Every Community Should Develop Its Own ‘Bicycle Infrastructure’ Expertise

Background Reading

Summary

Chicago's Cycling Movement Issues A Leftist Manifesto

Chicago’s Cycling Movement Issues A Leftist Manifesto

Does this sort of Manifesto have to be the future of your city or town? It all depends on how much time and trouble you take to educate yourselves about ‘Bicycle Infrastructure‘ creation. Some of the most expensive and highly-touted Protected Bike Lane designs do not meet with critical acclaim by some in Europe.

But does your city council understand the nuances of all the talk about these kinds of changes? How can you get educated about them yourselves? Does having bicycle infrastructure signal the demise of on-street automobile parking or a universal reduction in lanes on your arterial streets?  Can you create a town where bikes and cars get along peacefully or is the kind of rage demonstrated in this Manifesto inevitable?

There is a great deal to learn. But first you need to take the time to immerse yourself in the jargon and lingo. You need to understand that the Bicycling Movement has it hardliners and its compromisers. To be honest this problem is a great deal like that experienced in political parties. There are the folks who will not compromise and want to push through their agendas regardless of the consequences.

But there are also thoughtful people who can consider the good points and the weak ones in any design or argument. You simply have to seek them out.

Before You Decide Against Something Know Why

Educate Yourselves

Educate Yourselves

It takes time and effort. You may have to drive distances to see what other cities and towns have done. Before you spend on single dime know what works and what does not.

Being cautious is not going to spell doom for your city. Maintenance of bicycle lanes is largely dependent on the kind your transportation department installs.

Visit cities to see what their lanes look like after a few years of use. Some are downright ugly and shabby looking. But there are newer designs and materials that can fix that problem.

But be prepared to spend money that you might not have. Think about the costs of building infrastructure as a possible investment in your downtown business district. Can a well-designed and maintained infrastructure be sustainable? Yes if done with really sound intentions and plans.

But whatever you do decide let it be out of a sense of understanding and not ignorance.