New Hampshire Ranks 27th In The Country For Bike-Friendliness; Cyclists Think We Can Do Better
A new bike-share program has launched in Manchester, making it yet another city, alongside Portsmouth, Hanover, and Laconia, to offer bike rentals at various locations around the city. And infrastructure modifications, including complete streets, which allow safe use for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians, are popping up all over the state. Still, many cyclists, and drivers, do not understand how to co-exists on our roads. We'll look at the latest in road safety, bike sharing, and cyclist/pedestrian-friendly infrastructure.
- Benge Ambrogi - Longtime cyclist who has ridden his bike to all 56 Episcopal churches in New Hampshire, and who participates in ultra-distance rides.
- Paula Bedard - Avid recreational and transportational bicyclist from Goffstown. She is a certified Safe Cycling Instructor, and a board member for the Bike-Walk Alliance of New Hampshire.
- Larry Keniston - Intermodal Facilities Engineer for the Rail and Transit Bureau at the N.H. Department of Transportation.
- Will Stewart - Chairman of Bike Manchester, and President of the Greater Londonderry Chamber of Commerce. He helped implement the bike-share program in Manchester with Zagster.
New Hampshire is 27th for bike-friendliness, far behind other New England states. Massachusetts is 4th, Maine is 15th, Vermont is 17th. Why is this?
"27th nationwide - meh. There are pockets of brilliance throughout the state. Many cities and communities have really stepped up and gone the extra effort to become really bike friendly... I think population is part of it. You know New Hampshire is a more rural state. You know our biggest cities, like Concord, Manchester, in between those other communities, different parts of the state, are really small communities."
"Contrasting [New Hampshire] to Massachusetts...you have more of a biking culture there, particularly all the colleges...so you just have more people that are naturally traveling on bikes and so that builds momentum and so they're naturally going to provide more bike lanes."
What is the state doing to improve bike-friendly infrastructure?
"The Department of Public Works now has kind of an unofficial policy where if they're resurfacing and striping streets...they'll go ahead and strike a bike lane. That's why Manchester residents will see bike lanes here, and here, rather unconnected."
Check out the New Hampshire DOT "Bicycle Safety" Brochure for cyclists and drivers, updated in June, 2017.
The League of American Bicyclists created an interactive map for the "Bike Friendly America" program that shows which states, communities, universities, and businesses have adopted safe cycling infrastructure and practices.
Here are the current rules and regulations for cyclists in New Hampshire.
Find out more information about the Laconia Area Bike Exchangeand the Seacoast Area Bike Exchange. Dartmouth College also offers bike-sharing.