“A true bicycle network is one that can be safely used by a child.” – Enrique Penalosa, former mayor of Bogota, Colombia

Yes, Richmond is painting a few bike lanes on a small number of streets. But I believe this is a bad idea. The more I read the more convinced I become that this will neither increase the number of bikers nor significantly improve safety.

The video below is about NYC, but its lessons are applicable here. It’s long, but well worth watching for the numerous arguments made against on-street, non-separated bike lanes. At the very least, watch the first 40 seconds.

Certainly NYC traffic is almost infinitely worse than Richmond’s, but I can imagine if we had a bike lane on Broad St. downtown the results wouldn’t differ dramatically.

This video pushes separated bike lanes- where either concrete barriers, medians, or a simple painted buffer protect cyclists from traffic. It shows a number of cities/countries which have adopted such a strategy:

  • Boulder
  • Montreal
  • Bogota
  • London
  • Copenhagan
  • Holland
  • Italy
  • Sweden

I’m convinced by the number of hits and comments I get every time I write about biking in Richmond, as well as by the number of cyclists on the street, that we could actually change Richmond if we tried; we need to institute some kind of safe, city-wide biking network.

Who’s with me?

I personally would like to see bike roads, which you can read about here.