35th Ave NE safety changes still on track + How can the city avoid such divisive neighborhood fights?

The plan for 35th Ave NE, from SDOT.

While I was on family leave this winter, a seemingly routine repaving project in Northeast Seattle somehow became a flashpoint that has divided neighbors, spilling gallons of red and green sign-making ink and even drawing competing streetside protests.

It has been frustrating to watch this debate unfold, especially since paving projects like 35th Ave NE are such obvious opportunities to build sections of the Bicycle Master Plan. If the city is going to tear up a street and rebuild it, then it costs very little to rebuild it with the bike lanes called for in the City Council-approved bike plan. This is not only fiscally responsible, it is also a vital strategy for building a complete bike route network that people of all ages and abilities will feel comfortable using.

And with 113 collisions reported in just five years, it would be irresponsible to invest in a complete rebuild of the street without making safety improvements for all users. 35th Ave NE is far from the most dangerous street in Seattle, but that says more about those other streets than it does about SDOT’s plan to improve safety on 35th.

So far, city leaders are still standing behind the project. Cascade Bicycle Club put together a handy online form you can use to thank Mayor Jenny Durkan and Councilmember Rob Johnson for their support:

But before I get into how project opponents (“Save 35th Ave NE”) and supporters (“Safe 35th Ave NE”) differ, it’s important to restate the points where nearly everyone agrees.

  • Everyone supports a safe 35th Ave NE.
  • Everyone thinks the street needs to be repaved.
  • Everyone supports local businesses.
  • Everyone supports buses on 35th Ave NE.
  • Everyone supports their neighborhood.
  • Everyone found SDOT’s community outreach lacking, to say the least.

This is a pretty significant amount of agreement, really. And SDOT’s plan for the street, which is already under construction, is designed to meet these goals. So how did this turn into a neighbor-vs-neighbor battle?

Well, the shortest explanation lies in that persistent thorn in the side of efforts to make streets safer and more multimodal: Car parking. Even though the city’s stated transportation and climate change priorities clearly call for prioritizing walking, biking and transit, efforts to even consolidate car parking still often face a backlash.

The best way to overcome such a backlash is to build community around a multimodal vision for a street that is better at bringing the community together. The city is investing serious money in this neighborhood’s main north-south drag, and the result will be a vast improvement for all users. The street will be more comfortable and accessible to cross on foot or with a mobility device, buses will be more reliable, fewer people will crash their cars and more people will feel comfortable biking once the stress of mixing with people driving is gone. This is a wonderful vision for the future of the neighborhood.

But for whatever reason, that is not what happened as the city prepared the construction contracts for 35th Ave NE. Instead, the debate turned into the same tired bikes vs car parking fight that has been fought so many times before. Some people defending all car parking on the street have turned to anti-bike rhetoric as though their neighbors who ride bikes are either their enemies (“Save” 35th from whom? People riding bikes?) or don’t exist. And some people who support the changes have responded with parody, even dressing up as dinosaurs to mock the parking supporters.

I’m not saying civic debate always needs to be civil. But it sucks to see neighbors turn against each other like this over something as silly as how you get around town and whether car parking needs to be on one or two sides of the street. There are so many bigger issues in our city. And according to approved city transportation policy, we have already decided this one.

But once people start to lose faith in SDOT, the door opens for people to second guess all the decisions and policies that led to this design. And that’s exactly what has happened here.

I had a long chat recently with Amy Stephson, an attorney and one of the “Save 35th Ave NE” organizers, who sent me a memo (PDF) she was hoping to publish here as an op-ed. The memo attempts to discredit Vision Zero, the effectiveness of bike lanes in general and SDOT’s 35th Ave NE studies. I won’t go line-by-line here to refute the memo’s claims, but in general it contains a very lawyerly mix of unsupported claims and citations of conflicting studies that attempt to muddy the city’s reasons for making changes to the street. It doesn’t refute the city’s plans, it just seeks to cast doubt. It is titled “Myths & Misrepresentations,” but it largely offers its own misrepresentations in return.

I told Stephson I wouldn’t simply publish it as such, but that I would love to speak with her to learn more about where she is coming from. It was clear to me from our conversation and the memo she sent that there is a core disagreement about the viability of biking as a mode of transportation. She doesn’t think more than a small percentage of people will ever bike in Seattle. Fighting to stop the planned bike lanes makes perfect sense if you don’t believe bike lanes or Vision Zero will ever work.

