We are a particularly bike-friendly town here in New Orleans in many ways. The streets are level—no hills! And the city itself is small and compact enough to get around in easily. According to the 2009 United States Census, New Orleans is ranked sixth of cities with populations over 250,000, having the largest percentage of workers using a bicycle to commute to their job. Bicyclists account for 2.47 percent of all the city’s commuters.
In the last couple of years, the city has increased bike lanes and promoted bicycling as an environmentally-friendly and economical way to get around. It’s part of a national trend—and has anyone been to the gas station lately? Wow, gas prices are high. Before Hurricane Katrina, there existed seven miles of shared lanes, bike lanes, and bike paths throughout the city. Now there’s much more—see http://nolacycle.noladata.org for a map of New Orleans bike facilities, highlighting potholes, traffic projects, and everything that might make a difference to somebody on two wheels. Also, the long-awaited Lafitte Corridor project is under way between the French Quarter and Lakeview, transforming a 3.1-mile strip into a stunning public park.