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Talking About Bikelash in Your City

Six months ago, Dr. Doug Gordon and Dr. Aaron Naparstek charmed audiences at the 2014 National Bike Summit with a great routine called "Moving Beyond the Bikelash," sharing what they've learned from the pushback to New York City's bike network expansion.

So last week, while at the Pro-Walk Pro-Bike Pro-Place conference, I thought it would be interesting to ask advocates from across the country about the state of bikelash in their cities and how they combat it. Here's what they told me.

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  • http://uprightbiker.blogspot.com/ Upright Biker

    You missed the big story -- it's politicians who in the past supported bicycle interests who have suddenly gone silent in the face of increasing conservative opposition to livable streets initiatives. Here in San Francisco, a trouble-making tech billionaire and the local Republican Party banded together to "Restore Transportation Balance" by sponsoring a ballot measure to gut transit and livable cities revenue derived from parking meters, putting in place a "motorists bill of rights," and requiring the SFMTA board have several seats dedicated to those same "motorists" whose rights are apparently being trammeled by bicyclists and pedestrians.

    So while everyone you interviewed seems very unworried about this, it's an ominous development that has been steadily gaining support. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

  • http://district5diary.blogspot.com/ Rob Anderson

    What's surprising is that you pro-bike folks think this video is endearing, when all it demonstrates to the rest of us is a smug self-righteousness.

  • http://district5diary.blogspot.com/ Rob Anderson

    Many Democrats like me also support this initiative, since the anti-car ideology dominant in City Hall has created this move---the first ever---to allow city voters the chance to give their opinion of the city's predatory metermaids/meterdudes, the most expensive parking tickets in the country, and the steady elimination of street parking and traffic lanes to make bike lanes.

    Bike zealots like you are worried that city voters finally get a chance to show their antipathy to those policies and to all the boorish behavior on city streets by your comrades. Unfortunately, the measure is only advisory, but it could be the beginning of a serious movement in opposition to the bike/anti-car movement that has dominated city policy for the last ten years.

  • http://www.streetfilms.org/ Clarence Eckerson Jr.

    In every community there are struggles, but I have seen it all. Eventually the livable streets advocates win out. Sometimes it takes time. Sometimes it takes moxie. There are ups and downs, but the general trend is bikes overcome and continue to get victories. It is becoming more mainstream. SF is struggling, but there are thousands of voices there that will achieve victory.

    The truth is car drivers spend too much time in their vehicles to advocate for themselves, they are lazy. Driving everywhere is expensive and damaging. It's also not sustainable.

  • JB

    Yowza! Bikelash on Streetfilms comments.

  • Brigita

    I really have a problem with people riding bikes and not wearing a helmet (egg. miesto dvira?iai).

  • JakiChan

    How does that harm you? (And for the record, I always ride with helmet + front and rear lights.)

  • andy

    Unnecessary health care costs.

  • JakiChan

    Nope. Check out Amsterdam. Meanwhile, the bigger unnecessary health care costs from from sedentary Americans.