). An urban grid is more hospitable to cycling than cul-de-sac housing developments and big-box strip mall hell.
    6. Yes, but change around here moves very slowly. You see a lot more “lycra dudes” on bikes, my former university has a lot more bike racks and they are well-used (unlike 10 years ago), there are new bike shops within biking distance of my house, current mayor is pushing for more bike infrastructure.

  • http://onfewwheels.blogspot.com/ Mandy

    1. Vancouver, B.C., Canada
    2. Work opportunities and the adventure of a new city to explore while still being fairly close to my home city.
    3. Work, the vibrancy and exciting pace of it, and the ability to live/work/exist within a limited urban area.
    4. Not really (since Europe isn’t an option for me), because the current city administration is so very bike-friendly even if the infrastructure itself is still average.
    5. Yes. I’ve considered moving away but would miss the active growth of the bike infrastructure– it seems like there is something new every week.
    6. Very. Vancouver is on the right track and the city is publicly committed to increasing cycling through infrastructure improvements. I look forward to what they have in store in the upcoming years!

  • http://www.sheridesabike.com Karen Voyer-Caravona

    1.What city do you live in?
    2. What brought you to your city originally?
    3. What is keeping you in your city?
    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?

  • http://www.sheridesabike.com Karen Voyer-Caravona

    1.What city do you live in? Flagstaff, AZ
    2. What brought you to your city originally? I relocated to be with my fiance (now husband).
    3. What is keeping you in your city? My husband’s job and a tough job market.
    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? I’d love to. We vistied Portland, OR a few years ago and fell in love with the bike friendly community and the progressive attitude of the residents we met.
    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? Flags probably enjoys above average bike infrastructure and it is a small city so bike commuting is not that hard. However, biking is seen much more as a recreational activity. Flag is also a ski/adventure sports community so sometimes I feel like people who primarily bike commute are not taken very seriously, as if we are slackers or can’t be relied upon. I think bike commuting would be a lot easier here if public transit was prioritized to a higher degree with expanded routes and shorter circulation times.
    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve? Well, Flagstaff is a blu-ish community in a very red state. You probably read about us in the paper. So, the answer is not overly optimistic. I think Flag is really hamstrung by a very backward-ass state legislature.

  • http://carolynsflightoffancy.blogspot.com/ Carolyn I.

    1. What city do you live in? Prince George BC Canada
    2. What brought you to your city originally? Born here, been away for a bit, but returned.
    3. What is keeping you in your city? Friendly people and plent of outdoors activies that are nearby.
    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? Not sure
    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? No, but it would be nice if it was improved, ie more bike paths.
    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve? I have some hope, as the current mayer is bike friendly. But it seems most of the City residents do not like him.

    Our city is struggling with crime (it’s currently the ‘crime capital of Canada’ according to Maclean’s Magazine), trying to attract business to downtown which so far doesn’t seem to be working, and a growing deficit due to overspending, among other things.

    So I am not sure where we are headed, and if there would be much support for the bicyclists in this City. Though, the amount of bicyclist commuters in this city is growing, so that’s a good sign!

  • Hippiebrian

    1.What city do you live in?
    I live in Long Beach, Ca., “Where the sewer meets the sea!”
    2. What brought you to your city originally?
    I was renting a room from a friend at work as he needed a little help with his mortgage at the time.
    3. What is keeping you in your city?
    Everything! Long Beach has almost anything an urbanite could want while maintaining, for the most part, a small town feel. The community here is tight and no matter where you go in the city (and it is a large city!) you run into someone you know. Add to that the beach and 3 farmers markets a week (with more coming) and what more could you want? Now, let’s talk weather…
    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
    Actually no. Long Beach is very bike friendly and we have advocates attend every city council meeting to assure progress keeps going! I would rather stay here than move to, say, Portland and help improve the city I love!
    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
    Absolutely, and our mayor has stated that he wants Long Beach to become the most cycle friendly city in the state.
    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
    For certain! We are getting more bike lanes almost daily these days, and we’re seeing more and more bikes being used around the city. There is now a billboard campaign (I saw one today at a bus stop) reminding drivers to give cyclists 3 feet of room. Really, how cool is that? I love Long Beach, have I said that already?

    • http://emilybingham.com emily

      1. What city do you live in?
      Portland, MAINE

      2. What brought you to your city originally?
      Moved here six months ago from a small town in Northern Michigan, seeking a larger progressive community with more going on in terms of art, culture, bike-ability, but still close to agrarian roots – I freelance so I brought my work with me

      3. What is keeping you in your city?
      The fact that I just moved here and love it so far :)

      4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
      I moved here BECAUSE it was more bike friendly. There are lots of designated bike lanes, and a lot more people on bikes than where I last lived, although I always wish there were more lanes (sometimes they just end for no apparent reason)

      5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
      YES!

      6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
      Yes, it is very progressive here, there are a lot of bike advocates and I bet it will only get better from here

      • Larry Powers

        1. What city do you live in?
        Hartford, CT

        2. What brought you to your city originally?
        work/family

        3. What is keeping you in your city?
        work/family

        4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
        No, I would move for other quality of life reasons

        5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
        No, but I would not move to a city that was worse

        6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
        No.

        • http://trufflesandpearls.blogspot.com ann

          1. charleston, sc

          2. i grew up here moved away for college and returned 12 years later

          3. family, weather, work

          4.it sure would be nice, but no, we just travel to fill that void

          5. no, i think we will be here for quite some time, for work, and family and benefits of both, we have a country house just 20 miles away on the water and a mtn house 3.5 hours away with great riding, so we have a lot of options

          6. absolutely it grows exponentially each year!

          • Daniel

            1. What city do you live in?
            A: Chicago, IL. USA

            2. What brought you to your city originally?
            A: The desire to spend time with family.

            3. What is keeping you in your city?
            A: Spending time with my family, my wife’s family, and our friends.

            4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
            A: All the time! My wife and I love Amsterdam, but also think about Portland and Austin.

            5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
            A: No, it does play a minor role, though.

            6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
            A: No. Chicago will continue to paint a few bike lanes but certainly soon cancel a pathetic bike share program that is little more than a way for the current bicycle rental operator to get a few city bucks.

            Dan.

  • http://www.pachamamahouse.blogspot.com J – Pacha Mama

    1. What city do you live in?
    TAMPA BAY, FLORIDA
    2. What brought you to your city originally?
    HUBBY’S JOB
    3. What is keeping you in your city?
    LIFE ON THE WATER
    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
    HMM…YES, AT TIMES.
    5. Does the bike infrastructure play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
    NO, WE PREFER TO STAY AND BE PART OF THE SOLUTION.
    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
    YES, WE NEVER GIVE UP HOPE AND ARE PRO-ACTIVE.

  • Annie

    1. What city do you live in? Norman, Oklahoma
    2. What brought you to your city originally? Work and aging parents
    3. What is keeping you in your city? The great vibe
    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? yes but not possible right now
    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? I would say for my state I live in one of the more progressive areas… so there’s no place better to move to around here…
    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve? Yes, they recently passed bike friendly laws requiring motorists to give 3 foot clearance for bikes.. which is a step forward.. but if we had bike lanes it would be even better. We do have some bike paths and I’m thankful for that!

  • Rosemary

    1. What city do you live in?
    Pittsburgh!
    2. What brought you to your city originally?
    I’m from here, and moved back about 1.5 years ago after graduating from college.
    3. What is keeping you in your city?
    The fact that I have no desire to move right now. And a very small savings account. Really, though, I love Pittsburgh.
    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
    Yes, but far less often than I thought I would. My first experience with urban cycling was in Berlin, so I was really spoiled. But the lack of bike-friendliness doesn’t bother me here. Very little scares me, though, so that must account for something.
    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
    No. I will hopefully leave to go to grad school. I would stay in PGH for grad school if there was a good urban planning program in the city. If I didn’t have grad school plans, it would probably play a neutral role.
    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
    Yes. PGH has an amazing biking community, as well as an advocacy group that really gets stuff done. For me, the community makes up for the lack of infrastructure.

