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    That’s exactly how we planned it. The carefree grin on the mayor’s face as she rolled by was an unexpected bonus.



    Awesome. We can re-stage the photo with an eastside BABS bike.

    Though I suppose the 3-for-1 with a public official has it’s merits: photo op, protected bike lane demo, and bikeshare demo all rolled into one.



    Oakland/Berkeley bike share is already funded, with planning meetings probably starting this fall to figure out where all the docks will go (stay tuned for dates). If everything goes smoothly a 2015 launch is doable.


    Jim Sarratori

    Went to grad school here, walked to station every day. Was so easy and made me happy to not have to drive (or bike in the heat)! Super cheap deal for ASU students created huge incentive to live along line in either Mesa, Tempe, or Phoenix.



    Mayor Jean Quan riding a Bay Area BikeShare bike in Oakland…. Hopefully someday BABS will expand to Oakland and she’ll be able to check out a bike from a bike station instead of having someone cart one over from San Francisco for her to ride for the photo-op.


    C Monroe

    But its too hot there to not take your car!


    Andrew T. Armstrong

    What’s bad, is that the railroads have been forcing out the people who use common sense like you talk about. More important, those politicians of the late 60′s, early 70′s knew the true color of railroads and put that provision in for a reason. Now, this two party joke we have as a government, wants to hold everybody hostage while they read green eggs and ham to their kids.



    Groundwork Hudson Valley (, along with a consortium of churches, Alta Planning and PlaceMatters, had a protected bike lane demo in Yonkers, NY a few weeks ago. It was part of an Area-Wide Planning process funded by the EPA and the Westchester Community Foundation. Some pics below:


    Andrew T. Armstrong

    Yeah David, it has been three decades of decline. I have seen so much stuff removed or abandoned it don’t care to think about, i only think of 60, the age where i can get out. Even with this so called boost, investment is a joke. I know BNSF lost the cold train from Seattle to Chicago. Like the rest of them, BNSF is only concerned about running oil cans down the rails.


    Andrew T. Armstrong

    Railroads get their fare share of Taxpayer dollars, don’t believe otherwise. I work for a Class 1 railroad, i know what Taxpayer dollars are paying for. Railroads are also owned and ran by some of the greediest this nation has to offer, has been since the 1850′s. BNSF just released a plan to remove the conductor from over the road trains to save a dollar. Those in government in 1960′s knew this, and that is why Amtrak had the powers to fine for making it’s trains late, with that power removed, by Republican nominated judges in the D.C. court, Amtrak is 100% at the Class 1′s mercy, and it’s performance is showing that.



    I’d be very interested to see the protected intersection implemented on a permanent basis somewhere in North America. Intersections are where almost all conflict with cars occurs yet they’re the part we never design for comfortable cycling.



    On September 21, Albuquerque, NM will have its first open streets event, ABQ CiQlovia. We will be having a protected bike lane as well. This article has some very helpful tips for us!


    Wolf Warren

    How sad that the Supreme Court needs to get involved with something that should be common sense. I drive profesionally. Trucks and Motor Coaches. Even I know that human “freight” must be handle very differently than standard frieght. I mean a box of ceiling tiles is not going to complain about being late, or going to slow. I travel #Amtrak quite a bit, because flying has become a joke. Passenger service MUST take prority over frieght exactaly for the reasons listed in the article. Rail is coming back and needs to be encouraged, not treated as the Bastard Children of the transportation world.



    Thanks for covering this story. Although the grant money has dried up, I think this story is about more than one position. There was a lot of open hostility to bikers and biking culture in the mayoral election and my sense is that this is viewed as the first blow. Omaha definitely needs this position, so much of the development in the last 20 years as been so exclusively car-centered, that they need someone with experience to start correcting it. (Among other things, They’ve been nominated or won Streetsblog terrible intersection contests for a few years!) When I visit, I am horrified by the lack of bike lanes and even sidewalks. There is a shopping mall across the street from a hotel I stay at and you have to walk about 3 miles to get there on foot. And they have great neighborhoods and streets for biking, if the infrastructure would support it.

    I hope that Omaha can continue to develop its biking community, but the loss of the position will hurt.


