This article describes “bikelash”, which is the response from drivers in some US cities to the creation of infrastructure for the safety of bicyclists. They complain of interference to the flow of traffic, hindering delivery trucks, and diminished parking. Think about it. All of the complaints are about the perceived “rights” of drivers of motorized vehicles to drive unimpeded, and to park, basically taking up actual real estate on city streets to store cars. In the US we live in a car culture dominated by an industry that barrages us with advertising to support the mentality that a drivers’ individuality and freedom is defined by the car they drive, and they own the road in a sound-proofed, luxurious, motorized living room with built-in creature comforts and amenities. American drivers vastly outnumber bicyclists and they’re conditioned to believe that they own the road. No wonder drivers wail about giving up road space to bike lanes. Infrastructure for bike rider safety provides equitable access to city streets, and is is critically important to the health of every city as a whole, and for residents as individuals. But developing bike infrastructure is a process, and deconditioning people from the effects of indoctrination from the automobile industry isn’t easy, even in “Bike Town, USA”.
Creating Bike Lanes Isn’t Easy. Just Ask Baltimore. Or Boulder. Or Seattle.