Are we not going to talk about the laws that were broken when Frank Guinn got killed? When Geric Geeck got killed? When Ben Gregory got killed?
Oh wait, they didn't do anything wrong. They were all operating their bikes lawfully.
So whenever somehow gets in a fatal car accident and people demand safety improvements to prevent future deaths, I'll just parade around in the comments and point out every instance where fault wasn't clear, or where someone made a mistake and died. That will totally help the issue.
We can do a whole lot more, and ticketing cyclists while ignoring other issues is just a revenue program directed at punishing a minority of road users. How about ticketing motorists who don't give 3 feet when passing? How about ticketing motorists that harass us for being on the street? How about ticketing motorists who honk loudly behind us (yes it's harassment, and it's against the law) to try to bully is into giving up our right to the road? How about ticketing motorists who don't look when turning and run over us or our bikes? How about ticketing motorists who drive and park in bike lanes? When there is equitable enforcement, no one will complain about it. Until then, focusing on ticketing bikes is just ignoring most of the problem, and is essentially a penalty for speaking up.
We can think about it all we want 20LAFSQ, but it comes down to a use of space. If you are unwilling to give up parking and are unwilling to dedicate space on the roadway for a bike lane, then by default you are anti-bike lane, despite your proclamations to the contrary. Everything is a set of compromises. As far as I can tell the "neighbors" that claim to be neutral regarding bike lanes also generally refuse to accept any compromise to accommodate it. That makes the claims of neutrality extremely suspect. Gibby Andry claimed to be fighting for cyclist's safety when he sued the city to stop construction, and I think we all know how disingenuous that was. Pretending to be supportive then only pointing out negatives is just another form of trolling, and it's easy to spot.
The increasing development in the CBD is the #1 argument FOR a bike lane. High density developments can't depend on cars alone, and without safe bike corridors people will be forced to attempt to use cars where we know they won't all fit. Giving people safe alternative transportation options will help with congestion in the long term.
For every person complaining about or discussing the following:
- Your anecdotal experience and personal opinions about the typical New Orleans cyclist
- Your anecdotal experience regarding whether cyclists follow traffic laws
- Whether you think cyclists deserve respect on the road or deserve to have rights to use "your" roadway
- Whether you think bike lanes are even needed on any roadways at all
These are off-topic and not helpful in basically any bicycle-related articles. Feel free to continue complaining while people who know better continue to ignore these common tropes.
Barriers. Barriers. Barriers. You can't expect a majority of people (many of which are suburbanites that only commute to the CBD for work) to adapt to a new normal with zero education, zero enforcement, and with no physical barriers to prevent illegal uses. ESPECIALLY not after all the FUD and drama that certain businesses on the street spread to the public while trying to gin up opposition to the project, which only served to encourage folks resent any changes. Only a few barriers are needed to keep people from driving continuously down the lane, and it would make this problem much less severe.
I'm not interested in debating the need for a safe bike route through the CBD. Every conversation about bike lanes is riddled with partisan drivers who don't think that bikes have a place on the road and don't think there is enough demand for bike facilities. The fact is that there is an active as well as latent demand, and DPW is attempting to address that. The need was so apparent that the city passed a Complete Streets ordinance.
People also love to complain. I don't think the idle (and sometimes misguided) complaints negate the usefulness of the bike lane. It is without a doubt a SAFER solution for cyclists than a simple shared lane marking (which are ignored completely, whereas the current lane is respected by many drivers). I have been yelled at to get on the sidewalk while riding on a shared lane roadway on many occasions. People park in bike lanes all over the city. Nothing is perfect and nothing ever will be perfect, but what we have is much better than what we had before from a safety standpoint (which should be the most important metric).
We don't have the luxury of choosing a protected lane with barriers . The city did the most with the money they had available, which functioned as an add-on to a federal project. But rest assured that we will lose all hope of a protected lane in the future if we give up the buffered lane that we have.
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