Saturday, May 05, 2007

Vermont city cleans up bike lanes

Image of bicyclist in Burlington, Vermont
From the Burlington (Vermont) Free Press, 05.04.07:

Burlington looks to make bike lane improvements more permanent

After another long, chilly winter, signs of spring are slowly popping up around town. Robins are busy finding worms, tulips and daffodils are blooming, and folks are dusting off their bicycles and hitting the streets and trails.

Except there's one hitch. After a punishing season of snow, salt and road grit, Burlington's bike lanes are almost undetectable. On many of the city's nearly 10 miles of bike lanes, it's almost impossible to determine where the car lane ends and the bike lane begins. (Read more.)
This extensive article details the efforts by Burlington's bicyclists, led by local advocacy group Local Motion, to protect bike lanes.

Maintenance of bike facilities is a challenge everywhere. Politicians love new infrastructure projects, which offer ground-breaking and ribbon-cutting media opportunities for attention-seeking officials. Once a facility is built, the politicos move on. Most municipal DPWs lack the resources to adequately maintain streets and roads, and are often even more grudging with funds for so-called "fringe" travelers like bicyclists.

This why "Complete Streets" efforts in many states--such as California Assemblyman Mark Leno's (Dem, San Francisco) bill AB 1358--are so necessary. It's a bike lane, not a gutter. Transportation policy should reflect the equality of every road user, and stop privileging motorists.

As Leno indicated at a press conference last week: "Streets aren't just for cars, they're for people. AB 1358 will ensure our roadways are safe and convenient for everyone--young or old, riding a bike or on foot, in a car or on a bus."

Image: Burlington Free Press
Visit: League of American Bicyclists
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips

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