Thursday, October 11, 2012

Progress runs in jagged lines

So in September there was a big hoopla because the city planned something wonderful and forward-thinking, but totally failed to ask anyone for input, basically guaranteeing that an entire neighborhood would revolt. Two way bike lanes on a one way street- Linwood Avenue
Sharrows on Elmwood Avenue
First came the repaving of the street.  Then came the lights facing the wrong way down a one-way street.  Then came the uproar as the neighbors tried to discern what was going on. THEN came the city discussion with the neighbors.  A very jagged line indeed.  In defense of the city, the DPW did actually ask someone about bikes and bike lanes who had some education on the topic.  And that person DID send them to a very good source for information and they DID follow a best practice model.
Outcome?  A set of bike lanes supplanted one of the north bound car lanes on this one-way street. It's also had the effect of slowing traffic that was out of control. And this seems to have set off a plethora of bike related efforts.  It does seem that at least some has been in the works for a while.
And for that fool who asked, "Why a bike lane to nowhere?"; build it and they will come.  The day the city striped it, there were already cyclists riding it who would never have ridden the wrong way before.

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