The case for protected bike lanes in one story

March 19, 2014

Michael Andersen, Green Lane Project staff writer


The Rio Grande Street protected bike lane in Austin, Tex.

One of the most interesting transformations in the media world right now is the fact that instead of making a name for themselves by buying TV and newspaper ads that pay other people to do great reporting and writing, companies are increasingly doing the great reporting and writing themselves, in their own name.

I've never seen a better example of this phoenomenon than this longform piece by the Traffic Safety Store, an online retailer of construction signs, traffic cones and safety vests, about the American movement to build protected bike lanes. Here's one characteristically thoughtful passage:

In order to maintain population growth, cities will need to diffuse vehicle traffic, which is a major leverage point for the cycling community: If more and more people are curious about bicycling, now’s the time to seriously consider adding protected lanes and bike shares. It’s a much cheaper — and seemingly more effective — alternative to building more streets and overpasses.

“[The interest in cycling facilities] is a reflection of a new era in cities where they are having to figure out how to do more with less,” says Vanderkooy. “It’s no longer the bicyclist going to their cities and saying ‘please do more for bikes.’ The cities themselves are becoming the drivers — that’s really a rational response to some very serious problems."

My colleague Zach Vanderkooy is quoted extensively and many of the stories shared in the piece will be familiar to readers of this site. But we'd be recommending it even if they weren't drawing on our work. It's one of the best comprehensive summaries I've seen of what we're trying to do here at The Green Lane Project and why it's important.

It's almost enough to make you want to go buy some traffic safety cones. Nice work, guys.

The Green Lane Project is a PeopleForBikes program that helps U.S. cities build better bike lanes to create low-stress streets. You can follow us on Twitter or Facebook or sign up for our weekly news digest about protected bike lanes. Story tip? Write michael@peopleforbikes.org.

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