Michael Andersen blogs for The Green Lane Project, a PeopleForBikes program that helps U.S. cities build better bike lanes to create low-stress streets.
A practice that began as guerrilla activism and was later embraced by professionals as “tactical urbanism” — using live on-street demos to test the effects of changes to city streets — hit a milestone last week.
For what seems to be the first time ever, a live on-street demo of a protected bike lane has been funded by a state transportation department.
The $10,850 grant from the Maryland Department of Transportation, announced September 29 as part of a $15 million grant cycle, is a sign that the on-street demo is becoming a common step in the process of planning street redesigns.
It will pay for a weeks-long test of planter-protected bike lanes on East Pratt Street in Baltimore.
“We’re not committing to have a complete buy-in to try something,” said Caitlin Doolin, a bicycle and pedestrian planner for the City of Baltimore. “We can take it out if it doesn’t work or modify it or what have you.”