  • Megan

    1. Elk Grove, CA (just south of Sacramento)
    2. I was raised here, lived in Portland, OR for a few years but ultimately returned home,
    3. Cute baby nephew (going for his first bike ride soon!)
    4. I took my new bike to Portland this past summer, and enjoyed how easy it was to get around the city… tons of bike lanes, cars that move out of the way, etc.
    5. Elk Grove is a fairly flat and dry city, so should be easy to bike around. There are some bike paths, but drivers don’t make it easy and there not many places to park bikes. This is a city that should be easy to get around by bike, but it somehow isn’t.
    6. Hopeful, yes. Holding my breath? no

  • scott t

    1. What city do you live in?
    2. What brought you to your city originally?
    3. What is keeping you in your city?
    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?

    1. reno, nv
    2. pass
    3. pass
    4. yes. after seeing youtube videos of the netherlands cites.
    5. pass
    6. reno surprisingly has some bike lanes that are helpful. a bike lane nearly encircles a better part of the city on mccarran blvd…but it can be rather noisy. there are other bike lanes along smaller streets that require cyclists to look into car rear windsheilds to avoid a car door hitting them, but that just come with habit. there is also a bike path the goes along the truckee river that can often be used as a decent east-west route across the city.
    busses have bike totes as well.
    there are usually way to get to a location without having to hit a major street. many of the neighborhoods are modified grids and can facilitate speedy nearly traffic free trips.

  • Brooke

    1. What city do you live in?
    Austin, TX

    2. What brought you to your city originally?
    After being left by my (ex)husband for another woman, I lost everything. No home, no career, no money. I decided to take the opportunity to start over and enrolled in culinary school. I’m originally from Ft. Worth TX and wanted to be closer to family (from living in other states), so I chose Austin because it seemed like ‘my people.’ I was right and I love it.

    3. What is keeping you in your city?
    Austin has everything I want: still kinda small-ish but with a big presence, cool people, laid back, very diverse and open minded (mostly, it is still Texas after all), city is easy to navigate with great options all over town for whatever you want, big bicycle community with everything: gangs, clubs, roadies, commuters…, many awesome local businesses makes it easy to stay away from chain stores and restaurants, fantastic culinary scene, and wonderful outdoor recreation within minutes of my house

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
    Nope. We’re working on it.

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
    Part of Austin is really trying to improve bicycle infrastructure. It’s hard to retrofit bike lanes in a city with small, narrow streets but they’re doing a fantastic job. There’s dedicated bike lanes (no physical separation, just painted lines/signs) all over town on almost all major roads. One thing that needs improving: adding “green boxes” at the front of the line at traffic lights so bikes can filter to the front. We’re really gaining a constant critical mass here, and motorists seem to be more aware/alert and compliant. But it’s still Texas, so there’s a big anti-bike sentiment among some who feel we’re taking away THEIR infrastructure for…SUVs with one single person per car. They say improving bicycle infrastructure only takes away money that could be used for more roads (where… through the buildings?!?!) and “causes more congestion”.

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
    Prop 1 is on the ballot for Nov 2; if it passes it alots more money for various traffic infrastructure including dedicated bicycle facilities. There’s a strong lobby group working against it which says bicycle riding is like jumping on a pogo stick in terms of how seriously it should be taken. So overall I think Austin is a great city for bike riding, there’s bicyclists from all walks of life everywhere and gaining respect, but there’s also evil dark forces plotting against us.

  • Terry

    1. Vancouver, BC, Canada

    2. Most restless Canadian youth end up in Vancouver at some point. That was me 30-some years ago, and I’m still here. Vancouver is kind of like Canada’s San Francisco.

    3. I love it here and consider it home now.

    4. Not really. The thing you have to get used to here is the endless winter rain.

    5. Never much thought of leaving. Working instead to improve the bike infrastructure.

    6. Definitely! I went to a public discussion recently that featured: David Byrne, who has been here before and likes it enough that he waived his usual speaker’s fee because he sees what’s going on; our cycling Mayor Gregor Robertson who prefers to ride his bike everywhere he needs to go, and who has the rare political will to do something to encourage others to do the same; my friend and colleague Amy Walker from Momentum Magazine (and I’m honoured to call her my friend, and was proud of her as she gently chided the politicians to spend more on infrastructure and education); and a brainy young academic named Erick Villagomez whose research (along with others) into transportation cycling promises to change the face of urban design.

    Now, admittedly, the audience was biased, but the speaker who got the most applause was the Mayor for putting separated bike lanes into and through the downtown core. Vancouver’s hopping right now!

  • laura

    1. What city do you live in?
    Cambridge, MA
    2. What brought you to your city originally?
    quality of life, family in the area
    3. What is keeping you in your city?
    I *love* it here! Very bike friendly (bike lanes..you can get bike delivery of your CSA..bike shops everywhere), vegetarian friendly, beautiful, friends are here, I’m able to be carfree without an issue at all
    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
    I’m not sure there is a city I would consider living in that is more bike friendly. One negative thing I would say about Cambridge is that it’s SO bike friendly, during peak biking months the roads are a hot mess of salmoning, crazy messenger types speeding past everyone, Lance Armstrong types with overpriced bikes passing people on the right, etc etc etc. To move to a place that is more bike friendly would mean more cyclists on the roads..and to be honest, I like it better now. Less stressful
    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
    I would love it here anyway, but that is a bonus. I used to live in Boston proper and there were minimal bike lanes in my neighborhood, which made it difficult and less enjoyable to bike.
    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
    I think it will. We have a pretty active bicycle/traffic dept. I have emailed them personally with suggestions for streets to paint sharrows on (since Cambridge is so old, many of the streets are so narrow they can only really fit one car, leading to a lot of honking at me when I’m on my bike)..I think they are moving towards that, and continuing to install new bike lanes where possible. We do need massive amounts of driver outreach, though, but what city doesn’t?

  • http://www.twosixteen.com/fivetoedsloth/ Scott Loveless

    1. What city do you live in?

    The ‘burbs across the river from Harrisburg, PA.

    2. What brought you to your city originally?

    Work.

    3. What is keeping you in your city?

    Work.

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?

    Yes.

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?

    Probably not.

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?

    No.

  • Aibrean

    What city do you live in?
    Pittsburgh, PA.

    What brought you to your city originally?
    College.

    What is keeping you in your city?
    College and possibly work.

    Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
    YES. Namely Philadelphia (more bike friendly because it is flat) and Chicago (because of your blog).

    Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
    It is certainly a factor. While Pittsburgh currently has some nice trail systems along the river, these seem to have sprung up from a leisure-activity mentality, not a commuting mentality. The bike lanes that we do have on city streets are few and far between. Taking a lane (or very unsafely, taking a bus lane) is generally the only option unless one lives in very specific neighborhoods.

    Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
    There is certainly a large bike community pushing for change and improvements. I’m just not sure that I will still be in the city to see them.

  • Anne

    1. What city do you live in?
    Ottawa

    2. What brought you to your city originally?
    Grad school

    3. What is keeping you in your city?
    My current job and potential job opportunities.

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
    Yes, I come from the west coast of Canada and would like to move back. The bike culture and infrastructure in Vancouver is a major appeal.

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
    It’s certainly an issue. I wouldn’t consider living in a small town or smaller than mid-size city and larger Canadian cities tend to be more bike-friendly.

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
    Yes and no. The City is currently in consultation to increase bike lanes and has recently made more bike parking available throughout the year (it previously was removed in winter for the sake of snow removal). There is also a Vélib’ or ByCyklen program that has run for about two years. That said, there is an overall problem of neglecting the city core in favour of the suburbs as Ottawa only amalgamated as a city in 2001 and is very decentralized. The bike lanes coming in will be in an impractical area in order to preserve parking on major roads and there are plans in place to widen car lanes rather than add mixed-use facilities on other streets.

