A short article written by Wendy Koch appeared recently in USA Today. Cities across the U.S. are installing protected bike paths. These so called "Green lanes" are nothing new. They have been used for decades in Europe to protect cyclist from automobile traffic. Painting a line on the side of the road is no longer a sufficient solution for cycling safety. Bicycle routes need to be protected and carefully integrated to the traffic infrastructure.
"We are seeing an explosion of interest in making bicycling stress-free on busy city streets," says Martha Roskowski of Bikes Belong Foundation, a non-profit touting the paths via its Green Lane Project.
Being fair and balanced paper, a quote from the bike lane opponent needed to be thrown in:
"You have more congestion and frustrated drivers," says Jim Walden, a lawyer with the Gibson Dunn firm who sued against a bike lane on Prospect Park West in Brooklyn that reduced three lanes of traffic to two.
Although a small percentage of readers actually comment on articles, the lively reader sentiment appears very polarized. City officials will have challenges ahead as they retrofit car-centric city infrastructure to include cyclist and pedestrian traffic flow.
The video below gives a little history of how the Dutch got their cycle paths. The illuminating detail is that the automobiles also took over Dutch city streets -just as in North America. It was later that the people fought to reclaim the public space and once again make the streets safe for cyclist and pedestrians.