In Washington State, Speeding Projects to Slow Motorists

Here’s what happening around the Network today:

A bike highway outside Copenhagen. Photo: Bike Portland

Washington State Passes Neighborhood Safe Streets Bill: The state of Washington has passed legislation that will make it easier for towns and cities to calm traffic on neighborhood streets. According to the Alliance for Biking and Walking, the law allows localities to lower speed limits without conducting engineering and traffic studies, which cost money and slow projects down. The legislation had the support of AAA and AARP, and appealed to pols of all stripes. “We got a lot of traction because it removes additional study costs and removes red tape,” said Blake Trask, statewide policy director for the Bicycle Alliance of Washington. “And it’s a local control bill — it puts the local governments in control and gets the state out of the way.”

An Edible High Line in Edmonton: A/N Blog reports that an old overpass in downtown Edmonton is about to get a makeover. The structure was once used to connect to the downtown rail yards, but has since been repurposed into a “poorly finished, unattractive concrete pedestrian walkway and bicycle path.” A team of designers and volunteers will soon “bring the bridge back to life” with plant beds, which will include flowers and crops “from which visitors can actually pick fruit.” The new park will be used to host events and will be completely accessible to the public.

Copenhagen’s Cycling Super Highways: Continuing a tour of Copenhagen, Bike Portland’s Jonathan Maus wanted to see what happens when one of the city’s renowned cycle tracks came to an end. Turns out it didn’t, really. Maus’s ride took him into the countryside and eventually led to a new bike “super highway,” which ran parallel to what looks like the Danish equivalent of an American interstate. “[T]here’s something very symbolic about having a quality bike path right next to a motorway,” writes Maus. “It says that bicycling is on equal footing with driving.”

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