  • http://naturesownhand.blogspot.com/ Nell

    1. What city do you live in?
    Nashville, TN

    2. What brought you to your city originally?
    A teaching job.

    3. What is keeping you in your city?
    Again, the job. It’s great and now I have found community and lovely people. But I’m still not sold on the city…at all.

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
    YES! Having lived in Portland, Ore. before Nashville I have essentially had to stop riding. The angry drivers, the bike lanes that start and then end abruptly without even a shoulder to stand on, and the lack of understanding of how bikers commute is down right frustrating.

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
    Yes and no. I wasn’t a huge bike commuter before but my boyfriend was. His lack of riding here has made him sad and longing for a community that we can leave our cars at home more and be back on our bikes. And honestly, I couldn’t agree more.

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
    This blog has helped having Trisha being from Nashville. However, I still don’t see much of a change. But in the end, I know Nashville has come far from where it was so I guess you never know…

  • dpellet

    1. What city do you live in?
    Portland, ME

    2. What brought you to your city originally?
    Progressive, small city that’s close to family with employment opportunities.

    3. What is keeping you in your city?
    All of the above.

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
    Although there’s definitely room for improvement here, I never truly think about moving to a more bike friendly city.

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
    Sort of. Bike infrastructure is one important facet defining the type of place where I’d like to live. Our infrastructure is good enough that I feel comfortable biking most places in town with my young kids.

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
    Yes, we have an active bike and pedestrian advocacy community and i’m optimistic we’ll continue to see (slow) improvements in the future.

  • Marcus

    1. What city do you live in?
    New York City.

    2. What brought you to your city originally?
    A pair of tap shoes and a dream.

    3. What is keeping you in your city?
    Still work in and love the theatre industry. Like another NYC resident above, I grew up all over the world – I never had a ‘hometown’ since we moved every few years. I adopted NYC back in the early 90s, and it’s always felt right. And it’s the only place in the country with a serious commercial theatre industry (I know, Chicago has a nice, small theatre scene, but it’s not big enough to make a living in for most people. London has a thriving theatre industry as well, but it’s largely closed to non EU citizens.)

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
    I doubt I’ll ever leave New York permanently. It’s like the late, great John Updike said, “The true New Yorker secretly believes that people living anywhere else have to be, in some sense, kidding.”

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
    Nah – this city already won me over before it had the new bike lanes.

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
    The new biking infrastructure here is amazing, and growing rapidly.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/7516215@N03/ somervillebikes

    1. What city do you live in?
    Boston (Somerville)

    2. What brought you to your city originally?
    Academic postdoc

    3. What is keeping you in your city?
    The rich culture and history, the proximity to nature, grass-roots politics, and urban living in general. Also, I am tied to having a career in one of only about three US cities based on the density of jobs in my sector.

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
    Nope. Any city I consider relocating to would have to live up to the cultural and historical richness of the Boston area. It would also have to be very family-friendly.

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? Yes.

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
    It’s not a matter of optimism. It *is* continually improving, and many more improvements are firmly etched in the pipeline over the next 5-10 years.

  • julie

    1. Greater Boston (aka THE Hub of the Universe)
    2. I wanted to go car-free and already had friends in the area; only got into cycle commuting later
    3. I look into leaving but this area just has too much that is hard to get elsewhere and Europe is only a T-ride away (via Logan Airport of course :)
    4. No, but I would like to do some extended stays in other locations. However, at the moment Boston area is really exciting because there is a strong push for accommodating cyclists and pedestrians in MassDOT projects but there is “diversity”. E.g., a strong contingent in Arlington doesn’t want to accommodate cyclists (despite state law). Meanwhile Somerville and Boston are boasting of the number of MILES of bike lanes that were added to streets just in 2010 (fyi, s=10, b=15).
    5. Sort of. I’ve been cycling for several years and KNOW the area but am also blind to some of the pitfalls. I also drive, and hate to say it, but Boston is my driving idiom! At least I like it better than CT or PA.
    6. Yes.

  • 300 Pound Gorilla

    1. What city do you live in?

    San Diego, CA

    2. What brought you to your city originally?

    College

    3. What is keeping you in your city?

    I didn’t graduate yet. Also, I love it here.

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?

    Does it have San Diego weather?

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?

    No. I hope for bike infrastructure, but I don’t know that there will be any.

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?

    No…Maybe…I wish.

  • http://www.titianknitter.wordpress.com Lynn

    Just started reading your blog – it’s been fun!

    1. What city do you live in? Austin, TX
    2. What brought you to your city originally? Spouse’s awesome job.
    3. What is keeping you in your city? Spouse’s awesome job, plus we bought a house and found a great church. Otherwise I’m pretty much fed up with Texas and homesick for the Midwest.
    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? Yes, but I think that we’ve got it pretty good here. I can count on one hand the number of cities that I would want to live in that have better bicycle infrastructure.
    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? Not necessarily. There are so many factors to weigh in a decision like that – our abilities to find employment and housing are more important. However, I don’t want to live anywhere where I am totally dependent on being able to drive a car in order to get around. When we bought our house last year, being able to walk, bike and take the bus from home was our top priority.
    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve? Yes! We recently passed Prop. 1 which should fund some major improvements. Also, we have a fairly powerful bike lobby/voting bloc that really gets stuff done on the local level.

  • http://twitter.com/ghdurham george

    1. What city do you live in? Seattle
    2. What brought you to your city originally? Work, professional opportunity.
    3. What is keeping you in your city? Great place to live, work, and raise a family. Beautiful, great folk, and proximity to many of the things we love to do.
    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? It’d be tough to beat Seattle for bike-friendliness in my opinion.
    5. Does the bike infrastructure play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? Yes, absolutely. When we’ve occasionally considered living other places, Seattle’s bikeability is always one of its strong points.
    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve? Yes, all things considered. As does any American city, we’ve a long way to go, but there is an active bike community, good bike advocacy, a mayor that bikes everywhere, and a worldview that realizes we need to adapt to a multi-modal transportation world. I’m optimistic.

  • anne

    1. Toronto, Canada
    2. What brought you to your city originally? Work, professional opportunity.
    3. What is keeping you in your city? Vibrant multicultural city containing lots of local neighbourhoods with a small village feel.
    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? No. Toronto has some good points for cyclists. From my neighbourhood I have access to great trails through ravines and along the Lakeshore. I’ve not had a car for 7 years – transit is creaky but just about functional and I can walk everywhere locally – unusual for a North American city.
    5. Does the bike infrastructure play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? Other factors such as work more important but I would hate to live somewhere where you had to hop in a car to get groceries.
    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve? Not really. Our new mayor, Rob Ford, can be seen on YouTube saying that “my heart bleeds for cyclists who get injured but, really, they are to blame, they shouldn’t be on the roads”. There is a nasty anti-bike lobby in Toronto and it isn’t helped by a small number of aggressive cyclists who seem to enjoy antagonizing drivers! I’m just hoping that more people on bikes will translate to more understanding from motorists. Infrastructure in the downtown core isn’t as important as people paying attention and showing consideration to each other. In the suburbs it’s a different story – those guys need cycle lanes badly but I don’t see them getting them in the next 5 years!

  • Mark

    1. Reston, VA
    2. Wanted to get out of NJ
    3. Great job market, nice biking weather, like being close to DC but still in the suburbs.
    4. I dream of moving to Boulder, CO when I retire.
    5. Not really. I like the fact that there are a lot of bike paths so commuting by bike is easy and there are still not too many bike riders so it is not overcrowded.
    6. Yes, but it is very slow to change.

