Attention, Cyclists: It’s Fine for Non-Bikers to Use the Bike Lane

Attention, Cyclists: It’s Fine for Non-Bikers to Use the Bike Lane


People on bikes have been fighting for space in American cities for decades and it’s been slow going At one point in New York bikes were literally banned from 5th Avenue as a Display of power and a gesture of exuberance Cyclists and hundreds of cities started critical mass rides to take back Street space from cars among its fans LeBron James It wasn’t until the past two decades that the American city really started carving out space for bicycles And now that we’ve finally gotten some dedicated Street space for ourselves Some bikers want to keep it just for us But the same things that drove us to bike getting places faster getting a little exercise Getting out of the car have lately started to persuade potentially unwelcome visitors to try out the bike lane What’s more the creation of these new car free zones has learned in all? Kinds of street users who had previously been stuck on the sidewalk vendors wheeling heavy carts construction workers with supplies senior citizens with groceries bike lanes In other words seem to have induced demand for more multi-use Street space bikers aren’t happy about it But this isn’t going away and cyclists shouldn’t lose their minds over it. It’s a reminder of two things first 35% of car trips or 2 miles or less and given the opportunity people will happily use other modes Silicon Valley is on to it VCS have valued shared scooter company bird and more than a billion dollars an uber and lyft have both purchased bike sharing company’s Second most public space in American cities belongs to cars in New York at least many sidewalks used to be wider They were cut down to create more lanes for car traffic We’re just starting to take that space back now and bikes have been at the vanguard of proclaiming it It’s no surprise other street users want a piece the Dutch, of course have figured this out they have streets with no curbs voters on living streets for now bikes are the thin end of a wedge opening up space for Anyone who’s moving too fast for the sidewalk? There’s an old biking slogan that applies share the road

About the Author: Michael Flood

26 Comments

  1. By all means use the bike lane if you can travel at bike speeds. But especially in protected lanes, you usually dont have the space to pass others.

  2. Except when it's used for car parking. In San Francisco can't go more than a block or two with out a car blocking the bike line, the driver using their smart phone.

  3. Isn't the point of bike lanes to segment the right-of-way by similar modes of use, for efficiency and safety? I get 'share the road', but we wouldn't recommend people walking down the center lane of car traffic, or for cars to drive on the sidewalk. There is some rationale to it, it's not just bike snobbery.

  4. Step off disrupto-bro. The bike lanes were built in response to a need for efficient green transportation. I'm ok with some mixed use, but that's limited to… You guessed it, human powered vehicles. Skateboards, pedal assist ebikes, ok. But not any kind of fully electric or throttled vehicles or devices, not electric scooters or hoverboards, and not carts, trucks, runners or pedestrians. The pedestrians shown in the lanes in your video are doing so out of ignorance or selfishness, not due to a need like an obstacle.

    Your thinking is novel, but novel doesn't mean right. The fight for bikes is a fight to legitimize them as a vehicle, we need not bear further intrusion into our i infrastructure or insult onto our cause.

  5. So you want bike lanes to be sidewalks?!?! See how far your dumb mentality gets you in a real country like The Netherlands with an actual standard of living that isn't pathetic. They will run you over in the bike lane. It's all about saftey for me, it's unsafe for me to ride at speed on a sidewalk (I'm commuting so yea I'm trying to go at a good pace). I could kill a child and I take that seriously. How is it that pedestrians can't follow basic common sense and stay out of right of ways. Mom's with strollers take their toddler and set them right in front of me without holding their hand forcing me to come to a complete stop in a dedicated bike path as I can't predict what a toddler will do. Or they walk right next to other moms oblivious to my "on your left" calls or my bike bell. Reality is that if I hurt or kill your child in a bike lane, I have zero liability. Doesn't change that I would feel bad enough to question living and putting that on a biker just makes all you terrible people and in that specific case, even worse parents. I seriously hope your dumb ass ends up with their face on the pavement for pedaling this propaganda, no pun intended.

  6. I didn't see any legitimate reasons to be okay with non-bikers in my lane. We're technically not allowed in the sidewalk so why treat my lane like an expanded sidewalk?

  7. If you're going at pedestrian speed you're a pedestrian. If you can keep up with bikes you can go in the bike lane but otherwise no

  8. The conflation of scooters and pedestrians into "non-bikers" is a mistake. Pedestrians should be on the sidewalk where it is illegal for cyclist to be. Scooters and non-pedestrian traffic should be in the street, and the bike lane if there exists one. A pedestrian with a shopping cart should be on the sidewalk, where there is space legally allocated for them. Is skateboarding on sidewalks legal? It varies by city. If they can be sidewalk walk, they should be. Even if it's legal for a bike to be on a sidewalk, it should.

  9. This is ridiculous. Use the pavement if you're a pedestrian. I don't want to run you down. Skateboarders I don't really mind as long as they stay out of the way and don't take up the entire space.

  10. depends also on local laws about mandatory vs optional use of bike lanes. If bike lane use is optional and it starts getting filled up by non-bike users, i'll just use the rest of the road because that's legal where i am.

  11. The thing about other people using the bike lanes for all sorts of shit is it forces bikes into traffic if they want to pass. If bikes have a lane but can't use it fuck having the lane, give it back to the cars.

  12. I love cycling, and love cycling all over NYC. What I cannot stand are other bike nazis, typically douchebag 'bros' who are recent arrivals and seem to feel like they own the place. You know the type, they wear Outfits and Ride in Packs in Central Park… We all share the road, and just like cars have to share their lanes with bikes and pedestrians often have to share the sidewalk with bikes, cyclists sometimes have to share the bike lane too. People fought hard for bike lanes, but the idea that a bike lane in NYC is somehow sacred smacks of suburbia, and to those I say "I got YOUR bike lane right here". This is NYC–quit whining and deal with it. As a pedestrian I encounter adults on bicycles on the sidewalk all the time, and I deal with it. PS–If I see the $#@@# cyclist who nearly mowed down three little kids riding on the sidewalk on my block, no hands, texting and not looking at all where he was going on a sunny Sunday afternoon, I am going to jam a broomstick in his spokes and clap when his face gets grated like cheese…

  13. It is NOT fine for non-bikers to go on a Bike lane, Bike lanes are made for bikers not for non-bikers, people are just disturbing the bikers, showing no respect and wasting their time.. People should learn to respect ! Reminder! It is NOT fine for non-bikers to go the bike lanes

  14. In NYC non bikers use the that space because they can receive a summons for ridding on the sidewalk. Plus it’s dangerous especially in busier parts of Manhattan.

  15. Nope..share the road is a weaponized PR slogan..simply put, bikes and other devices belong in parks and neighborhood side streets…they dont belong on the roadbed…NYC..8ml people vs a few ….this was a taking….people will rise up and demand this stupidity be reversed…if need be in court…hope it doesn’t take an horrific event with massive loss of life to spur everyone to action..kneecap Transit Alternatives…elections count..vote these idiots out..demand candidates who will reverse the wasting of our roadbed

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