No one wants a Bike Lane War

Flickr: Mr. T in DC

Now reading: “People riding bikes aren’t jerks, they’re just like you“, via Greater Greater Washington.

It’s also important to cultivate advocates from every DC community who can talk to their community leaders about why they should support cycling. Shane Farthing cited this as one of his priorities when he took over at WABA.

Keeping DC’s black population involved with cycling is especially important in order to keep bike infrastructure from becoming a wedge issue, as it did during the recent mayoral election.

A negative narrative can lead to opinions about cycling like that of ANC 8C03′s Mary Cuthbert, who told the Washington Post that “we don’t need no bicycle lanes.” A more positive narrative, on the other hand, can build upon the advantages that good cycling infrastructure brings.

A great example is the outlook from Edgewood residents near the Metropolitan Branch Trail who now have a safer connection to downtown. Anybody can hop on a bike, no matter their race, income, gender or age. Let’s work to keep it that way…

DC deserves credit for staying civil instead of devolving into a bike lane war, but there are steps we can take to ensure the discourse about cycling is as good as, if not better than, the facilities being installed. Demonstrating and recognizing that people on bikes are just like us is an important first step.