  • Mary

    1. What city do you live in?
    Suburb outside of Los Angeles, CA
    2. What brought you to your city originally?
    Job
    3. What is keeping you in your city?
    Job… that’s it! If I get a new job in a different area, I’m moving.
    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
    Yes, definitely!
    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
    Not at this time. I only bike recreationally, or to do short errands. I would love to become a bike commuter, but there are lots of other factors I’d probably consider before bike infrastructure.
    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
    No. It’s not actually that bad. Not all major roads have bike lanes, but drivers do an alright job sharing the road. There’s a bike trail along the wash that’s nice. I can get all the way to the library on a dedicated bike lane.

    • http://amyziz.wordpress.com Amy

      1. Dallas, TX
      2. Solely, being close to important people.
      3. Same reasons.
      4. Certainly! Not just more bike friendly, but more public transportation friendly too. Dallas was built for cars. It’s sprawling and has dense highways. There are great light rail but often the great distances that need to be traveled make bus travel very time consuming.
      5. Yes. I am both unhappy with the present state of bike accessibility in the city as well as with the general attitude of drivers toward non-drivers. Like in S’s mid-western city, people in Dallas like their cars and value somehow aggressive cars (fast, loud, or big). I think underwritten in this practice is a mental acceptance of Social Darwinism which necessitates being aggressive, powerful and dominating for the correct way to live. There are no bike lanes so vehicular cycling is a must and unfortunately, this sometimes upsets drivers enough to act on their aggression towards bike riders. There are no protected bike lanes as Dallas’s last Bike Coordinator was firmly anti-bike lane. (There’s a good debate to be had about whether bike lanes cause or just correlate to safe biking and if you want to read one side of it, his blog is: http://cycledallas.blogspot.com/.)
      6. Somewhat. Despite that Paul Summers is no longer Dallas’ Bike Coordinator, it will take a much greater number of good predictable bike riders to increase both drivers and the city’s awareness of bike riders. While I think creating bike lanes and share roads would help get new riders out on the roads, I am concerned that there are many who would like to commute to work or to do errands on bike but are limited by the distance to be traveled.

      A few words about Austin, TX where I lived until recently, and where I spent 5 happy car free years. Austin is great for bike riders in lots of ways. It’s a mid-sized city, young, liberal/progressive relative to Texas, with a huge college student population. A lot has been done for bike infrastructure: protected bike lanes, back in diagonal parking, green bike boxes at intersections, trails that can be used for commuting, and friendly public transportation equipped to haul bikes. Best of all, there’s a large and growing bike riding population.

  • Jennifer

    1. What city do you live in?
    Edinburgh, Scotland.

    2. What brought you to your city originally?
    I was born here.

    3. What is keeping you in your city?
    My family, my friends, my new house, the lively atmosphere, the beauty of the city, the flat canal-side cycle path that takes me into the city centre.

    4. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
    As well as the canal path, a lot of disused commuter rail lines through the city have been converted to multi-use paths. This is great but I would like to see safer biking options in the city centre too. I’m too scared to ride in the city centre and so leave my bike at the end of the canal path and walk or bus to where I’m going.

    5. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
    I don’t see any money or time being allocated to this any time soon, given the public funding cuts. What we have is reasonably good though.

  • http://www.starsoid.com Anastasia

    1. What city do you live in? Melbourne, Australia

    2. What brought you to your city originally? I was born here.

    3. What is keeping you in your city? First university, now my job and the fact my boyfriend and I just bought a house.

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? I would like to live somewhere in Europe at somestage. Melbourne is probably the most bike friendly city in Australia

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? We chose to live in an inner area that has good bike access to the city and my work at the uni. So yes, it had a role in where I would settle within the city.

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve? Hopefully! There are more and more riders appearing on the streets here and the bike lanes are getting pretty crowded at morning and afternoon peak. Still a lot of work to be done in terms of a usable bicycle network, though.

  • http://mamafiets.blogspot.com/ Emily

    1. What city do you live in? Eugene, Oregon

    2. What brought you to your city originally? I moved here to get my undergraduate degree, then met my husband (who was born here), and decided to stay.

    3. What is keeping you in your city? We own a home, have family nearby, and find that Eugene is a pretty good place to live if you have children.

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? I would say that Eugene is a pretty bike-friendly place (though there’s always room for improvement!), but we’re thinking of moving to Japan or to Europe for a few years once our children are older. We are big fans of public transportation as well, and it would be nice to live in a place that is less car-centric, in general. My husband is hoping to spend some time studying abroad in the Netherlands (he’s in grad school), a place whose bicycle infrastructure makes me giddy!

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? For me, yes, absolutely. As Akemi pointed out in her response, we do have a lovely network of multi-use trails, which make it nice to bicycle around as a family, in particular. I would love to see some improvements to our bike boulevards so that they look and function more like those in Portland, Oregon.

    (Here’s a good video about bike boulevards in Portland: http://www.streetfilms.org/portlands-bike-boulevards-become-neighborhood-greenways/)

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve? Yes! I am just beginning to be involved in bike culture around here, but my impression is that we have an excellent network of ordinary, bike riding folks who choose to advocate for better conditions for bicyclists. Since I care about how my kids will be able to get around by bike once they’re old enough to do so on their own, I’m trying to get more involved with the work these folks are doing.

    Thanks for the great blog, and interesting survey! I really enjoyed reading everyone’s responses.

  • http://lisasperling.com Lisa

    1. Madison, WI
    2. I’m originally from Germany and moved here in 2005. I wanted to immerse in the American language/culture and had some connections in Madison. I instantly fell in love with the city and ended up staying much longer than originally planned (5 months became 6 years!)
    3. Most of all I love how progressive Madison is. Although it’s a small city, it offers a vast cultural scene. Madison’s infrastructure is such, that you can easily go car-free and the lakes add so much beauty to the city.
    4. Madison really is a great city for biking. However, I’m a big-city girl (I visit Chicago often to compensate for that). At some point I’d love to move to Portland,OR.
    5. It would, if it was less bike-friendly. I do appreciate being able to walk and bike and would not like to have to rely on a car at all times.
    6. Our current mayor has shown great interest in making Madison even bike friendlier. I believe he visited several German and Dutch cities last year to get new ideas and I’ve noticed some improvement already (e.g. in 2010 red colored bike paths were added to certain streets in Madison). However, with the change in governors, things have been regressing (still can’t believe the plan for a MSN-Chicago railway system was dismissed!).

  • MIchael
  • http://blueporcelain.tumblr.com/ K. Redmond

    1. Jacksonville, FL
    2. I originally came here about 10 years ago for college; I hail from a smaller town in Central Florida.
    3. I didn’t expect to say in J-ville, but found my wonderful hubby here, and we both have jobs that keep us here.
    4. The mister and I have thought about moving to a city with more culture and within the last couple of years public transport/walking/biking has become an important part of this decision.
    5. Public transport barely exists in Florida; Jacksonville is so sprawled out that no matter where you live, most jobs, shopping, etc are at least 7-10 miles away from each other. When the mister and I move, we are definitely finding a more bike friendly area!
    6. Bike lanes are popping up occasionally on new roads, but they begin and stop suddenly and are in places that often times don’t make sense. Because our city is a victim of sprawl, I do not have faith that Jacksonville will become more bike friendly.

  • http://desertolsongazette.blogspot.com/ Randy

    1. Yuma, Arizona
    2. What brought you to your city? Work for the local hospital’s IT department.
    3. What is keeping you in your city? I love the desert and year round riding with out the gloom and rain of Southern Oregon.
    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
    Yuma is a large agricultural area in the desert with a network of irrigation canals with dirt trails next to them. They basically go all over. It has the best riding that I have had even if it is on mostly dirt canal trails.
    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
    I love the desert sun compared to the gloom of Southern Oregon. I will be staying here.
    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?

    The city is trying to improve the bike ways in the city.

    Last summer was interesting coming home in temperatures above 110 degrees. Riding was slow under those conditions. The morning rides are great though.

    I made the mistake of leaving my bike in the rear of my covered truck for a day. The next day I went to ride my bike and found my front tire had exploded from the heat!

