Month of May and Mary

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by Byron on May 01, 2009 at 10:07 AM

Kicking off the month of may – National Bike Month – with some links and bike lane opinions.

As it was Told to me by Val

Val and I occasionally meet on Marginal way and debate topics like internal drivetrains and mainstream longtails. I’m heading one way, he the other, and we stop. The latest topic was Portland’s Cycle Tracks (dedicated bike lane) and a new one going on Broadway.

Hincapie 09: Vintage Wool and George Signature Bib Short

Separated cycle facilities such as the new cycle track to be built on Broadway in Portland are surprisingly controversial, even among fervent bicycling advocates. Those in favor insist that they are safer and more convenient, and will encourage those who do not ride now to start, while those opposed feel that they are largely unnecessary, create new safety hazards, and promote the idea that bicycles should always be segregated from motorized traffic, and never allowed on streets.

My personal feeling is that, like anything, these facilities can be extremely worthwhile when done right, in the appropriate circumstances, and can be worse than useless if done poorly. Even if such projects are poorly done, however, anything that creates interest in cycling or encourages people to try riding instead of driving can only help in the long run, since the one thing that always improves transportation overall, and the safety of bicyclists in particular, is to get more people riding. – Val.

Portland Gets New Bike Lanes and Complains

What a problem to have. City planners in various urban cities, probably wish they could work on too many cyclists as an issue instead of widening 405 or an new interchange. I agree with Val and have ridden Cycle Tracks in European and Asian cities. People often ask me how I could possibly survive a ride in Beijing? Well, they have lanes just for the millions of cyclists.

What we need is more cyclists and that’ll give the engineers a problem to solve.

Somethin’ ‘bout Merry

Sure, the world is changing and we’re pushing it along with all the other bike bloggers, but we’ve got to hit a critical mass to push it over the edge. That’s one of the reasons we need more bike lanes to get more cyclists riding and help Mary. She tweeted recently

merry.jpg

She’s right. I know this. When I’m in a lane, drivers don’t care. When I’m not that’s when problems start. We need more bike lanes for Mary, even some sharrows.

Readers?

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