Stephson isn’t a villain, we just don’t agree. I told her I look forward to the people of Seattle proving her wrong as more bike lanes do succeed in significantly expanding the number of people who get around by bike (as happened this year on 2nd Ave downtown). She wasn’t convinced by my arguments, and I wasn’t convinced by hers. We pretty much both agreed that agreement seemed beyond reach. So in such situations, the city must look to its established and Council-approved policies for guidance. And unfortunately for Stephson and Save 35th, those policies support SDOT’s plans.

That said, Stephson is clearly a passionate organizer, as are many of the other neighbors working with her. And everyone agrees that neighborhood businesses are vital and need to be supported. Bike lanes will help more neighbors bike to businesses instead of driving, though this may not sound like an appealing option to people who don’t believe biking will ever really catch on.

But even car parking can be better organized and designed to support businesses. If the street changes are completed as planned, the city should keep a close eye on parking along 35th Ave NE businesses districts. If it is does start to fill up beyond capacity as some fear (SDOT study suggests it will not), the city should take quick action to better manage parking in the area. For example, time limits on parking could help make sure the spaces in business districts are used for business access and not for people to leave their cars all-day or for multiple days in a row. These strategies can also be extended to adjacent blocks of cross streets as needed.

I hope when this is all over, neighbors can find projects to work on together. It would be really depressing if the “Save” vs “Safe” battle lines harden into an ongoing Red Team vs Green Team neighborhood dynamic.

And I hope city leaders learn some lessons from this experience so future projects don’t end up in such a divisive place. It is possible for neighbors to disagree without forming color-coded sides, and that begins with how the city presents proposed changes. SDOT and political leaders set the stage for debate. If people think the only way to win is to have the most signs or most petition signatures or most bodies at a meeting, then organizing into competing camps is the obvious and expected result. Maybe I’m just being naive to think there is a better way. But while an us vs them strategy might work for some bigger political issues, it is terrible for a neighborhood.

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34 Responses to 35th Ave NE safety changes still on track + How can the city avoid such divisive neighborhood fights?

  1. Karen says:

    Well said. Thank you from a NE Seattle resident.

  2. kDavid says:

    Oi, this debate is getting old. As cities get denser, transportation (and the supporting infrastructure) _has_ to evolve. And where different modes intersect, safety must be a priority. Walking is part of the plan, transit is part of the plan, and biking is part of the plan. Cars (which are still part of the plan – but no longer the dominant part of the plan) must yield some ground.

  3. Sean says:

    I work in that area, drive on 35th and parallel park on 35th all the time. I am so happy to see this go through. I am more than happy to park on a side street and walk a few blocks so that pedestrians and cyclists can have a better experience. + 35th is such a great street for biking on!

  4. It’d be easier to trust SDOT if they’d not bury after-rechannelization reports that aren’t perfect for years. The 35th Ave SW Phase 1 project increased collisions and caused at least a 3 month spike in injury collisions. Mysteriously, this report was never finished or released, despite being teased as months away for 2 years.

    https://imgur.com/a/GFPRvWX

  5. ronp says:

    It’s pure knee jerk “I hate change” attitude, not sure how to encourage people to try biking and walking rather than cars. Given all the health issues in this country it would be really helpful to get people on board with these cheap bike lane construction projects, and even better protected bike lanes. Then get them on bikes!

    I am heading to Amsterdam in few weeks and it will be interesting to see their systems.

    • Dave says:

      Hope you get out of Amsterdam as well. We biked last fall from Amsterdam to Bruges and we’re amazed by the intricate transportation network throughout the country.

      • Eli says:

        Having biked thousands of miles there — I’ve always felt Amsterdam is one of the worst places to bike in the Netherlands.

        Dunno why foreign tourists fixate on it as some bicycling utopia.

  6. JB says:

    Are Amy Stephson and the “Save 35th” group saying that the traffic conditions we have currently are acceptable and something they want to continue with?

  7. Clark in Vancouver says:

    So true. People who once were neighbours being forced by politics into mistrusting each other. Seems to be our times right now but I’d like to think we’re smart enough to see past that and find common ground. The city there should hold workshops where the people figure it out. It beats sitting at home and grumbling.