  • kat

    wow, the fact that no one from Hawai‘i has written speaks volumes *sigh*. guess i’ll chime in, even as a newbie

    1. What city do you live in? Honolulu, HI
    2. What brought you to your city originally? Born and raised here.
    3. What is keeping you in your city? My partner doesn’t want to move.
    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? actually, employment opportunity, and cost of living are the most important factors to me, right now, but yes, bike friendliness is very important as well.
    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? not yet. the big issue is how much longer i can afford to live here.
    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve? HAH!!! no. nothing but an incoherent fragmented “system” of unmarked “routes”, shared roads (lane markings), and paths in parks, right now, and a 20 year “master plan”, whatever that is.

  • http://theepicadventurer.blogspot.com Julia

    I’m a lifelong Bostonian, and am pretty happy with our roads — except for rotaries. How the heck are you supposed to bike through a rotary? We have MILLIONS, some very big and intimidating and impossible to avoid.

    I biked in Amsterdam, and what made me nervouswas, ironically, the respect I got as a vehicle. I was treated like a car, so I had to MOVE IT. A real change!

  • http://freaksgeeksbeauties.blogspot.com/ Tiffany

    1. What city do you live in? New York

    2. What brought you to your city originally? Just wanted a change of scenery. I’m originally from NC

    3. What is keeping you in your city? All the stuff there is to do, see and eat!

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? I just think of moving to a warmer city in the next few years. Preferably Savannah GA. I’m not sure of the bike scene there. I would hope it’d be nice since there is so much pretty architecture to look at while peddling about.

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? It does not play a major roll for me. I’d prefer things be organized and bike friendly. But it would not determine where I’d live or not live.

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve? I’ve only been biking NY for a few months and I’ve already read about and seen improvement to bike lanes, free bike safety classes etc.

  • http://freaksgeeksbeauties.blogspot.com/ Tiffany

    1. What city do you live in? New York

    2. What brought you to your city originally? Just wanted a change of scenery. I’m originally from NC

    3. What is keeping you in your city? All the stuff there is to do, see and eat!

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? I just think of moving to a warmer city in the next few years. Preferably Savannah GA. I’m not sure of the bike scene there. I would hope it’d be nice since there is so much pretty architecture to look at while peddling about.

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? It does not play a major roll for me. I’d prefer things be organized and bike friendly. But it would not determine where I’d live or not live.

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve? I’ve only been biking NY for a few months and I’ve already read about and seen improvement to bike lanes, free bike safety classes etc.

  • Dave Prince

    Living in Harrogate UK . I came here for the wide open spaces that surround the town, so a quality of life issue really. I am staying for the same reason I came so it must have been the right choice in the first place. Harrogate is not that cycle friendly it’s ok but I would love to live somewhere where bikes aren’t seen as poor people’s transport. I am campaigning for better cycle lane provision with a few friends at the moment as there have been some improvements recently, but there is loads to do. You can follow our campaign here if your interested. http://cycleharrogate.org

  • Dave Prince

    Living in Harrogate UK . I came here for the wide open spaces that surround the town, so a quality of life issue really. I am staying for the same reason I came so it must have been the right choice in the first place. Harrogate is not that cycle friendly it’s ok but I would love to live somewhere where bikes aren’t seen as poor people’s transport. I am campaigning for better cycle lane provision with a few friends at the moment as there have been some improvements recently, but there is loads to do. You can follow our campaign here if your interested. http://cycleharrogate.org

  • http://letsgorideabike.com Trisha

    Hi Nell, 
    Are you still in town? I’d love to see you at one of our events here…email me!

  • http://letsgorideabike.com Trisha

    Elizabeth, I’d love to know how you feel one year later. 

  • oscar cedano

    1. What city do you live in?Anchorage, Alaska
    2. What brought you to your city originally?
    Employment3. What is keeping you in your city?
    Employment and the fact that my family is all here (in part)4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
    All the time5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
    Not at all. I know that I would find a much better infrastructure in most cities of the north USA6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
    I am. I think education and the Internet will make the idea sink in the minds of city planners eventually.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=2913085 Agnieszka Maria Zielińska

    1. What city do you live in? Chicago 
    2. What brought you to your city originally? School and work. 
    3. What is keeping you in your city? Work and school at Northwestern University and the relationships I’ve build with people here over the 10-plus years. Chicago is a thrilling city, with the Steppenwolf, the biking path, the Millennium Park, the splendor of cuisines and communities that they represent, etc. 
    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike-friendly? No. It would have to be Portland (no-brainer), but Portland, while beautiful and marvelously European in nature, has so little sun and it’s relatively remote. There are also counterintutively bike-friendly cities, like Detroit, whose broad boulevards are occupied by so few, relatively speaking, cars that the rightmost lane can easily be taken over by bikes. Detroit is nice to visit, but I do not see myself long-term in that city. 
    5. I would like the city to be more proactive about education of both bikers and non-bikers. The bike-SUV-pedestrian “wars” that have recently been featured in various newspapers as a trend accompanying the increasing visibility of bikers is concerning. I think the “othering” (of bikers by car-drivers and vice versa) can be ameliorated by education. It’s only in addition to it that I hope for more well-marked bike lanes. My relative satisfaction with biking in this city is definitely one of the factors that keep me here. 
    6. Am I optimistic that the city’s biking infrastructure will improve? Yes, based on the news reports regarding new biking lanes being planned. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=2913085 Agnieszka Maria Zielińska

    1. What city do you live in? Chicago 
    2. What brought you to your city originally? School and work. 
    3. What is keeping you in your city? Work and school at Northwestern University and the relationships I’ve build with people here over the 10-plus years. Chicago is a thrilling city, with the Steppenwolf, the biking path, the Millennium Park, the splendor of cuisines and communities that they represent, etc. 
    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike-friendly? No. It would have to be Portland (no-brainer), but Portland, while beautiful and marvelously European in nature, has so little sun and it’s relatively remote. There are also counterintutively bike-friendly cities, like Detroit, whose broad boulevards are occupied by so few, relatively speaking, cars that the rightmost lane can easily be taken over by bikes. Detroit is nice to visit, but I do not see myself long-term in that city. 
    5. I would like the city to be more proactive about education of both bikers and non-bikers. The bike-SUV-pedestrian “wars” that have recently been featured in various newspapers as a trend accompanying the increasing visibility of bikers is concerning. I think the “othering” (of bikers by car-drivers and vice versa) can be ameliorated by education. It’s only in addition to it that I hope for more well-marked bike lanes. My relative satisfaction with biking in this city is definitely one of the factors that keep me here. 
    6. Am I optimistic that the city’s biking infrastructure will improve? Yes, based on the news reports regarding new biking lanes being planned. 

  • http://twitter.com/jenny_ Jenny

    1. What city do you live in? Detroit

    2. What brought you to your city originally? Work, plus I grew up in the suburbs and my parents still live about an hour and a half (car distance) away.

    3. What is keeping you in your city? Work and the burgeoning bike culture!

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? Possibly… Detroit is in the process of becoming very bike-friendly, but I am always jealous of cities that have longer paved trails for when I want to take a break from the roads!

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? Yes, and it makes me want to stay! New bike lanes are being added
    every year, Belle Isle is an awesome cycling loop (and mountain bike trails, if you’re into that sort of thing!) and there are two
    excellent greenways by my work and apartment (the Dequindre Cut and the
    partially-constructed Midtown Loop). The Riverwalk is slowly wearing on me since it is designed more for pedestrians than bikes and can get crowded (which is definitely a good thing!), although it is still nice for a short cruise on a city bike.

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve? Definitely! There are a ton of great bike shops and organizations in the area as well as active bike advocacy groups constantly working to make things better. Plus, we have lots of great rides, especially in the fall.

