Bicycle advocacy has gained steam as data has become more readily available, McLeod says. According to an inventory of protected bike lanes collected by People for Bikes, the number of protected lanes in the U.S. has roughly doubled every two years since 2006. But some cities are still way out ahead.
“It’s still a type of facility that’s in a minority of communities,” McLeod says. “There’s a lot of work to do in the rest of the country.”
Advocates have criticized the city for leaning too heavily on approval from City Council members and near neighbors when making decisions about street upgrades. But OTIS officials say that getting community buy-in is essential to making street upgrades permanent. In his response to the Bicycle Coalition, Kenney said the group should redouble its efforts at civic engagement and building the case for better bike lanes.
“We want to really build the momentum and the sustained acceptance and approval for bike infrastructure, rather than rolling out a lot and having a lot of backlash,” says Kelley Yemen, the city’s director of complete streets.