Comment 39206

By Kiely (registered) | Posted March 27, 2010 at 14:57:22

"It has nothing to do with culture. That's garden variety magical thinking, not to mention empirically false." - Ryan

It has everything to do with culture. That is a rather naive statement on your part Ryan. What is magical thinking is the notion bike lanes are some sort of urban renewal panacea.

North America is addicted and currently economically dependent on cars. Simply building bike lanes is not going to change that, it is also wishful thinking that large numbers of people are going to decide to ditch their cars just because there are bike lanes.

I'm not anti-bike lane, (although I believe dedicated bike paths are better) my question is where do they fall on the priority list. Money doesn't grow on trees, and it appears given the recent provincial budget, we are going to have a very difficult time getting funding for much of anything for the next decade. So we need to use our resources wisely. Doing things because "They have it in Holland" or other unsubstantiated claims is not the way to do things. If bike lanes will have a positive impact and be worth the cost, great, but we need to go beyond a "If we build it they will come" type of justification. We need to consider priority. When I walk around this city I have a hard time seeing bike lanes as anywhere near a top priority. Nice addition to the city? Sure. Driving force of urban renewal? Not so much.

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