Salem is Number 19 in Bicycle Transportation in the Nation
Salem, Oregon was ranked 19th by the Bicycle Magazine in their list of the “America’s Top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities.”
In Salem, you can go almost anywhere in town on a bike, with the exception of a few places. Many businesses also have places to lock a bike.
The city also has a large number of streets, on which both bicycles and motorized vehicles can share. The Salem website has a bike map for different sections of the city, so one can see the safest and most efficient route for travel via bike. South Salem has an abundance of very friendly to moderately friendly bicycle roads, with only a few roads that are not safe, or require extreme caution.
According to the Salem website, a safe road has minimal traffic, at least a bike lane if not a dedicated path for bicycle, and pedestrian travel. An unsafe road has high levels of traffic, no bike lane or shoulder and typically busier intersections with higher speeds which increase the level of danger for bicyclists.
“I do not believe Salem is bike friendly because the bike lanes are small and a lot of streets don’t even have bike lanes at all,” Spencer Martin ‘16 said.
The reason bicycling is dangerous is because they are small, hard to see, and, if hit, have virtually no protection for the rider. Many drivers do not look out for bicycles while turning simply because they are scarcely seen on the roads.
“Compared to Portland, Salem’s bike infrastructure does not seem that great,” Martin said. “Bike usage seems like more of an afterthought in the lesser developed or older parts of the city.”
“I think that Salem’s bike infrastructure is just fine,” Ethan Streeter ‘17 said. “I use my car as my main source of transportation, but i can tell that biking from point A to point B would not be too challenging if I had to do so.”