Friday, June 26, 2009

DON'T build it and they will come?

The passion.
Almost fanatical.
It's no wonder why some (most) laugh at the serious cyclist.

Last nights bike coalition meeting.
We quickly worked through the core business,
leaving the Bicycle Master Plan until the end.
At that point I should have just up and left.

Some feel that there should be full bike lanes,
I used to think that would be nice,
but would never happen in this city.
It's way to much for so few cyclists.
I also agree with the notion that
if you relegate cyclists to lanes:
1. drivers & cyclists will not know how to interact.
2. it will reinforce the idea cyclists DO NOT BELONG on roadways.
address ALL issues with driver education (DMV) and
cyclist education, starting in elementary school (gym teachers),
and reinforce those principles with roadway markings (not signs).
Simple as that, for the most part.

Also throw in some protection for non motorized roadway users.
Stiffer penalties against aggressive drivers, and drivers found
at fault for serious 'accidents', which really are cases of

Last nights meeting wrapped up with severe disagreements of:

'we just need more cyclists on the road, then things will change'

well, I went with the other opinion that is:

'right now all the 'serious' cyclists are out there battling
traffic, other people are coming out due to economic or
environmental reasons. But the general public will not ride
on the street because they don't feel safe, or protected.
And they're half right. So you can't 'just get them out there'.

It's education, and reinforcement of rights.
Not lanes all over the place.
Even serious recreational/racers do not commute regularly.
They only feel safe in large group rides.

So it boiled down to somehow people will just
magically show up on their bikes,
and things will start changing.
It was also dicouraging when the Master Plan
was labeled: The 20 Year Plan.
Twenty years, so when are you going to start on this?
What is ACTUALLY going to happen NEXT YEAR?
What's that?
You don't actually know when it's going to be implemented?

With storms rolling in (again).
I packed up and headed out,
at least the local police Pipe & Drum band were out practicing.
So the bagpipes cried as the dark clouds rolled in.
I don't know what was really accomplished.


theuffda said...

Love the marquee shot. How did you take the last one? just hold the camera down, pointed roughly behind you and push the shutter down?

I agree whole-heartedly on the bike lane thing. A lot of cyclists are injured or killed from being doored, yet that is where they put the bike lanes. And then there are the cars that cut across it to make right turns--right in front of you. I think it's better to make everyone share the road, although I do think signed "bike route" roads are a good idea.

Sarah said...

I'm kind of torn on the bike lanes- agreeing with you on the one hand, but also thinking that a lot more people just might be persuaded to bike if they were there because they make them FEEL safer. It took me until last year to start commuting into Albany because was afraid of the route I need to take, and if bike lanes existed I probably would have tried it a lot sooner. I've managed to convince pretty mainstream coworkers to join me a few times and it's really the fear that holds them back too- they want their own lanes. So there may be something to the theory that bike lanes= more cyclists, even though they may not actually increase safety. (My take on the bike plan meeting: )

libertyonbikes! said...

the shot - small nikon coolpix 220.
easy to handle one handed while moving, i keep it in my cell pocket on my messenger bag. turn on with one finger, tuck in, shot forwards while palming the camera.
sometimes it sucks, sometimes it's good. i always carried my D80 and a couple lenses, but then i saw the stuff on the K Wall blog - and he uses a small camwera & cleans it up in photoshop - my photoshop is taunting me - uninstalled right now.

BIKE LANES? I agree, i love them, i prefer them, but they do create this calm false sense of security-
until someone buzzes you. i sometimes choose side routes through neighborhoods, and other times i battle traffic with very little fear, more anger. I would love bike lanes, butfor now i at least want roadway painted markings
and some education. thanks for commenting!