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April 30, 2014

The rise of American protected bike lanes: The 4-minute video introduction

By: Michael Andersen, Green Lane Project staff writer

Man on bike with helmet on country ride

Part of what we do here at the Green Lane Project is show our fellow Americans what we’re missing.

This sounds much more depressing than it actually is.

Until you’ve seen with your own eyes a full network of protected bike lanes, Green Lane Project Program Manager Zach Vanderkooy sometimes says, a city where bikes are the vehicle of choice for most short trips sounds like “something out of science fiction.” That’s why part of our program involves taking delegates from U.S. cities on curated tours of places like Rotterdam and Copenhagen, to see protected bike lanes in action and talk to the ordinary people who use them.

Fortunately, now that the mileage of protected lanes in the United States is doubling every few years, it’s getting easier for more Americans to get the idea. So we made this four-minute video based on visits to three of our first focus cities — Austin, Chicago and Memphis, plus some footage from New York and DC — to give more people a sense of the way protected bike lanes are improving American streets and cities.

Think of it as the cheapest possible alternative to a trip to Copenhagen. And feel free to share it with anyone you think might be interested in a little bit of inspiring nonfiction.

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