    Tanya Snyder

    Interesting how Uber is the one (allegedly) making bogus car requests and poaching Lyft’s drivers, but Lyft is the one being framed as “desperate.”





    Hmm part of Copenhagen’s “bicycle highway” system goes through intersections, but the lights are also synchronized to minimize idle time.




    While I agree with you that railroads should not have “torn out hundreds of miles of track …” this practice is not the result
    of bad railroad management. It is the result of bad policy– government policy.

    Rail is the only form of transportation in this nation which is, generally speaking, expected to rely on private investment to acquire, develop, maintain, signalize and police nearly all of its right-of-way. AND rail must pay taxes on that right-of-way and the improvements thereon. Because of this, railway companies are forced to be extremely conservative in developing capacity, and the freight companies carefully protect what little capacity they have.

    ALL other modes of transportation rely in part or in whole on taxpayer
    dollars to acquire, develop, maintain, signalize and police their
    TAX-FREE right-of-ways and the TAX-FREE improvements on those
    right-of-ways (And those tax dollars received from railway companies help cover the costs).

    Until we correct the distortion of transportation economics, including the many and varied indirect costs of driving, rearranging the chairs will not have adequate impact on getting us where we need to go.





    Moses von Cleaveland

    @G In Cleveland we couldn’t even get a streetcar down are busiest (and heavily used) transit corridor (Euclid Ave.). Instead, we had to settle for BRT. So, a streetcar isn’t really an option along these routes.

    @John M McGovern, thank you for your thought leadership.


    The Overhead Wire

    Also, for folks interested, here’s the book I mentioned on the pod. Zoned Out


    The Overhead Wire

    Of course. We discuss that in the episode.


    david vartanoff

    The comedy here is that the ever so brilliant freight railroads (who have torn out hundreds of miles of second main tracks, alternate routes, former competing lines) are now unable even to meet customer expectations of slow moving freight (average speed 22mph). Reportedly BNSF has been turning away some business because they are choked on their Twin Cities to the West Coast route.
    Speed reductions imposed to prevent Lac Megantic repetition have exacerbated the capacity issue, but we should remember that wrecks most often reflect poor (read deferred) maintenance, and over worked crews (refusal to hire enough staff). I doubt SCOTUS can clean up this mess with an arcane decision on fine points of regulatory authority..


    Andy B from Jersey

    From what I’ve been told in the professional circles, left turns would be limited allowing for freer flow of cyclists. Still like Gezellig said below, not being curbside would loose the bike lanes’ “look what’s in that shop” appeal, a concern I share. But Angie said, this is what the people wanted (but people don’t always ask for what’s best for them?).



    That’s really unlikely period but, even granting it’s possible that could in theory be true, bikes don’t replace transit. People ride each for different reasons, and the number of trips where people will be indifferent between both is going to be pretty low.

    And that’s not bad news. There is room for both transit and bikes on wider streets.


    Ian Turner

    Houston is only zoning-free if you don’t consider parking minimums zoning.



    My limited experience with middle of the road bike paths is I don’t like them. Even when you have the green light, turning drivers do too, and they turn right across your path, and they don’t look for anyone crossing in the middle of the street. So you have to be hyper vigilant at every intersection, no matter what the light says. I find it exhausting. Is there a way to mitigate this issue in the design?



    Nobody who knows what they’re talking about thinks streetcars are categorically not worth it. The “debate” is refuting propaganda from the likes of Randall O’Toole.


    Oregon Mamacita

    In my experience, only the well-protected bike lanes- like the one proposed here, will get casual cyclists out more often. It sounds like a win-win for Cleveland because it won’t cause congestion. Thus, cyclists will be breathing better air.


    John M McGovern

    IMO, the higher cost is a HUGE factor. However, if successful it may ‘pave the way’ for more investment in human-scale transport.
    Someone savvy in the transport world recently compared the combination of a robust bike share system w/ a protected BikeWay network as the modern (read: livable cities/active living) equivalent to a streetcar system in terms of carrying capacity.


    Wayne H.

    What benefit has the $80,000/year investment provided for the city? What is the alternative public investment for that money and the expected benefits?


    Coffee Partier

    Novel idea, tax parking spaces to pay for cycling and redestrian friendly infrastructure.


