Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Bike Wars update

Episode 1: Despite the objections of its own traffic engineer, the city of New Orleans installed a bike lane on Baronne Street.  This was allowed in order to make the nice things for rich people they're building on top of some CBD parking lots seem like a hipper neighborhood for the rich people who will use the nice things.

Episode 2: Despite the presence of a bike lane on Basin Street, valets at the Saenger theater have been parking cars there anyway.  I hope the city puts a stop to that.  But since, in this case, keeping the bike lane clear might actually impede the rich people from enjoying a nice thing, I wouldn't hold my breath.

In any case, here's the quote of the day.
There's more to becoming a bicycle-friendly city than striping in bike lanes, Duckworth said. "City Hall has an obligation to protect these essential taxpayer investments by fining scofflaws who obstruct bike lanes. Otherwise we will see more unnecessary cyclist deaths," Duckworth said.
I don't know enforcement is really what's at issue.. at least not in the sense that THE CITY NEEDS TO FINE MORE PEOPLE, as that quote suggests.  But rather, the problem is the city is for whatever keeps the important people happy. 

In any case it's very true that the city has decided being "bike-friendly" is something you measure in miles of bike lane.. regardless of whether or not the lanes are making things better or worse. 

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