    It’s inevitable that street parking on arterials will be gone one way or another. Either everyone is forced to drive for every trip and therefore the parking lane will need to be made into another travel lane or the street is made multimodal and the parking lane is repurposed for cycling/skateboarding, etc. Either way the past will not ever come back.

  8. Amy Stephson says:

    Amy Stephson responds:

    I would like to say first that I and Save 35th appreciate the respectful tone of Tom’s post and its decrying of divisiveness. I feel the need, however, to make a few comments:

    (1) I challenge those who support the 35th Ave bike lanes to find the specific misrepresentations in the attached pdf. You can disagree with a couple of its conclusions, perhaps, but I stand by the facts and I challenge someone to disprove them. In particular I challenge someone to find a study that supports Vision Zero’s oft-repeated but unsupported claim about speed and deaths (included in the CBS insert in this post). They’re just not true.

    (2) Save 35th does not see cyclists as our enemies — in fact a significant number of our supporters are serious cyclists themselves. Nor do we stereotype them. (Advocates do need to let go of that old one-off tweet about single moms that was done in our name.) We do stand by the data, however, that show that cycling as a primary mode of travel in Seattle is likely not to expand beyond a tiny percentage of able-bodied people. No number of bike lanes will turn Seattle into Amsterdam.

    (3) The fight over 35th is not mostly between neighbors. Neighborhood residents and businesses are overwhelmingly against the bike lanes. Yes, there are some who support them, but most of the opposition comes from outside the area. The CBC is soliciting everyone in the universe to email the Mayor in support — at the same time denigrating the concerns of the people who actually live and work here. Some see 35th as a symbol. We see it as our home.

    (4) I also want to dispel once and for all the notion that Save 35th does not support safety measures. Since the beginning, we have advanced a number of actions the City could take to calm traffic and reduce the speed on 35th, while not creating the many problems that these particular bike lanes will cause. We also have studied the physical reality of 35th (and the surrounding streets) in depth and see that the bike lanes in fact will reduce safety. I will send that information to Tom as well.

    (5) So many other points I could make, but I will end with two more. First, Save 35th remains open to discussing with Safe 35th how the street could be safer, particularly for pedestrians — and for cyclists — without adding dedicated bike lanes. Second, I urge bike lane advocates to think about wants vs. needs. I understand how some cycling advocates WANT real bike lanes on 35th. But with the nearby greenway and other quiet streets, cyclists do not NEED them. The small local businesses on 35th, however, NEED customers to be able to park nearby or those same customers can just as easily go elsewhere. The many neighborhood people who are elderly and disabled (14% of our census district is over age 65) NEED parking to access local businesses, religious institutions, and the library. Cyclists have options; many others do not. Please think about that.

    • Dave says:

      Are you really arguing that the increase in pedestrian deaths is associated with increased speeds is negligible? I didn’t even have to search beyond your own citations to find data refuting your proposition.

      The study you cite in your PDF – the Department for Transport: London study documents that 10% of pedestrians are killed when hit by a vehicle traveling up to 20 mph, 50% killed by a vehicle traveling up to 30 mph, and 70% by a vehicle traveling up to 40 mph (Figure 2.6).

      This graph is a little different than the graphic you criticize – it shows cumulative data: “up to” 30 mph, for example rather than “at” 30 mph. But if you care about policy, you should care about fatalities occurring at 28 or 29 mph not just those when impact was at 30 mph exactly.

      • asdf2 says:

        The SDOT proposal preserves plenty of parking to satisfy the needs of local businesses. Much of the parking today is not used, which means that some of the spaces can be removed without significantly impacting people.

        The assertion that parking on one side of the street is not adequate because it would require people to cross the street is basically an admission that people are driving too fast, and the street is not safe. With slower speed limits and more crosswalks, parking on one side the street and crossing to the other side is hardly a big deal.

        As to your argument that cyclists can just use the adjacent residential streets…what route do your propose as an alternative. Going to the east, it’s a steep drop-off, and it’s not reasonable to expect someone trying to get to a local business on 35th to have to climb up that steep hill. 36th also doesn’t go through between 70th and 75th, so you would either have to get back on 35th anyway, or detour further to 39th (which means yet more steep hills in the east/west direction to get to/from 39th). West of 35th, it’s a bit better, but 34th has no crossing treatments at any of the arterials (65th/75th/etc.), and when you hit 80th, it abruptly ends. For thru bike-traffic between Wedgwood and Lake City, there is no real alternative to 35th that doesn’t involve a ton of zig-zagging.

