Ten days ago I started a petition in support of the Salem Bike Vision proposal to spend $10 million of an upcoming $300 million community improvement bond on building a network of protected bike lanes.
Please sign the petition, if you haven't already.
I've copied in those comments below, which total 3,876 words. Yes, that's a lot.
But the people who wrote those words spoke well, and sometimes eloquently, about how protected bike lanes are a big improvement over either no lanes at all or white lines painted on the edge of busy streets, which are a poor substitute for much safer protected bike lanes.
If you want to know why protected bike lanes are needed in Salem, here's the answers from 126 people.
I ride regularly in Salem, and soon will hope my daughter can do the same. There are parts of Salem that are unsafe to ride a bike in because of traffic. This is needed.
With gas prices skyrocketing I’ve seen more people walking and riding their bikes then ever before. I am considering buying an electric bike and kid trailer to take to the grocery store instead of driving because of the costs of gas. Of prices of gas aren’t going to go down any time soon, if they are going to continue to reach for the sky, you will see more bicyclists on the road. There will be an uptick with car/bicycle crashes unless better bicycle paths are in place. There are many many roads in Salem that do not offer a bicycle path at all, and many more roads that have poorly maintained bike paths full of gravel and litter.
Biking is better for the environment, climate change, land use policy, & personal health so it should be prioritized to make it safe and therefore more accessible. It is irresponsible not to encourage biking & make it as safe as possible.
With Salem's bike infrastructure as it stands, most trips either require a car or put you in the middle of car traffic. Protected bike lanes would allow me to ride my bike for most errands, and would allow my children to ride to the park or the library
This is important because we need to do everything we can to stop human caused climate change, make it easier for all people to move around Salem and make Salem a great place.
We are a single-car family and I rely on my bike to get from work to home (vice versa). I live in south Salem and getting to Lancaster could be easier if just a couple roads were safely connected. The fear of being hit by a car is real and lack of safe routes increases to that risk. Furthermore, providing low income families alternative and safe options to transport themselves to/from work would help put additional funds back into their pockets, and reduce the strain on government support systems.
Paint is not protection. Try something new.
To safely commute , to ride for fun with family and friends, for quality of life
Protected bike lanes appeal to so many more people than regular bike lanes. Imagine riding a bike in comfort, separated from cars, with your kids, with your grandmother who is wearing high heels, collecting miles of smiles. That's what I see when Salem gets protected bike lanes.
I want to be able to bike to reduce my carbon footprint, but don't feel safe on the roads.
Biking should be accessible to all of Salem, not just rich neighborhoods.
Safer commute to work and school (8-year old), protect the environment
A safe network for biking is important for me and my family with little kids to reach school, work, the library, parks, and businesses downtown. We balance life with two school-age kids with one car. A safe network of separated bike lanes to reach all major parts of the city would open more opportunities for us to patronize business and access services in the city. It also would make it easier for us to do our part to reduce traffic congestion and pollution in the city we love! For example, my 8-year-old son currently bikes with me on the buffered bike lanes on Church/High, but we need to hop off and walk on State Street to go to Isaac’s coffee, The Book Bin, Dolce Mama’s, Fork Forty, and Riverfront/Minto Island parks. We walk because it isn’t safe to ride east/west through downtown with kids. And this is only because we can safely access the Church/High buffered bike lanes. If we lived further from downtown, it wouldn’t be possible to reach those businesses/parks. Please support Salem Bike Vision’s plan for better transportation in Salem!
To protect and promote safe and efficient transportation.
I would ride my bike more often if there were a protected network of bike lanes throughout the city. Motorized vehicles should not be the only option to get downtown!
To promote cycling safety and to reduce our city’s carbon foot print.
This is SO long overdue!!!
Being in a low-income household, a safe bike lane ensures I can get around town more freely and more importantly safely.
I would use them frequently!
As an active cyclist in my younger years, I never felt safe cycling on narrow bike lanes, separated from semis by just a painted line. We need safety and separation of bikes from vehicles.
I'm a lifelong bicycle rider that has been struck by vehicles three different times. I don't feel safe riding on Salem's narrow streets, but would forgo most car travel if safe bike lanes were implemented.
