New York City has found a use for cars that Carectomy patients can be proud of: a (relatively) static barricade to protect cyclists.
The remodeling of seven blocks of Ninth Avenue in Chelsea is based on existing road designs in some European cities. Billed as “the street of the future,” the one-way street will feature a 10-foot wide bike lane on the left side of the road, an eight-foot “buffer zone” with plastic posts and large planters, and a parking lane to the right of that.
Cyclists will be separated from vehicular traffic both by the buffer zone and the barrier created by the parked cars. The goal is to encourage New Yorkers who may be scared to ride in traffic to give bike commuting a try.
Parking prices along this corridor will increase from $1.50 to $2 per hour; still well under market rate for Manhattan parking. However, thanks to Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed congestion pricing, which would charge a toll to cars driving below 86th street in Manhattan, overall automobile traffic volume should be reduced.
Sounds like a good idea in terms of encouraging new people and less experienced riders to give urban cycling a try. However, when cyclists are given a separate riding area, the unfortunate consequence is often marginalization. Bikes have a right to be on roads, and road design and drivers need to accommodate this right. Bike lanes and paths make cyclists less prepared to ride in traffic when alternatives don’t exist. But, more importantly, it fosters an attitude among motorists and urban planners that bikes don’t belong on roads.
Via the New York Times
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