Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bike Lanes: now you see them, now you don't.

It's been widely reported that New York City's DOT recently removed 14 blocks of on-street bike lanes on Bedford Ave in Hasidic Williamsburg.

Bike infrastructure was sandblasted off the streets with seemingly little opportunity for public comment or public notice. Some in the cycling community suspect a secret reelection deal between Mayor Bloomsburg and the Hasidic community, some of whom have made their dislike for the bike lanes known from the start. The semi-offical reason for the removal is recent investment in nearby cycling infrastructure.

As Streetsblog reports:
"This is a really heavily used segment of the Brooklyn bike network," said Transportation Alternatives' Wiley Norvell. "Calling it redundant is a bit like saying it's redundant to have sidewalks on the street. It's a necessary part of the transportation system. Cyclists are still going to use Bedford Avenue in large numbers, and they deserve a safe route."
Well, it turns out some cyclists have taken it upon themselves to maintain a safe cycling route. Earlier this week, several people we detained by police while attempting to repaint the bike lanes on Bedford Ave.

On the "brighter" side, some places are actually investing in bike infrastructure to improve safety for cyclists. Copenhagen, bicycling capitol of the world, is not content to rest on its laurels. Rather, they have developed (bike) pressure-activated LED lights that flash in the presence of a cyclist. The flashing LEDs alert drivers attempting to make a right turn across an on-street bicycle lane that cyclists are proceeding through an intersection and the automobile must yield, reducing the risk of the dreaded right-hook. Brilliant.

(LED Bike lane lights in Copenhagen via Copenhagenize)

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