When it comes to bikes as transportation, and infrastructure, I can’t help but feeling that what we need most is a united front.
All you have to do is peruse the comments on bike advocacy forums, or the comments section of Yehuda Moon, to see that we do anything but present a consistent message about what we see as the future of cycling infrastructure.
Its tremendously encouraging when I see the kinds of changes that places like NYC are making, even going so far as physically separating the bike lanes in a place where any road infrastructure changes are tremendously difficult to implement. Or Boulder who recently caught up with Portland on the platinum rating as a bike friendly city.
Bike lanes all by themselves which both of the examples above include, manage to flare up comment wars between “vehicular cyclists” and the rest of the bike transportation folks. I can certainly see the arguments of both sides. Vehicular cycling is learning to make the most of a road infrastructure designed for cars, and honestly much of the time I ride like one of these. But at the same time, just because we’ve had to make the most of a road system meant for cars doesn’t mean it always HAS to be that way, or how bout the fact that no 8 year old kid is going to feel comfortable “taking the lane” or even be able to for that matter.
I think this is one area where I think Portland has got a head start on the other bike friendly communities. There is no wheel to reinvent here they’re acknowledging that. There are and have been for some time now cities where bikes truly are equally billed as transportation, and they’ve been able to successfully get all cross-sections of society out on bikes, not just active males between the ages of 22 and 35.
What do you think, is our message as a group as scattered as it seems to me?