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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Bike friendly cities beat the odds, overcome ‘bikelash’

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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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  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.