It's no great secret if you ride a bike much that the vast majority of our streets and cities are not set up well for safe cycling. Aaron Reuben writes in The Atlantic about the particular dangers of riding in the southeast:
According to a benchmark study, released last year by the National Alliance for Biking and Walking, the states of the southern U.S. are the most dangerous per biker, and per bike mile traveled, by a wide margin. If you bike in South Carolina you are 10 times likelier to be hit and killed by a car than if you bike in Oregon, one of America’s safer states for cyclists. In North Carolina, eight times more likely. In Louisiana, seven. If you bike in Mississippi, that number is close to 13.
Warm, flat, and scenic, the south should be a bike rider’s dream. But its palm trees and hanging moss stand watch over roadways badly in need of dedicated bike lanes, generous road shoulders, and more navigable urban centers. Beaux Jones, a Louisiana bike advocate, explained that apart from New Orleans, the cities in his state have inherited a structure, “that is somewhat antithetical to biking for pleasure or other purposes.” In contrast with compact cities like San Francisco or Portland, Baton Rouge “is a city that stretches across 35 miles,” he points out. Few choose to bike it.
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