A Denver Newscaster’s Epic Takedown of Bike-Lane Nimbys

Photo:  9News.com
Photo: 9News.com

Local news coverage of bike safety can be dreadful. So we’ve got to hand it to Kyle Clark of 9News in Denver.

After a group of homeowners tried to halt the construction of a bike lane on South Marion Street, Clark responded with an appeal for compassion and reason, noting that a woman had been killed at the location, near Washington Park, earlier this week.

“You don’t own the street in front of your home,” Clark said. “We, the public, own the street in front of your home.”

“Our streets belong to everyone, so everyone can get from here to there with as little fear of being killed as possible.”

Opponents had tried to justify their opposition to the bike lane — in classic Nimby style — by saying the street was in a historic district. But Clark wasn’t having it.

“Arguing for aesthetic appeal while bodies are lifted off the pavement is a bad look,” he scolded.

His rant is well worth watching in full.

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Too often members of the local news media pander to a few hyperbolic opponents when a street-safety improvement is proposed. This kind of moral clarity is a breath of fresh air.

7 thoughts on A Denver Newscaster’s Epic Takedown of Bike-Lane Nimbys

  1. What can be done ro save the Dairy House. Let’s leave some history of Denver. So over them tearing beautiful buildings down to be replaced with ugly boxes, that will be ghetto housing in 20 years

  2. “How would separated bike lanes make cyclists more visible”

    The advantage of protected bike lanes is that cars can’t simply ignore the white painted line and turn right crushing a cyclist in the lane.

    “Protected” means that there’s a cement curb or other obstacles between the cyclists (who weigh one tenth of what cars weigh) and the blunt metal instruments that are always killing and injuring them.

    This is the best way to encourage people to cycle for transportation: make sure they have a protected route to where they need to go.

  3. Qatzelok writes:

    ??The advantage of protected bike lanes is that cars can’t simply ignore the white painted line and turn right crushing a cyclist in the lane.”??

    This is incorrect. Cars don’t ignore anything either, but their drivers can. In all states except Oregon, motorists are required to merge into bike lakes before making right turns. By preventing this movement from happening the risk of right hook collisions increase because the motorist is encouraged to make a fast turn around the end of the bike lane and the cyclist is encouraged to go straight from the edge of the roadway. This is exactly the type of crash that happened the other day which killed this woman in Denver. To add even more insult to injury, the bike lane striping was solid up to the intersection instead of being changed to dashed, as required by engineering standards.

    ??“Protected” means that there’s a cement curb or other obstacles between the cyclists (who weigh one tenth of what cars weigh) and the blunt metal instruments that are always killing and injuring them.??

    Actually no, “protected” is a traffic engineering term hijacked by bicycle advocates. It actually means the presence of signal phasing to separate the streams of traffic. Also a “cement” barrier wouldn’t hold up too well. A CONCRETE barrier would though. Separating motorists from cyclists increases the chance of a collision at driveways and intersections because the two parties are often not visible, relevant, or both to each other until the moment of impact.

    ??This is the best way to encourage people to cycle for transportation: make sure they have a protected route to where they need to go.??

    Increasing mode share and cycling safety are two separate things. Please don’t fall into the trap of believing that building hazardous infrastructure is the appropriate way to increase mode share. It isn’t.

  4. Too often Streetsblog panders to paranoia by exaggerating bike danger and pretending its safer to hide bikers until they pop out at intersections.

    “Hey, surprise! A biker! Why was he hiding off to the side? If I saw him half a block earlier I wouldn’t have hit him!”

  5. Ah the VC trolls have arrived.

    “Increasing mode share and cycling safety are two separate things. Please don’t fall into the trap of believing that building hazardous infrastructure is the appropriate way to increase mode share. It isn’t.”

    And how much did mode share increase in the 30 years that John Forrester hijacked bicycle advocacy? Where are the saavy cycling classes in every middle school in America? Non-existent, that’s where.

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