  • http://twitter.com/jenny_ Jenny

    1. What city do you live in? Detroit

    2. What brought you to your city originally? Work, plus I grew up in the suburbs and my parents still live about an hour and a half (car distance) away.

    3. What is keeping you in your city? Work and the burgeoning bike culture!

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? Possibly… Detroit is in the process of becoming very bike-friendly, but I am always jealous of cities that have longer paved trails for when I want to take a break from the roads!

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? Yes, and it makes me want to stay! New bike lanes are being added
    every year, Belle Isle is an awesome cycling loop (and mountain bike trails, if you’re into that sort of thing!) and there are two
    excellent greenways by my work and apartment (the Dequindre Cut and the
    partially-constructed Midtown Loop). The Riverwalk is slowly wearing on me since it is designed more for pedestrians than bikes and can get crowded (which is definitely a good thing!), although it is still nice for a short cruise on a city bike.

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve? Definitely! There are a ton of great bike shops and organizations in the area as well as active bike advocacy groups constantly working to make things better. Plus, we have lots of great rides, especially in the fall.

  • Dylan G

    1. Minneapolis
    2. College
    3. It’s a great place to live, very much a small Chicago in fact… you can do pretty much anything here and we have great food!
    4. Other than Portland (or Copenhegan) I’m not sure I I could find a more bike friendly city but of course it could always be better.
    5. The bike infrastructure here is good and getting better. Lots of bike lanes, a few bike blvd’s and a few major bike trails connecting parts of the city.
    6. I’m sure it will get better and better here. More people riding bikes equals a more bike friendly city so I try to spread the word about the joy and benifits of biking for fun or to work.

  • Dylan G

    1. Minneapolis
    2. College
    3. It’s a great place to live, very much a small Chicago in fact… you can do pretty much anything here and we have great food!
    4. Other than Portland (or Copenhegan) I’m not sure I I could find a more bike friendly city but of course it could always be better.
    5. The bike infrastructure here is good and getting better. Lots of bike lanes, a few bike blvd’s and a few major bike trails connecting parts of the city.
    6. I’m sure it will get better and better here. More people riding bikes equals a more bike friendly city so I try to spread the word about the joy and benifits of biking for fun or to work.

  • Ham

    1. What city do you live in? – London
    2. What brought you to your city originally? – Born here, everything happens here.
    3. What is keeping you in your city? Best place to be
    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? Whenever I visit a more bike friendly city (and that’s an awful lot). My choice for best city would go to Zurich: integrated transport, good for bikes, mountains to climb at the end of a day
    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? No. Cycling is my way of getting about in a city and having fun. It follows what I want to do, it doesn’t lead.
    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve? No. It is likely that cycling will improve but my idea of improved infrastructure is likely to be different from other people’s

  • Ham

    1. What city do you live in? – London
    2. What brought you to your city originally? – Born here, everything happens here.
    3. What is keeping you in your city? Best place to be
    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? Whenever I visit a more bike friendly city (and that’s an awful lot). My choice for best city would go to Zurich: integrated transport, good for bikes, mountains to climb at the end of a day
    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? No. Cycling is my way of getting about in a city and having fun. It follows what I want to do, it doesn’t lead.
    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve? No. It is likely that cycling will improve but my idea of improved infrastructure is likely to be different from other people’s

  • Elisa M

    I’m in New Orleans; came here for a job and because I missed Louisiana. The bike infrastructure is much improved compared to Birmingham, AL, where I last lived. We are getting new bike lanes every day and are fighting for ones that we aren’t getting, which feels hopeful. There are also TONS of cyclists out (nothing compared to other more Northerly cities, but for the South, it feels like a ton) and drivers seem pretty tolerant. The culture and people of New Orleans and Louisiana are keeping me here (and the amazing seafood!).I think that you can ride anywhere, but having infrastructure does help. I don’t think I would leave because of it, but it is important for anywhere that I may go. I can’t imagine not thinking about it anymore! Moving to a place where I would need to buy a car to get around feels so foreign.

  • Elisa M

    I’m in New Orleans; came here for a job and because I missed Louisiana. The bike infrastructure is much improved compared to Birmingham, AL, where I last lived. We are getting new bike lanes every day and are fighting for ones that we aren’t getting, which feels hopeful. There are also TONS of cyclists out (nothing compared to other more Northerly cities, but for the South, it feels like a ton) and drivers seem pretty tolerant. The culture and people of New Orleans and Louisiana are keeping me here (and the amazing seafood!).I think that you can ride anywhere, but having infrastructure does help. I don’t think I would leave because of it, but it is important for anywhere that I may go. I can’t imagine not thinking about it anymore! Moving to a place where I would need to buy a car to get around feels so foreign.

  • Lynette

    1. I currently live in christchurch, New Zealand.
    2. I came from Belfast, capital of Northern Ireland.
    3. Husband and our jobs.
    4. This city is VERY bike friendly. Well, compared to home anyway. Flat, clean, mostly dry. Windy though.
    5. Nopes
    6. I’m sure it will – having been shaken to bits in the February 2011 quake, it can only get better!

  • Lynette

    1. I currently live in christchurch, New Zealand.
    2. I came from Belfast, capital of Northern Ireland.
    3. Husband and our jobs.
    4. This city is VERY bike friendly. Well, compared to home anyway. Flat, clean, mostly dry. Windy though.
    5. Nopes
    6. I’m sure it will – having been shaken to bits in the February 2011 quake, it can only get better!

  • Mark

    1. What city do you live in? I live in Columbia, Missouri
    2. What brought you to your city originally? I’m a professor at Mizzou.
    3. What is keeping you in your city? Mizzou and my family loves Columbia and central MO.
    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? Columbia has great trails.
    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? Perhaps.
    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve? Yes.

  • Mark

    1. What city do you live in? I live in Columbia, Missouri
    2. What brought you to your city originally? I’m a professor at Mizzou.
    3. What is keeping you in your city? Mizzou and my family loves Columbia and central MO.
    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly? Columbia has great trails.
    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? Perhaps.
    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve? Yes.

  • jellybelly

    1. Katoomba Australia, 2 hours west of Sydney in the Blue Mountains (therefore a very hilly town to ride in!). Famous for The Three Sisters, second most visited tourist town in Australia.
    2. Couldn’t afford Sydney real estate, and we wanted to give the kids a backyard.
    3. The people, such a diverse demographic.
    4. I would love to live in a bike-friendly town like Melbourne, Copenhagen, Strasbourg…anywhere flat would be nice!
    5. It won’t affect if I stay here, I’m used to no facilities, but it makes me want to travel more.
    6. Definitely not optimistic. Our area has really poor infrastructure – very few footpaths (kerbs?) for pedestrians, token bike lanes that last for 10 metres then peter out (where do i ride now then???), and bike route signs that suggest you ride up the steepest hills in town!

  • jellybelly

    1. Katoomba Australia, 2 hours west of Sydney in the Blue Mountains (therefore a very hilly town to ride in!). Famous for The Three Sisters, second most visited tourist town in Australia.
    2. Couldn’t afford Sydney real estate, and we wanted to give the kids a backyard.
    3. The people, such a diverse demographic.
    4. I would love to live in a bike-friendly town like Melbourne, Copenhagen, Strasbourg…anywhere flat would be nice!
    5. It won’t affect if I stay here, I’m used to no facilities, but it makes me want to travel more.
    6. Definitely not optimistic. Our area has really poor infrastructure – very few footpaths (kerbs?) for pedestrians, token bike lanes that last for 10 metres then peter out (where do i ride now then???), and bike route signs that suggest you ride up the steepest hills in town!

  • http://twitter.com/NEBicyclist NE Bicyclist

    1. Boston, MA
    2. Desire to live in a city
    3. work/family/livability
    4. Can’t move far from family now, even for Portland, OR.
    5. Having good rides, decent commutes, good running routes all play into how happy I am here.
    6. Yes.

