The one thing I have noticed is how cycling seems to be improving in the Tri-Cities. Kennewick, Richland and Pasco are adding bike infrastructure in hopes of at least attracting tourist that ride bike but it could have an affect on the community.
Kennewick as stripped a large amount of bike lanes though the city and added no parking signs along the lanes to let people know that they are not for. It also seems that one of the bike lanes is actually marked as a bike lane; this lane runs along Canal Dr. starting at Volland. It is make with a cyclist figure in the lane as well as signs that say bike lane. I feel the bike lanes are awesome and much needed to encourage people to ride.
One problem I see is how have these been marketed to the community. How many people ( drivers and potential riders) know these are bike lanes? Could Kennewick do more to encourage the community to take simple trips by bike? Sure they could but it’s nice to see any effort at all in these realm. Kennewick’s bike lanes also have some of the problems they do here in Portland. The lanes end without warning and at or near trouble intersections. Some of the lanes are narrow and feel more like a gutter than a full bike lane (maybe they are since it’s not marked). And lastly people park in the bike lanes just as they do here in Portland.
I am happy Kennewick is making any effort since it is the most car centric of the three. With some education riding could be viable here.
Pasco has more foot and bike traffic than Kennewick but little city wide has been done beside the continuation of the beautiful path along the Columbia river. In most of the older part of town or East Pasco as it is called there are many side streets and traffic is fairly calm which makes it easier to negotiate.
West Pasco is a nearly different city entirely. Clusters of fenced off subdivisions with a sprawling shopping area in the middle makes West Pasco very difficult to to ride in for any real tasks.
Richland is easily the most bike friendly city of the three. Although Richland has few bike lanes they have marked bike routes on lower traffic streets. The older core if Richland stretching towards WSU Tri-Cities and Hanford is easy to travel trough with a path along the river opening up to parks and residential neighborhood and lower traffic streets make Richland more easily ride-able than Pasco or Kennewick. They also have a path that runs along the by-pass highway on the other side of town.
Richland like Pasco also has an area of sprawling growth to the Southeast of the city. This area had many problems in common with West Pasco but the hilly-in is also a deterrent to many would be cyclists.
Click here for the bike love review of the Tri-Cities where I talk about bike shops, clubs and where to get a bike map!