        Your argument about “not enough cyclists”, if applied everywhere, would mean we would have no bike lanes anywhere. If applied to pedestrians, it would mean most of the city would have no sidewalks.

    • ks says:

      What defines a “serious” cyclist?

    • Urban Villager says:

      Not understanding your comment about Amsterdam. What is inherently different about people in Amsterdam as opposed to people in Seattle?

      • Amy Stephson says:

        Answering the various questions and comments:
        (1) A serious cyclist is someone who conducts everyday activities on a bike on a regular basis, e.g., commuting to work, errands.
        (2) You can say that the SDOT proposal preserves plenty of parking, but you’re wrong. Wondering if you live, work, or visit the neighborhood. We do. Plus, SDOT is redoing its parking “study” because it realizes that the one done in August 2016 was bogus.
        (3) C’mon. Amsterdam is FLAT. Seattle is full of hills.
        (4) Speaking of which, it is pretty ironic that bike lane supporters complain of the hill from 39th to 35th. And if you have to zig zag a bit to avoid them, so what? Please see my comment about cyclists’ “wants” vs. others’ “needs.” Plus, nothing stops anyone from riding on 35th right now — parts of it are pretty quiet.

      • Conrad says:

        Wants vs needs…. When I’m driving I can drive on any road I please. When I am riding I have to carefully plan a route that isn’t suicidal. Daily I frequent numerous businesses on my bike on 35th. Sometimes you have to ride on 35th too, and even a short distance feels unsafe. As far as the business owners: they do realize that 10 biking customers fit in the same space as 1 driving customer, right?

      • JB says:

        Widespread use of bicycles in Amsterdam is a fairly recent phenomenon, fifty years ago there was a small group of proponents and a similar pushback saying “it won’t work here” because it’s too cold etc. People who want to stand in the way of doing things differently always have a reason that “it won’t work here” but the fact is when you legitimately try it, it does work. As for the hills, we’ve seen rapid advances in batteries and e-bike technology the last few years that are a great help for people who want a little extra push to get uphill on their bikes.

      • JB says:

        As for “wants” vs. “needs” I would say that the ability to get around in reasonable safety from getting crunched by a careless driver is about as fundamental a need is there is, and honestly I feel that people who oppose bike lanes are generally pretty cavalier about the safety needs of people who ride bicycles.

      • JB says:

        As far as parking availability, what does it currently cost to park on 35th? If there is more demand than supply, the answer is to charge the rate that will bring demand and supply into equilibrium, not to give away free parking in perpetuity.

  9. Amy Stephson says:

    Dave–
    I reviewed Figure 2.6. The Vision Zero “survival” chart is referring to risk: it asserts, e.g., that a pedestrian hit by a car going 40 mph has only a 10% survival rate. But Figure 2.6 (unlike the other figures in the article) is not measuring risk: it is looking at a data set of pedestrians who were hit by cars and noting the speed at which the cars were going if injuries or death occurred. So comparing the Vision Zero chart to the data in this figure is like comparing apples and oranges. Figure 2.7, which does measure risk using the same data as 2.6, shows a far lower risk at the 20-30-40 mph speeds. I would add that if you read the literature about pedestrian injury and deaths, including this article, a key factor is the age of the pedestrian — older people are much more likely to be injured or killed than younger people. This chart includes all ages so lacks that key nuance. Finally, I do want to emphasize that no one is saying that speed is irrelevant — we support the speed limit reduction to 25 mph on arterials for that reason — and have urged the City to actually put up 25 mph signs on 35th. What we don’t support is the use of false statistics as scare tactics.

  10. Yessler says:

    Consistently, the Safe 35th proponents say that parking elimination will cause no impact to 35th Ave NE businesses because drivers can simply park on adjacent streets. That might be true, but traffic on adjacent streets is exactly what the neighborhood is trying to avoid. We want car traffic on the arterials, not on the neighborhood streets.

    The increased congestion caused by the road diet on NE 75th has caused an alarming increase of car traffic barreling down 34th and 33rd Ave NE. Forcing even more traffic onto our neighborhood streets is poor policy.

    One thing we don’t see much on NE 75th is bikes. I live and work in the neighborhood, so I observe traffic all times of day, every day. The bike lanes on NE 75th almost never used. The number of bike trips per day might be in the single digits. I have never seen, ever, a bicyclist on Banner Way. The bike lobby is very vocal about the need for bike lanes in NE Seattle, but they have little interest in actually using them. Perhaps we should consider where bike lanes are likely to be used, instead of using them as a tool to create congestion.

