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.