Bike Lanes Everywhere You Look

There’s a lot of buzz about bike lanes around the network today.

The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia links to a local TV news story about how illegally parked cars and even construction materials are frequently blocking newly created bike lanes in that city.

216364270_6eb62734c8.jpgThe view from the bike lane in Philadelphia. Photo by Bikes on Transit via Flickr.

Old news, right?  Drivers use bike lanes as parking spots all the time. But what’s really remarkable about the relatively in-depth news segment is that it treats motorists’ bad behavior seriously as a safety issue, acknowledging that vehicles parked in a designated bike lane can endanger the lives of cyclists. It’s worth watching, if only as evidence of a potential shift in attitude in the mainstream media when it comes to the right of bikes to share the road.

Meanwhile, our Twitter friend @keg41 linked this morning to an LA Times story about the growing number of cyclists in that city and the debate over how best to integrate bikes into an overwhelming car culture. The piece is pegged to the ongoing trial of a Brentwood physician who allegedly used his car to assault two cyclists on the road where he lived, but it goes on to provide a fairly thorough overview of some public health issues associated with biking, including the debate over whether bike lanes are good for bikers. Perhaps the most significant thing about the article is that it doesn’t treat biking as something cute or quirky or trendy.

Meanwhile, Twin Cities Streets for People calls out a Prius driver who couldn’t seem to stay out of a Minneapolis bike lane. And The WashCycle breaks down a proposed DC zoning change that could mean more bike parking.

  • Wow! That was so great reporting! I wish they’d come to the Bronx!

  • That was a very good news piece. Shame it was on the CW, as that gets less viewers.

  • Good coverage of the Philadelphia stories. It’s a shame that the newly created bike lanes there are points of contention and a points of friction between cyclists and drivers–especially disconcerting when injury and lives are at stake.

    It makes me wonder how rules and regulations are enforced in other cities. In New York City, protected bike lanes in certain neighborhoods make it impossible for cars to physically enter the bike lane. Would this model be feasible in Philly? Is this the current model in places in Philadelphia?

    I’d also love to see the feedback from different cities. In New York, I interviewed a few casual and regular cyclists and found the feedback to be generally positive. Philadelphia’s feedback seems a little less positive (judging from the news report).

    And I’m wondering what cities, do you guy think, are the best models for bikers and cyclists? Is there one in the U.S.?

    If you have time, feel free to check out my blog where I spoke to residents, pedestrians, and cyclists about their feelings on the City’s trend toward protected lanes:

    http://bit.ly/hGaQY

  • In NYC it’s not that drivers respect the lane, they don’t– I think they are just more used to lots of bikes on the street. And I think NYC bikers have low expectations. The cars are moving slowly, since it’s so congested. That means the cars cause less damage when they hit you– and they do hit you.

    I feel very safe on a bike in midtown since none of the cars are really moving at all most of the time. Even if they block the lane you can just go around.

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