Our children deserve protection
As a long time bicycle commuter, I can say from experience that riding in Salem is scary. Despite meticulously following traffic laws, I've been struck by cars twice, and nearly hit on multiple other occasions. I've had drivers curse me out and run me off the road just for legally using a lane. I'd love for my kids to be able to develop some autonomy by riding around by themselves, to the park or the library, but with the current state of the roads in Salem, it just isn't safe. Protected bike lanes would go a long way toward making this town more livable.
I’m a cyclist
Cleaner air, healthier planet is good for people and other living things.
We need healthier ways to commute that are safe and away from cars. Sharing the road is too dangerous.
I would like to see bike lanes to be able to bike through the downtown, as opposed to having to go "around the downtown crowded streets." As is current, a downtown lane does not have room for a car a bicycle at the same time. The bicycle rider will be the one to get squeezed or hit by the car.
Because My sister and her husband loves riding bikes in Salem and I want to keep them safe from cars.
I bike everywhere, no vehicle because owning a vehicle is a thing of the past with a quality electric bike and self driving vehicles you can pay for a ride when needed. Also I have been hit by cars not paying attention and had to replace tires several times due to glass, also the side walks in Salem are so busted it's not even funny
Because people I love, ride bikes!
My husband has a rare blood cancer and daily bike riding is what saves him. It’s important to feel safe and comfortable out riding and protected. Thank you for this initiative
For future generations of Salemites
Biking is an essential way for everyone, especially lower income individuals to get around. Cater to them!
I'm a full time bike commuter in Salem
As someone who cycles down Sunnyview road as a commute and been hit three times, I'd like to not die for trying to save money on gas plz and thank you.
She was my Aunt’s close friend, no one should be hit riding their bike.
Because this could potentially save lives and I know others have gotten seriously injured or died from related accidents
I would love to be able to bike to work safely, with a clear designated bike lane on commercial, Liberty, 12th.
My husband was struck by a car while riding his bicycle in Salem this year. Thankfully he has recovered, but I fear for my family's safety when we bike, especially for that of my children.
People need alternative ways to get around. I just watched an incredible video on another country that had tree lined bike lanes and walking paths down the middle of their roads. It was amazing!
We need safe bike lanes for human and the environment.
Making sure that pedestrians have a safe place where they know they won’t get hit.
This would be great for families and to reduce our carbon footprint!
My best friend was killed on Cherry Ave in Keizer, I ride bikes as well and safety is essential
We need to ride bikes
As a country we need to get into the habit of exercising more and we all need to be able to do so safely. As more people choose to bike for more errands as well as for fun due to the high cost of gas, there will be more demand. Lets make it safe for all concerned in all our cities
I need to feel safer as a bike rider plus it will help Salem's livability
Bicycles are good for our community and safer biking means more biking and stronger communities.
For safety, health of our community and long term appeal for our city.
It will make it safer to bike in Salem.
I want to reduce pollution by giving people the safe opportunity to ride their bike.
I bike for exercise and transportation around town.
Our future generations depend on us decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels. This is one small step towards that.
Safety using public facilities
If bicycles are to be options for transportation, they need more protection than they have. Take a look at corners where bike lanes continue around a turn to the right -- the lane markings disappear completely. I've seen cars carefully pass a bike only to nearly wipe them out at the corner!
Bike friendly city streets are necessary with the current population growth of Salem.
Safe bike routes add value throughout our community. Please include bike infrastructure to our bond projects.
I bike often in Salem for the health of the planet and the health of my body through exercise. Unfortunately, this often times leaves me and my son in an extremely vulnerable position with the limited bike protection infrastructure in Salem. We need to protect the most vulnerable from distracted and uneducated drivers re: bike safety and laws.
Oregon should be a leader in cycling both nationally and world wide. IN Salem we can make this happen now with a relatively small investment and show others how it's done. It's important for our green goals, lifestyle, health, and equity of transportation.
I want my family to be safe riding bikes in Salem!
I am an active Salem bike commuter and would like to feel more safe when riding my bike around town. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to have a voice!
Safety, safety, safety
The original design of Salem's roads didn't consider walking or biking as a mode of transportation, and now is a good time to improve that design.
My husband has been hit by cars twice while riding his bike. We are looking for a place to live that has protected bike lanes. I hope Salem can be that place.
I’m A bicyclist and safety is always top of mind.
Visiting and passing through Salem on a bike is much more cumbersome than it should be. After visiting cities where quality of life is put above quality of car-life, I’m sure Salem is capable of a better vision that encourages pedestrian and cycling as a hand-in hand part of a quality city lifestyle..
