Bike friendly cities beat the odds, overcome ‘bikelash’

In the ’80s New York mayor Ed Koch created protective bike lanes in Manhattan along 6th and 7th Avenues much to the chagrin of a very loud and influential opposition. Within weeks, the bike lanes were torn up.

Now, New York has a fairly impressive network of 285 miles of bikes lanes, all a part of a comprehensive 21st century transportation initiative.

How did New York and similar cities beat what New York magazine dubs ‘bikelash’? Here are three key points:

  • Mobilize grassroot support for bike lanes
  • Pressure from business leaders who recognize that bike lanes are an asset to their companies
  • Frame the conversation around what is good for the city, not just what is good for cyclists

The bottom line in the bike-lane debate is that bike lanes make city streets safer, and are good for business.

Via Yes! magazine

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2 comments

  1. The key is to make bike lanes, Standard Operating Procedure. For example, if every road that had more then say 120 vehicles/hr must have bicycle lanes installed when newly built, resurfaced or rebuilt, within 30 years you would have them everywhere.

    Lots of cities make it such a convoluted and complex process, that it will take a million years to get to 1% of all roads having bike lanes. Especially as long as the standard development is all arterial roads and cul-de-sacs.

  2. That, wogster, is some straight-up tight logic.

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