A reader writes:
Out of a five minute video highlighting a range of issues that arise from using a poorly designed bike lane, Mr. Salmon focuses on perhaps 20 seconds of what appears to be the smallest problem. When the author of the video reviews the reasons for not using the bike lane, she shows trucks, vans and cars parked in the lane, taxis using the lane to get around traffic, pedestrians walking along and into the lane without concern, and cars turning without due care across a poorly situated bike lane. Does she mention the slower bikers? No, but Mr. Salmon decides to blow it up out of all proportion to the other more serious issues
He then compounds his ignorance by trying to draw a comparison to Northern European countries. He's obviously never cycled there (I have, spending several years working in Hanover, Germany, and biking everywhere), as he would not have made such an ignorant statement as "if you’re biking around Copenhagen, you’re going to go a lot more slowly than if you’re biking the same distance in NYC."
Bike lanes in Denmark, Holland and Germany are more than wide enough to accommodate most types/speeds of cyclists, and are usually built with enough sense and care to avoid most of the issues shown in the NYC clip. Not only is North America largely without well designed bike lanes (two painted lines in the road do not constitute a proper bike lane), it still has a largely anti-cycling culture that is well evident in the video. That will likely change over the coming decade, as some combination of carbon taxes, very volatile gas prices and further economic issues render cycling a more respected, widely acceptable form of transportation.
It's a shame that Mr. Salmon is choosing to focus his time and energy on what is essentially a non-issue, rather than all the other points raised in the video. But he seems to be building up quite a track record of ignorance on bike issues, if his prior posts are any indication.
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