I want and care about the safety of those who choose to ride bikes here in Salem OR.
Safe biking helps the environment and promotes community activity!
Salem needs more diversity in transportation and as an avid cyclist I’d love to have safer options as I ride. My business was downtown for years and riding to work was dicey once entering downtown and surrounding area due to no bike lanes. I feel more people would consider bike commuting it they felt safer. As an avid cyclist I also would just to live in a more bike friendly town.
As someone who commutes via protected bike lanes I can assure you the daily journey I make is far more safer & much less stressful. Protected bike infrastructure has proven to be a quality benefit to my neighborhood leading into major business districts. And with the soaring price of gas and high cost of parking, having a bike option helps a tight budget so you can free up funds to support local businesses. Build a protected bike lane in Salem, and I will happily come visit, test ride your routes, & support your local businesses. My friends and I love to visit cities and explore via a great bike route designs & culture.
Once I moved to Salem I essentially stopped riding my bike because of the lack of safe travel routes. I would love to see this become a priority here.
How better to manage the increasing flow of traffic than to add bike lanes that make people feel SAFE enough to even try commuting to work. Especially in this time of e-bikes becoming much more accessible. Also I have almost been hit three times on commercial st this year because people don’t look for cyclists. In all three instances, a protected bike lane would have removed the problem. Salem doesn’t provide good public transit options and gas prices have skyrocketed. Help us please! My downtown business (Resonance Yoga Collective) has built a spot for people to park their bikes inside our space and we provide incentives for people to bike to class. Time for the city to do its part too.
We need safer bike infrastructure.
I want to be able to safely ride to work.
My family rides bikes, and bike lanes are great safety features!
I have been an avid cyclist and often wished that I felt safer riding down town for chores,shopping etc. Safe cycling could lead to a large reduction in greenhouse gases
Safety matters and many of my friends Bicycle in Salem!!
I want to feel safe traveling across the city on my bike, and for my husband and 2 year old son to be safer when they go on my husbands cargo e-bike to my son’s daycare 3 miles from West to NE Salem.
Connect the patchwork of bike lanes…. Liberty from browning to commercial is needed urgently. Protect riders with protected lanes!
Salem's bike infrastructure needs to be good enough to support everyday bike commuters like me.
keeping bikers safe in the roads is very important and encourages biking as a mode of transportation creating more opportunities for a healthier lifestyle and a positive impact for our environment.
This is important to make the streets safer for bike transportation.
Would definitely be taking less car trips if there were more protected bike lanes around town! Commercial & liberty split near Panera especially needs to be made safer for bikes!
Bike safety and a sustainable city!
It will promote riding bikes and reduce cars on the road. Better for the end and less traffic too
I commuted on bike for 3 years. Now my brother bike commutes
I work at the hospital and live in West Salem. The commute is only 4 miles and I would love to be able to ride my bike to and from work daily. But as it is right now, Wallace and Front St. are way too dangerous for cyclists and I am not comfortable riding to work. Having protected bike lanes would allow me to commute which is not only good for my own health but reduce my carbon footprint as well!
Liberty is extremely dangerous for bikes, especially during commuter hours. With the amount of new homes and apartments under construction in this area, we NEED a safe path for all the added traffic.
As a cyclist and a person who would like to use bicycles more for basic transportation I’d greatly appreciate feeling safer and more able to do so.
I would like to be abe to ride a bike in Salem without risking life and limbs!
Salem residents deserve a safe, accessible city and this proposal helps to achieve that.
Riding a bike in Salem should be safer and students should be able to safely bike to school.
Studies have shown that protected bike lanes exponentially increase safety (for both cyclists, pedestrians, and cars), retail traffic, and property values. I want to live in a community that values people and healthy lifestyles. I don\'t think that is too much to ask for. For more stats on protected bike lanes, be sure to take a look at People for Bikes data page at https://www.peopleforbikes.org/statistics/economic-benefits
Because I commute to work on my bike and riding my bike downtown is frightening. Would love to have better biking lanes downtown to make those on bikes feel safer.
I think it would be safer and more people would ride bikes, including me- age 13
Less than 5% of this $300 mil grant would contribute to lowering the city's carbon footprint as well as providing more safety for current bikers and encouraging reluctants to get on their bikes for transport to work and school as well as good healthy exercise.
Safe bike infrastructure helps to improve safe transportation options for many people who can't, or don't want to, drive around town for many daily tasks.
