Two short videos show how difficult people in cars can make it for those on bikes to use the bike lanes on New York Avenue NW and L Street NW.
The first video is a great example of how bicycle infrastructure needs to be protected if it’s really going to be effective.
While paint does help make drivers aware that they aren’t the only ones using the road, it doesn’t accomplish much if those drivers don’t respect the space designated for vulnerable users like people on bikes.
Here, hostility indicates irreverence
A more peaceful move for this “peace officer” would have been to park the vehicle he was guarding in a designated parking space. From there, he could have escorted whoever he was protecting a few extra feet to and from the front door of the building they were visiting.
For bike infrastructure to work, cities have to take it seriously
If DC (and any other city) is going to make cycling a truly viable form of transportation, they need to realize that induced demand works for all modes of transportation.
In other words, build a smooth, wide highway, and drivers will change their route to use it. Conversely, paint a dinky bike lane in a bunch of parked cars’ door zones and fail to build loading zones for deliveries, and cyclists will be forced to weave around traffic in the other travel lanes.
To make a place safe for cyclists, enforce rules against using it as loading zone and make sure it’s not somewhere the connected and privileged can use without regard for everyone’s safety.