    We have a number of challenging transit problems in Seattle. Poorly planned projects like the 35th Ave NE bike lanes make those challenges harder, and lessen public support for future projects. For example, the Move Seattle levy approved by voters in 2015, initially promised extensive bike lanes and greenways. But costs are coming in at triple the original budget. At the same time, the percentage of bike commuters has been stagnant for years. Something has to give, and poorly designed 35th Ave NE project should be put on hold until SDOT creates a serious bike plan.

  11. Wot says:

    soooo, it’s OK for council members to ahead with a plan even though there’s significant neighborhood opposition?

    http://1y4yclbm79aqghpm1xoezrdw.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/12-30-16-Email-from-Cheryl-Swab-re-Meeting-with-public-over-35th-2-1.pdf

  12. Amy Stephson says:

    JB: In fact, we’ve done the research and bike lanes on 35th will not make it safer than side streets:

    Arterials are not safe for bicyclists
    • According to SDOT, 74.5% of bicycle crashes happen on arterials.
    • An NIH-funded study concluded that cycling on an arterial creates up to 8 times more risk than riding on a designated bike way on a side street.
    • A 2016 study showed that cyclists inhale significantly more air pollution on high-traffic arterials than on routes with low-traffic.
    • Most people do not want to ride bikes on vehicle-filled arterials.

    Multiple intersections make 35th unsafe for bike lanes
    • According to SDOT, the majority of bicycle and pedestrian crashes happen at intersections. “Arterial street intersections… contribute to higher potential risk for all bicycle crash types.”
    • The federally-funded Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center states, “Separated bike lanes are most effective in locations where there are fewer intersection and driveway conflicts as well as minimal loading/unloading activity.”
    • On 35th, between 47th and 85th, there are 4 major intersections, 14 residential cross streets, and about 150 driveways. All these intersections not only create collision risks, but with so many, one wonders if special striping to alert turning drivers to the bike lanes will lose its impact.
    • Commercial loading and unloading activity on 35th is widespread and frequent.

    The 35th bike lanes themselves are risky for cyclists
    • There is little good data and much disagreement on whether bike lanes improve safety for cyclists or create a false sense of security. Some studies of protected lanes do show, however, that they result in statistically significant increases in collisions at intersections (+24%), between bikes and right-turning vehicles (+140%), and between bikes and left-turning vehicles (+48%).
    • The minimum width of a protected bike lane is 5 feet; 7+ feet is preferable. The minimum buffer width between the lane and vehicles is 3 feet – to prevent car doors hitting cyclists (“dooring”). On 35th, the bike lanes will be the bare minimum, 5 feet wide, and the buffer between the protected lane and parked vehicles is only 2 feet wide. Dooring is inevitable.
    • Experts say bike lanes should not be terminated in a place that leaves cyclists in a vulnerable situation. The south terminus of the 35th Ave bike lane requires cyclists coming or going to the Burke Gilman Trail to cross a dangerous intersection known to some as “dead man’s curve.”

    • JB says:

      The new bike lanes in Seattle that I’m most familiar with are on 2nd Avenue and Westlake, and I would say that both of those are MUCH more comfortable to ride on since the bike lanes were added. I will agree that SDOT’s implementation of bike infrastructure has plenty of room for improvement; but if you are sincerely concerned with cyclist safety then I will challenge you to not just stand *against* bike lanes on 35th, but to stand *for* an equivalent project somewhere nearby, or otherwise identify ways of making cyclists safer besides just saying “don’t build that.”

  13. Amy Stephson says:

    Conrad,

    Yes, 10 bikes may fit in a one car space. But there is no way that cyclists can make up the business that will be lost if 60% of the parking is removed.

    However, if bicycle parking facilities are needed on 35th, Save 35th certainly would be happy to support their construction.