  • gertiesgirl

    still looking for comments?
    1. I live in Chicago
    2. My car was about to give out and I was broke and needed to live somewhere where I could get by without one.
    3. My job, my husband, my friends, my bike life and all the culture.
    4. No, I’m pretty rooted here and Chicago is relatively bike friendly to me. I don’t have a whole lot to compare it to though
    5. Yes, my bike commute is about 70% on the lakefront path, very doable. Some hairy spots (Wells Street, even with a bike lane, is doory)
    6. Yes, and the more people bike, the more people will get used to bicyclists. We’re here and not going away!

  • gertiesgirl

    still looking for comments?
    1. I live in Chicago
    2. My car was about to give out and I was broke and needed to live somewhere where I could get by without one.
    3. My job, my husband, my friends, my bike life and all the culture.
    4. No, I’m pretty rooted here and Chicago is relatively bike friendly to me. I don’t have a whole lot to compare it to though
    5. Yes, my bike commute is about 70% on the lakefront path, very doable. Some hairy spots (Wells Street, even with a bike lane, is doory)
    6. Yes, and the more people bike, the more people will get used to bicyclists. We’re here and not going away!

  • http://funkyphotoproject.blogspot.com Katrina

    1. I’m also a Chicagoan!
    2. I came here to live with some friends, establish residency for school, but mostly on a whim.
    3. Now I’m finally in school. Go Ramblers!
    4. I come from a suburb of Seattle, but I wasn’t a biker when I lived there. Seattle’s got a pretty decent biking culture, hipsters and fixies, of course. But also a huge mountain biking crew. My suburb definitely wasn’t biking friendly, but the city is more so, yet hilly. After Chicago, I’m not sure that I could handle it. I doubt biking infrastructure would be a specific reason I’d move for, but it would definitely be a factor.
    5. I have a car, and I haven’t touched it in weeks (except to move it for street-cleaning!) because I bike all the time or ride the train. I’d say I’ve got no issues with the biking infrastructure.
    6. I keep an eye on what the Active Transportation Alliance is up to and support them when I can. I feel like they’re pushing for some great reforms and especially with the green movement so strong right now, things can only get better for zero-emissions-transportation options!

  • http://tinyhomestead.blogspot.com/ The Tiny Homestead

    1. Pittsburgh, PA
    2. I originally came for work and to be closer to family because my brother came out here first.
    3. I love Pittsburgh most of the time with it’s little big town mentality. It’s a fun place to be yourself and enjoy the outdoors since we have lots of parks and the rivers. Oh and I almost forgot to mention the rock bottom housing prices!
    4. I do sometimes think about moving to a warmer and flatter place. I could do without fall/winter but it’s not as cold (or windy!) as Chicago.
    5. Bikeability is really important to me. It probably wouldn’t keep me here unless it was epic- like European standards, but would factor into any move.
    6. I’m very confident that infrastructure will improve here. There’s a very active and engaged advocacy organization and committed group of cyclers here.

    thanks for asking!

  • http://www.kateohkatie.wordpress.com Kate

    Very interesting post idea! Here are my answers:

    1. St. Louis
    2. Husband’s grad school.
    3. Absolutely nothing – we’re moving the MOMENT he’s done! :-)
    4. Every day. And not just for the bike friendliness ;-) Unfortunately, we probably won’t really get to choose where we go – just gotta go where the jobs are. But once we get there, we’ll surely choose a neighborhood that’s friendly!
    5. Relatively. I think we will probably gravitate to an area that’s more bike-friendly by nature – since we favor relatively dense inner-ring suburban areas, with smaller plots and more one-car families anyway. So it won’t really matter to us much if the exurbs are bike friendly or not. We’re also big fans of public transit, so I think that will be a primary consideration, too.
    6. Not really. St. Louisians really like their cars, and are totally mystified by the concept of a transportational/commuter cyclist. My immediate area is a little more friendly/secure, but this city is *so* segregated (de facto) and every little area only looks out for THEIR best interests, so I doubt there would be any support or initiative for legislation to change things. St. Louis is very resistant to change, and has a VERY difficult time acting as a united front for anything (be it roads, tourism initiatives, or city/county cohesiveness.). It’s seriously bizarre here.

  • Roberta

    1. What city do you live in?
    Guelph, Ontario

    2. What brought you to your city originally?
    Two things, one spouse’s job (but he worked here for 2.5 years before we moved here. The most important reason was the spirit of the people living here. There is strong social support for basic life practices, local eating, minimal environmental lifestyles, etc.

    3. What is keeping you in your city?
    The same two things listed above. If the job changed it would take a lot to get us to move.

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
    Hmm, kind of. I’d rather live in a more southern cycle friendly city, simply because I am not an enthusiastic fan of winer.

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
    Sure thing. Although our city is currently in elections our previous council was quite serious in supporting bike infrastructure. There is a lot of new cycle routes coming on-line this winter.

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
    Oddly I am not. Partially because we’re already so much ‘better’ than surrounding cities and because while there is a very strong cycling base of support in Guelph there are some indications that the official support of cycling is currently done when it is quite convenient or easy. For example, when they choose the several new routes and lanes to put in place this past year, there were a couple of key requests from serious transportation use cyclist that were dismissed. The reason being that it would be ‘too costly’ or inconvenient for car transportation, or so forth. In my opinion* it would have been better to do less and more critical routes than the easy stuff. The easy stuff is that any new road must have cycle lanes, in other word’s its part of zoning. I think that is fantastic but it does mean that the lanes are out in suburbia.

    In the downtown core we continue to lack specified lanes… and it shows. Just recently there was a very serious bike/transport truck accident (right hook accident) on one of our busiest downtown routes. I think it ended in a fatality. Ironically there was a bike lane. But all I heard from those who didn’t know I was a cyclist myself is how foolish that cyclist was for being out on a bike. Its that spirit that has me doubtful about true change.

  • http://astroluc-art.blogspot.com Lucas

    1. What city do you live in? Boston
    2. What brought you to your city originally? Work availability, bike-ability
    3. What is keeping you in your city?bike-ability, job, and personal
    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?yes
    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city? sort of? probably not? the infrastructure is improving, but a lot of it is the attitude on the roads (of cars, pedestrians, and scofflaw cyclists)
    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?oh yes

  • http://www.papillionaire.com.au Nicola

    1. Melbourne Australia
    2. My parents leaving South Africa
    3. A trendy and cosmopolitan city where the standard of living is high
    4. no, we just lobby for better bike conditions here. would never leave Melbourne!
    5. No, but it does play a role in where in my city i live. i live in one of the few area that has good bike access into the city center.
    6. Yes, riding is becoming increasingly popular in Melbourne with bike sales exceeding cars. we recently got a bike share scheme like some countries in Europe, so the government is definitely aware. still a lot more needs to be done though.

  • neighbourtease

    1. NYC
    2. I grew up all over the world (including some time here and a lot of time in the country near here) and didn’t know where “home” was. New York seemed like the right place for someone like me and I had a lot of friends from all over the world who had decided the same so that was an attraction. Twelve years later, it still does feel right on most days. I have now lived here for longer than I’ve lived anywhere else. No matter how much NYC annoys the f*&#ing f%*k out of me, when I fly in from elsewhere I am always enormously relieved. I think this is something.
    3. entropy, property, family, history and dear dear friends, also the ability to leave here regularly, and the fact that my husband is a native New Yorker. Our work keeps us here in a way, but to a lesser extent.
    4. I do think about moving back to Europe, or splitting time more definitively. I would not move to a place that was seriously hostile to cycling.
    5. Yes. It mostly keeps us from moving to the country full-time though.
    6. I am optimistic, primarily because it has improved dramatically in the five years I’ve been riding here and now it’s something normal people talk about and isn’t just the tedious drinks chatter of transit nerds.

  • http://bobbinandsprocket.blogspot.com/ Amy

    1. Johnson City, TN (not so much a city, really)

    2. A job that my husband wanted to take.

    3. Lack of money to move anywhere else, and now that the husband is self employed (having been laid off from the job that brought us here), he has many clients in the area.

