Bicycling Magazine just released it's list of the Top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities. Memphis is no where on the list. But a simple search for 'worst bike cities' on the website reveals Memphis as #2. You have probably heard about this.
What you may not have heard about is the work that everyone is doing to change that:
MATA (Memphis Area Transit Authority) has installed bike racks on their buses. The website says 34% but in a recent meeting John Lancaster said that about 136 buses or 85% of the buses have bike racks.
The Memphis & Shelby County Health Department Pollution Control, Air Quality Improvement Branch has set up a rideshare program that can now pair you with a bike buddy. Once you register you can even see how much money you save and your environmental impact by choosing how you commuted that day. forinstance, the 8 trips I've commuted in April have had a 33.74 lb reduction in greenhouse gases.
The CCC (Center City Commission) is coordinating a grand scale Bike To Work Day for May 21st. The goal is to help people make that first step and show them how easy it is to commute by bicycle. City officials like Councilman Shea Flinn are expected to ride!
And then there are columns in the Commercial Appeal calling for a "Motorist-bicyclist Utopia."
Cooper-Young plans to have the first real "in-city" bike lanes.
Greater Memphis Greenline, Inc. has already broken ground on a 6.5 mile section of unused rail lines to be converted to a hike/bike path. In the future they plan to use that greenline as well as others to connect Overton Park, The Fairgounds, and other midtown destinations to Shelby Farms and beyond.
These are just SOME of the efforts to make Memphis more bike-friendly. So it's not like Memphis is trying to be in last place. Changing takes a lot of people with positive attitudes. Get in touch with one of the groups above to see how you can help fix Memphis.