  14. Bob Scheulen says:

    I live in the neighborhood, I bike regularly and I do most of my errands on foot. Over the last nearly 40k miles on my bike, I can’t think of a time I was on 35th more than 1 block. Its not that I won’t bike on such street–when you ride a lot of miles you always get forced onto them, but given a choice I don’t happen to like to breath tire fragments, polyaromatic hyrdrocarbons, bits of silica and all other things in the air on busy streets, nor do I especially like noise. I’ve spoken with a number of other cyclists about why they insist on riding on busy streets and to some degree I get their reasons-that arterials often have better pavement and the hill is not as steep, but those never seemed like very good reasons to me, and my take is that the only way bicycling will ever be a significant mode of transport here is with e-bikes and once you have an e-bike then a somewhat steeper hill and/or a few blocks out of your way no longer matters.
    Personally I think vision zero is very good marketing, but a red herring. Life is filled with dangers–absolutes like zero are not generally reasonable goals. All the close calls I’ve ever had were either (1) cause I screwed up (2) cause a driver screwed up when I had the right of way. If you really care about safety, don’t ride on arterials, especially ones with driveways. Not only do they have generally lower speeds, but you’ll encounter far fewer cars. My two rules for safety: be predictable, be paranoid. Maybe I’ve just been lucky, but its worked for me for fifty years. Unfortunately I see a lot of cyclists these days who are neither predictable nor paranoid.
    And BTW, I virtually never drive on 35th, except north of 85th street, so I’m not personally affected. I don’t have any answers, but trying to cram transit, cars and bikes all onto the same street makes no sense to me.

  15. Amy Stephson says:

    To add to Bob’s reply: 35th has 15,400 vehicles per day. That’s a lot of cars that are not going away, but will go on side streets when 35th turns into gridlock. That has happened in other places where bike lanes have been installed on arterials (e.g., traffic on Stone Way near Greenlake goes into the side streets since the bike lanes were installed). As for bike lanes reducing the number of cars on the road: only good transit will actually get people out of their cars.

    • JB says:

      The new bike lanes in Seattle that I’m most familiar with are on 2nd Avenue and Westlake, and I would say that both of those are MUCH more comfortable to ride on since the bike lanes were added. I will agree that SDOT’s implementation of bike infrastructure has plenty of room for improvement; but if you are sincerely concerned with cyclist safety then I will challenge you to not just stand *against* bike lanes on 35th, but to stand *for* an equivalent project somewhere nearby, or otherwise identify ways of making cyclists safer besides just saying “don’t build that.”

    • JB says:

      On congestion, see my earlier comment about charging rates for parking that will bring supply and demand into equilibrium. The city is currently studying congestion tolling, and if and when we figure out how to implement it, as a city we will enjoy a much smoother flow of transportation.

      >” … only good transit will actually get people out of their cars”

      This is flatly ridiculous. With the bike infrastructure we have now, we take thousands of vehicles per day off the road. A city like Portland takes thousands more off; in Amsterdam it’s hundreds of thousands. Basically I read this remark as, “I don’t like to ride a bike, I can’t imagine why anyone likes to ride a bike, therefore people who bike should not have any accommodation or consideration in our transportation system.”

  16. Amy Stephson says:

    JB–

    FYI, Save 35th has asked for (1) improvements to the 39th Ave NE greenway; and (2) addition of a 2nd greenway, possibly on 30th Ave NE. We are not anti-bike. Please read my other comments. I stand by my comment about transit.

  17. NS says:

    I am a cyclist that lives near 35th Ave NE and i have commuted by bike to work and to businesses/the library/etc. for 25 years. There are many painful ironies with the 35th Ave Plan (along with it’s big sister, the Bicycle “Master” Plan), but one of the most painful to me is that it doesn’t even represent the interests of most of us cyclists here in the neighborhood.

    How do I know that? Don’t take my word, take the words of Portland’s Bike Program – and remember that’s the “cycling capital of the US.” In an important analysis, they described what any discussion with cyclists (other than the few zealots) will reveal: the “vast majority” (their words) of us do NOT want to ride on busy, smoggy car arterials. Instead we want – VOILA: bicycle greenways on safer, quiet side streets. (Just like 39th Ave!) [“Four Types of Cyclists,” Roger Geller, 2009]

    So this issue is absolutely not about bike riders versus car drivers. Instead, it’s about a very narrow-minded and rigid minority of advocates imposing their vision on the rest of us, and seemingly oblivious to the collateral damage to local businesses, those who are less abled, and others. They also seem to not consider that a poorly implemented “bike system” means opportunity costs for other approaches that could really transform this city, bring safety, and increase livability. What a pity that with so much at stake we are embroiled in this morass of the “Bicycle Master Plan.”

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