I envision Salem as a family-friendly bike town. I dream of any Salem resident feeling comfortable with the option of commuting around town, for work or play. For this to happen, we need not only more bike lanes, but protected ones. People need to feel safe on their bicycles.
To feel safe riding my bike instead of driving everywhere.
I would love to ride my bike around town to run errands and enjoy the city
Because people should be safe biking in Salem and right now it isn’t safe.
Bike friendly cities are better for the environment. I enjoy riding for exercise and would ride more places for errands and shopping if there were more protected bike lanes.
Public health reasons.
We need safe bike lanes for a less car dependent city.
Adding protected bike lanes throughout the city of Salem will make it safer for recreating families, offer a healthy and safe alternative to cars for commuters, and enhance the overall liveability of this beautiful community.
Bikes are the future of local transportation
This proposal will help save lives from motor vehicles and reduce our carbon emissions. It\'s an important first step towards our carbon goals and equity.
I've been injured rather badly from getting hit by a car from behind while riding on a roadside shoulder. Completely not my fault, but an Inattentive driver. Drivers speed and run red lights, and cut in front of you far too often in Salem. I would ride to work, go shopping, and ride for exercise if there were safe protected lanes for me on my bicycle. I now have a great fear of getting hit by a car. I was just visited Victoria BC. There is a city that shares the road with bikes and even has a well maintained bike trail called the Galloping Goose that allows one to ride without fear to many parts of the city and out to many sites outside the city. Salem should have a well connected infrastructure to get more people out of cars. We don\'t need a new bridge we need better ways to get around without being in or battling with 3-ton SUVs.
As gas prices remain high more people are likely switching to other forms of transportation like bikes. Also a good shift for climate change. More safer bike lanes would accommodate this shift.
I live downtown and would love to ride to work, but I feel unsafe
A protected bicycle network will provide a safer means to access opportunity for all Salem residents. This will reduce congestion and air pollution, increase physical and mental health and well-being, and create a more equitable transportation network for all road users. Salem has so much potential but we need to take this first bold step to really make bicycling feasible for everyone. This is an investment in our future.
I want the streets of Salem to feel safe so that everyone can use public thoroughfares regardless of their chosen mode of transportation.
Make our city more livable.
Safety, community, increasing alternative transportation Thorofare’s is important.
Economic vitality of the city. Positive health outcomes.
As a rider myself, I often stick to protected bike paths and lanes because of safety. Adding protected bike lanes will allow riders like myself access to more areas.
Because the drivers in Salem and in the PNW are super scary. I don’t ride my bike anywhere in town. I drove out of town and ride on trails because, no cars. Which means I also spend my money outside of Salem while driving to the safer bike trails
My family are in Salem. Creating lanes that a small child, elderly person or unconfident person can use easily is a key support to making cycling more inclusive.
I use a bike to go into town every weekday. Having safe bike lanes would be a real plus.
Because I wish for my children and I to have a safe place to bike.
I never biked downtown or back home without my heart in my mouth. And now I won’t risk it.
I prefer using my bike when running errands about town. Knowing that there would be protected lanes would give me a greater sense of security.
I ride my bike to meetings and shopping errands but safe routes to get places are limited .
I would use my ebike instead of my car to run local errands if the streets were safer. We need protected bike lanes. Painted lines are insufficient.
Making people feel safe to ride to work will encourage more people to get out of their cars, which will lead to reduced congestion, better health outcomes, better mental health outcomes, more satisfied citizens, and safer roads. In addition, most bicycle infrastructure gets used by other \"wheeled\" users, such as wheelchair and mobility scooter users, so this helps them be safer, too. Lastly, every city that has made the effort to become more \"bicycle friendly\" has shown that it brings a substantial positive economic impact along with it. EVERY ONE.
A life long cyclist and advocate for bike/ped and transit practical transportation options. 8 years a member on OBPAC - Oregon Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee.
To meet Salem's Climate Action Plan goal of net zero emissions by 2050 we need to get people out of their cars. There's no other way. This will help.
Alternative forms of transportation are critical to reduction in carbon emissions. In addition I want safe and equal access to our city streets for bikes.
Connected, protected, and direct bike lanes are needed if we are going to get folks comfortable riding their bikes and leaving their cars at home. To me, this is the number one thing we can do to fight climate change here locally.
I love to ride a bike. But not on Salem streets, because mostly it isn't safe.