The wind blows through your hair, your muscles tense with exercise and your ears fill with the sound of your tires rolling over the pavement as your ride down the street.  You are enjoying this beautiful day as you bike to work, when BAM: a car comes flying by and you breathe in the nasty exhaust as it speeds by you. Sound familiar? It sounds like my every day commute!

But what if it could be different? What if you could ride, walk, live, and even work in a city where there were no cars? Sound like a dream? Soon it will be a reality outside Columbia, South Carolina. What some have called “One of the Best Ideas of 2010“, the Southern state’s Bicycle City is taking Green living to a whole new height.

The city  will be a diverse community with eco-friendly homes, two community lakes, local and organic farmer’s markets, community gardens and businesses with streets winding them together like any American town.  The only catch: these streets are bicycle-friendly only.  The whole town and surrounding areas will be connected via miles of walking, biking and hiking trails. Columbia, a city with commerce and universities, is only twelve miles away, easily reached by train or bicycle trail.  But in case out-of-town visitors must drive there or if a resident has a car to use occasionally, a community parking lot will be available just outside of town.

The community is in the planning stages now with a ribbon cutting ceremony under its belt late last year.  It certainly has come a far way from its conception way back in the 1990’s (it’s the bomb!). If you are interested in living, working, or just visiting Bicycle City, take a moment to take their online survey about your interest in the project.

Planners of this truly sustainable city are hoping the idea spreads. With so much hype around this project it will be of no surprise if more bicycle-only towns start popping up. I don’t know much about this region of South Carolina, but sign me up! Soon I will be belting “Take me home to Bicycle City, where the grass is green and the bikes are plenty” as I ride down car-free city streets.

-Gina Williams