How to Build a Better Bike Lane (and Get More People Out on Bikes)

tempFrom a great new article on the Atlantic Cities website, an update on the Green Lanes project:

“The idea, says Roskowski, is to get cities to start building bike networks that provide a comfortable place to ride not just for what she calls “the 1 percent” – the fearless, physically fit, expert bike handlers who are willing to jockey for space with cars, trucks, and pedestrians. Green lanes are meant to serve a more cautious group, people who might want to ride to work, to socialize, or to do errands, but who are intimidated by pedaling through hectic urban traffic.

Opening up bicycling to a larger population, Roskowski says, will mean a culture shift away from the often contentious identity politics that have characterized bicycle advocacy and policy for a generation. This isn’t about messengers and Lycra-clad road riders anymore, says Roskowski.

“It’s not that those cultures are going to go away,” she says. “But how do you speed this progression from ‘cyclist’ being a weird subset of the population to having riding a bike being something you just do to get around?”

Maybe the biggest change, Roskowski says, is psychological. Now, when they look at streets, city planners in the U.S. are increasingly seeing something new, and the public is beginning to see it, too. “We’re getting away from the assumption, ‘That’s car space and can’t be used for anything else,” she says. “It’s space for people – in cars, on bikes, on transit, and on foot. It’s public space.”

Read the rest of the story on the website:

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