    4. I dream about it frequently! We won’t stay here but for another few years, so maybe we’ll end up in a bike friendly city.

    5. Plays no role what-co-ever, since there isn’t really any bike infrastructure here. I’m getting quite used to it, and probably wouldn’t know how to act if it where here! :)

    6. No. Not in the near future. This area of the southeast has historically been very slow to adopt new ideas. Also, this is a mostly rural area that is slowly growing into a suburban area. It’s in the mountains, and for quite a lot of this area bicycle commuting would just not be practical, or even possible except for the very fit. I am lucky that both of my jobs are close enough (and I am determined/hard headed enough) that I can get to them by bicycle.

  • http://www.simplybike.wordpress.com Simply Bike

    1. A small college town in the Midwest.
    2. My husband’s grad. program brought us here.
    3. My husband’s school and my current job keeps us here. We will leave once he graduates and has to go on the job market.
    4. I think about moving back to Europe all the time. Primarily because it is more bike friendly and because there is an ethos of enjoying life rather than living to work and to acquire things.
    I would be happy in a larger and more liberal urban setting in the US as well though.
    5. The bike-infrastructure (or lack thereof) is symptomatic of the mentality at large here – people love their cars, they love their trucks, and they love doing everything BIG. I like a quieter and more understated approach to living.
    6. I’m not very optimistic that things will change. Since I’ve arrived here, I’ve tried to encourage change by doing my part. I’ve written about my battle to do something as small as getting a bike rack installed outside of a popular coffee shop in town and the resistance I’ve encountered along the way:

    simplybike.wordpress.com/2010/10/02/20090813-orange-bike-rack/

    I actually just today wrote a letter to the local paper and one to the collage paper voicing my grievances regarding this one little bike project I undertook and the difficulty I’ve faced in getting local business owners or officials to listen to my request. We’ll see if anything comes of it, but I’ve found the whole experience disheartening. I’m only asking for a bike rack, and still that appears to be asking too much.

    S.

  • http://lovelybike.blogspot.com Lovely Bicycle!

    Oh this is a fun survey! I’ll play:

    1. What city do you live in?
    currently Boston

    2. What brought you to your city originally?
    husband’s education

    3. What is keeping you in your city?
    We got used to it, and he found a good job here. I can work where-ever, because I work from home when I am not traveling.

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
    In the US, few if any cities are considerably more bike friendly than Boston. But we will eventually move to the countryside, which in some ways could be considered more bike friendly.

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
    Yes. It is one of the few reasons I have been willing to stay here this long.

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
    Yes. It has improved exponentially since we moved here 3.5 years ago, and keeps on improving. It is exciting to watch all the changes.

  • http://beautychan.wordpress.com sara dokinchan

    1) Tokyo
    2) Originally? My parents.
    3) Research
    4) I’m not sure that there is a city that is “more” bike friendly. There certainly are cities that are “differently” bike friendly. It excels in having a bike registration system (mind boggling when you think how many millions of bikes there must be here), pretty good parking facilities, and many bike lanes on the side walk that are very friendly for commuter/shopper cyclists. It is not so good about faster lanes on the road, and there are many places you actually can’t park and will be impounded. The only people I know who have had their bikes stolen though left the key in their locks.
    5) Infrastructure won’t keep me here or not, but improved infrastructure would get me cycling further and further in the future.
    6. I am optimistic but also concerned. Many bike lanes are going in, but in a completely schizophrenic way. While on the one hand the law is pushing more and more to get cyclists off the sidewalks and onto the roads (where they once weren’t allowed to be) at the same time the city is putting in more and more bike paths that are essentially widened sidewalk with a designated colour. These sidewalk paths are also problematic in that they would be great for some of the big thoroughfares, but pedestrians constantly wander into them, most often while text messaging.
    I hope that as more and more rail lines are buried, and the previous surface area turned into greenway, that these greenways will incorporate bike lanes. Then it would be SOOOO fast to cycle here, and safe.

  • http://www.sheridesabike.com Karen Voyer-Caravona

    Oooh, Amy. I got my first job post grad school in Johnson City in 1993. It was a very hard transition from Louisville. I knew a I made a big mistake in relocating before the end of the first week and ended up leaving after 1.5 years despite the fact that I didn’t have a job lined up. I just couldn’t take it any more. I think you are right, the southeast is very slow to change for the most part. My experience was that people who are perceived as different or unconventional in Johnson City are “suspect”. I was definitely suspect.

  • http://hergreenlife.wordpress.com Melissa @ HerGreenLife

    1. What city do you live in? St. Louis, MO
    2. What brought you to your city originally? Grad school
    3. What is keeping you in your city? Husband, family, job
    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
    Sometimes
    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
    Not really — my husband and I both use bikes for transportation here. It’s not the best biking city in the world, but it’s certainly not the worst, either.
    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
    Yes, it won’t happen as fast as I would like, but I am optimistic. St. Louis City just passed a Complete Streets policy, and the area is working on a Bike Master Plan right now. Though sprawl and the problem of many competing municipalities is an issue here, there are some great people and organizations working to make things more bike/ped friendly. I was part of a group of over 30 people from the St. Louis area who attended the Pro Walk/Pro Bike national conference this fall, probably the largest contingent from a single metropolitan area, and a sign of good things to come!

  • http://bikinginchattanooga.blogspot.com Colleen Carboni

    Doesn’t look as though any one from my area has responded.

    1. Chattanooga, Tn

    2. I was raised here

    3. My ties are pretty strong

    4. Sometimes I daydream about moving to the ideal bike paradise but never seriously-this is home

    5. For the last 10 years I have set up my life here to accommodate my bike commuting not waiting for the infrastructure. I am staying and working on improving the infrastructure

    6. When I was growing up I always wanted to move to a cooler place but I never got around to it. Lo and behold, over the years, Chattanooga started to morph into the kind of place I wanted to move to. We have been a bronze level city for a while and have goals of making the gold level. I am very optimistic about the future of biking in Chattanooga

    4.

  • Ji Park

    1.Queens, NY

    2.Born and raised

    3.I moved away to other cities in europe and asia for a few years but I never felt at home until I got back to NYC

    4.Very happy where I am now but maybe thinking about moving to the bike friendly borough of brooklyn.

    5.I would definitely try to avoid urban sprawl, after living in central texas for a bit I vowed to never live anywhere a car was necessary for survival.

    6.It’s pretty much a political certainty that bike infrastructure will improve in NYC considering our commish of the DOT. Biking in this city used to feel like some sort of survivalist activity dealing with cars, potholes, and thieves, the progress we’ve made in this city in just the last 2 years is astounding.

  • Sarah

    1. What city do you live in?
    Brooklyn, NY

    2. What brought you to your city originally?
    singing (work)

    3. What is keeping you in your city?
    singing

    4. Do you ever think about moving to a city that is more bike friendly?
    Maybe someday, when I don’t need to be in NYC anymore.

    5. Does the bike infrastructure (or lack thereof) play a major role in whether you will stay in your city?
    I don’t have much choice in the matter, given that my career limits where I can live but I would be very unhappy in a place that wasn’t bikeable. I don’t necessarily need bike lanes but definitely do need bikeable streets, i.e. not highways, etc.

    6. Are you optimistic that your city’s bike infrastructure will improve?
    Yes. NYC has made huge improvements even in the 3 years that I’ve lived here and they continue to plan and improve. They’re adding bike lanes all the time and the number of cyclists has skyrocketed. That said, I will bike anywhere now–not much intimidates me so as long as it’s not a highway, I will ride on it.

  • http://letsgorideabike.com Trisha

    Hi Nell, 
    Are you still in town? I’d love to see you at one of our events here…email me!

  • http://letsgorideabike.com Trisha

    Elizabeth, I’d love to know how you feel one year later.