Brenda sent me an email last week…
Have you seen this? When I think about my trip to Denmark, one of the first things that comes to mind is how they’ve incorporated their bike lanes. In some shots you’ll see that the bike lane is just a super wide strip painted blue but on most, there is a separate, raised bike lane. It’s really fantastic. If only Boston and other cities in the US could do something like this.
At first I didn’t see what was so remarkable about the bike traffic (aside from the number of cyclists). While watching the video I began to think of my ride in the morning through Cambridge where there are more people riding than the bike lanes can handle. There’s no room to safely pass and left turns are treacherous unless you’re at a light, and even then it gets pretty dicey. It would be pretty great to have double wide bike lanes, or even some of the bike boulevards that you can see in the video.
I find myself silently resenting slower riders in front of me, and now realize it’s not the slow bikers that are a problem, but the inability to pass safely. One of the biggest side effects of growing bike use in Boston has been the proportional lack on infrastructure and education to go along with it. More people riding bikes does have some backlash, bike theft in Cambridge made the top 10, more cyclists are vying same few miles of bike lanes, and many of the new riders haven’t quite got the hang of things yet. With more bike on the road, you inevitably get more idiots on bikes (luckily this means fewer of them are operating a three thousand pound vehicle); I have witnessed more and more close calls due to other cyclists darting on and off of the sidewalk or biking with a pedestrian’s mindset. Car drivers converting to bikes is great, but not when they bring their agressive driving habits or oblivious walking habits to the bike lanes.