BOULDER, CO (BRAIN) — PeopleForBikes has called out 10 protected bike lanes in eight different cities as the best in the nation completed during 2013.
“We talked to experts and advocates around the country, looked at technical photos and schemes and read the news reports to understand not just how these bike lanes were designed, but why. Though the word ‘complete’ can be hard to define for something as malleable as a city street, every project [highlighted] has been in some clear sense finished during this year,” stated PeopleForBikes’ Green Lane Project, which was founded two years ago to promote the establishment of protected bike lanes.
The top 10, with selected comments from PeopleForBikes, are:
- Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL: “The really remarkable thing about Dearborn is that bikes get their own traffic signals. Maybe that's why stoplight compliance has soared from 31 percent to 81 percent and bike traffic has more than doubled since the lane went in.”
- Indianapolis Cultural Trail, IN: “A labor 15 years in the making, Indy's Cultural Trail (which includes 1.5 lane-miles of on-street protected bikeways) shows how physically beautiful a great on-street bikeway can be—and how a first-rate facility can stimulate real estate development nearby: more than $100 million by the time it officially opened in May.”
- Guadalupe Street, Austin, TX: “The half-mile spine of Austin's university district is now one of the country's best examples of a complete street, with pedestrian-friendly shops, bus stops and a first-rate bike facility that connects to other lanes in an integrated network.”
- Fell and Oak Streets, San Francisco, CA: “They run for just a quarter mile each, but for San Franciscans, these lanes make all the difference for a couple of much-traveled roads that also serve as crosstown arterials for cars.”
- Linden Avenue, Seattle, WA: “Seattle's philosophy on protected bike lanes is influenced by its northern neighbor, Vancouver, British Columbia: Do them up nice the first time, with an artful combination of posts, low concrete curbs, drainage ditches, dedicated traffic signals and plentiful painted markings.”
- First Avenue, New York City, NY: “First Avenue now has a protected bike lane from 72nd to 125th Avenues. ‘I’m not only a cyclist but a mom with four kids who all cycle, and also a driver. It makes complete sense,’ said Peggy Morales, who chaired the committee that recommended that the lanes replace 166 on-street parking spaces.”
- Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL: “The success of Milwaukee Avenue's new mile or so of better bike lanes, which combine physically protected lanes with stretches buffered by paint, is a lesson to planners: The best place to put a buffered lane isn't necessarily where you wish people would pedal, but where they're already pedaling.”
- 10th Avenue, Atlanta, GA: “Atlanta's two-way protected bike lane is especially useful because it lets bikes pass each other on an uphill climb without worrying about getting hit by a car.”
- Cherry Street, Seattle, WA: “ Cherry Street's protected bike lane makes our list because of who suggested it: a pair of anonymous safety-minded community members calling themselves the Reasonably Polite Seattlites, who spent $350 of their own money to install bollards in the dead of night, then sent the city an email to explain why. The coolest thing of all: After removing the temporary installation, city planners realized the activists were right and installed a proper version themselves.”
- Overton Park Road, Memphis, TN: “In 2010, [Memphis] didn't have a single bike lane of any kind. In the three years that followed, this storied city on the Mississippi has made a new name for itself by making advanced bike lanes like this one standard on all new repaving projects of its majestically wide thoroughfares.”