Urban Velo

Bike Lanes and Learning Curves

Indianapolis has come an incredibly long way since I was involved in local advocacy work. In just 5 years we’ve gone from ZERO bike lanes to 64 miles of them. 5 years ago it was a massive effort of wading through red tape just to get some bike racks around town, but now they’re everywhere. The awareness of all these changes is still a battle to be fought, however, as detailed in this piece by our local major newspaper.

The learning curve has been incredibly steep, but serious efforts are being made to get over this hump. In the meantime, we’ve been fortunate to have avoided a number of collisions and/or fatalities that could be occurring. Right now, as evidenced in the comment section of the linked article, we are only dealing with annoyed drivers who think painted bike images on the road are just surprisingly artistic smears of road kill.

Personally, I’m curious what efforts have been made in your areas to overcome the problems associated with a sudden burst of road sharing. If you want to share these ideas with our local advocacy group, Indy Cog, feel free to send them a message at their website.

About Scott Spitz

Commuting, touring, kid hauling, couriering, mechanic work, sales, advocacy, fixed, free—Scott has had his hands in it all over the years.

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2 Comments

  1. RockyDecember 30, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    very similar things going down in Memphis TN.

  2. Joe PeraltaJanuary 1, 2012 at 6:52 am

    I’ve been seeing this more or less in every western US city I’ve been through the past few years. They like to spin it that they’re “green”, loving and caring for the environment, but the fact is car-centric sprawl has given these cities far more traffic and smog than they can handle, and big daddy federal government is threatening to withhold allowances – big bucks at stake, and the cities have hard numbers to meet, or lose out.

    As far as cycling is concerned, getting around on a bike is still a foreign concept in the US. Maybe the best next step would leverage these positive infrastructure changes by introducing a curriculum on the basics of riding and maintaining a bike for transportation. Kids and adults need that know-how to succeed – most flunk miserably in the School of Hard Knocks, and just wind up back in cars.

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