    Andy B from Jersey

    Sorry EB. I got them back home in Jersey. I call them quite country roads. PA has some great ones too!


    Kevin Love

    Excellent job, Angie!

    In my opinion, one of the most interesting comments was made by Mr. Velshi at around the 1:15 mark. He said:

    “I would have assumed that the market deals with that. I come from Toronto, which used to have a lot of surface parking lots, and now they are all condominiums… I assume that when that land becomes more valuable (then) becoming a condominium or an office building or housing that the market sort of dictates that it becomes that. But you’re saying that there is a public policy issue here.”

    Kevin’s comment:

    Poor Mr. Velshi. He comes from capitalistic Canada, where people believe in free enterprise and free markets. Now he has to get used to the USA, the land of government socialism for car drivers.



    Yeah, I think median bikeways can potentially work if their entry/exit points are designed well (raised intersections, strong visual cues, etc.) but I do wonder how they impact merchants vs. curbside cycletracks, since it’s less given to spontaneous “ooh wow new coffee place let’s stop here” stops.

    If I were a merchant and were given the choice between curbside and median bikeways I’d probably prefer the curbside ones.



    Super SPOT ON!! :D



    Great project, but guess I wouldn’t characterize anything where cyclists still have intersections and traffic lights as a “highway” – which I only mention because a real bike highway – something comparable to an interstate highway – is something I’m desperately missing for longer bike trips.



    Oh. In that case, I’m not surprised. It’s not unusual for local governments to eliminate grant-funded positions once the grant money is gone. Still, from a city priorities perspective, this is saying something about Omaha’s leadership’s values, because you know that their department of parking and traffic is gonna be fully staffed.

    ‘Course, here in LA, we have a measly two pedestrian coordinators for the nation’s second-largest city. As they say, people in glass houses…


    Tanya Snyder

    That’s a great question. The opening was just 2 weeks ago, but we can check back in a few months and see if they have numbers.



    Let’s bring this full circle. How much, if at all, did the improvements bolster public transit ridership?


    Andy B from Jersey

    Wow Angie! You ARE Streetsblog lately!



    Really. Reserve the center for BRT or, better yet, streetcars.


    Andy B from Jersey

    Double negative!

    Wait! Triple!!!


    Andy B from Jersey

    Ha!! Omaha should be so lucky!

    I’d like nothing more than to go back home to Jersey and work as a bike/ped planner there but in one of the richest states per capita in the nation, not a single city or county has a dedicated bike/ped planner! NJ TRANSIT sucks up all the federal Alernative Transportation funds leaving almost NOTHING left over for bike/ped. Instead of using my first rate Rutgers education where I studied under John Pucher back home, I’m forced to search the far flung corners of this nation to look for work.

    Pay me $60,000 and I’d come to Omaha!



    “I don’t want people to not feel like this isn’t a blow for our city, because it is,”

    That was a hard sentence to parse.


    Andy B from Jersey

    I was wondering when you were going to talk about this, Angie! We already had a rousing, stimulating discussion about this project on APBP.

    I’m pretty convinced that running bikes down the middle will work rather well considering issues with driveways and curb cuts. I wasn’t at first. Still, I wonder if more synergy could evolve if some of the reallocated street width was given over to the sides of the streets. By putting the bike lanes on the sides with the buffer, sidewalks in business districts might be widened too, bringing more opportunities for business and street life.

    I know this is a flexible model that will vary from place to place depending on a number of factors but a concern still lingers that this will be a super groovy bike project at some expense to the sidewalk environment.



    Notice how Euclid is mentioned at the beginning, but not further down. That’s because it has a BRT line that has done wonders to that part of Cleveland. BRT might be a better answer in this case, as bike lanes really should be curbside rather than median.



    Why center-running rather than on the sides? Because the streetcars once ran down the center? Center can work but only if left turns are restricted/banned or cars turning left and bikes going straight have their own light cycles.



    Other than the obvious higher costs, what are arguments for and against reverting these rights of way to streetcar use instead of bike lanes?


    Joe R.

    #3 should be done wherever there are traffic lights. Timed traffic lights are stone-age dumb technology which shouldn’t exist in this day and age. Nobody should have to wait at a red light if nothing is crossing.