Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Separated Bike Lanes from the NYC Streets Renaissance

I've been away for a week or so, but I've still been updating my DC feed at the left if you're interested. The Braves were in town last week (getting beat, I might add) and I was busy busy busy going to all the games Monday through Wednesday.

This particular video is a few weeks old, but I absolutely love this video from Street Films, a project of the NYC Streets Renaissance. They have spent the last year chronicling the state of the streets in NYC, with an eye towards what we like to call "complete streets" — streets that are safe and equitable for all to use. Their plug line is great: "New York is a city best enjoyed on foot, yet we plan our streets for cars."

image from the NYC Streets Renaissance Street Films

Anyway, this video (click on picture above) is about the need for physically separated bike lanes in the city, which would go a long way towards making biking safer and increasing the attractiveness of biking in DC. I've certainly got a lot of friends here who like to ride bikes, but never ride around town because they don't feel safe on the streets. I can't say I blame 'em. I usually don't feel safe either, and I ride my bike like I drive: Very defensively.

A few of them attended the Confident City Cycling sponsored by WABA last weekend in Columbia Heights. But biking in a city that has for years been oriented around a built environment scaled for walking and transit shouldn't require classes and training to build up the courage to take on our streets.