One step in a long journey

We opened a new separated bike lane on a downtown street. It’s a start.

Cars and Pedestrians, but no bikes.

Cars and Pedestrians, but no bikes.

I realize it looks totally unused to motorists but it’s a necessary first step: we won’t attract cyclists until we have infrastructure because of safety perception.

I suspect this is not how car usage grew. Motorists don’t feel unsafe around other road users so they will try using a route as soon as they see it’s avaailabe and then they’ll complain because  it’s slow and congested.

The difference is that potential cyclists *won’t* try a route if they think it’s the slightest bit unsafe but instead complain that it’s not safe.

We have to be willing to build (some) infrastructure and then exhort/market to citizenry to use this capacity.

Of course, this leaves us open to criticism from right-wing car addicts/lobby that we’re spending money on infrastructure for nobody (or for latte-sipping urban lefties, or whomever). I’m optimistic this time that our civic politicians have the ability to withstand this criticism.

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