From a LTTE in the Patch.
The sudden appearance of outsiders lobbying to install bike lanes on a dangerous section of King Street is unwarranted interference. Together with the local bike lobby’s twisted reporting of the recent Traffic and Parking session, they create undue animosity. But this is what lobbyists do… stand in the way of change that does not wholly benefit them alone.
I don't normally think of speaking at a public hearing as "lobbying". That's usually a back-room kind of thing that usually comes with political contributions. And I'm pretty sure that lobbyist have to register as such. I doubt that Aimee Custis of CSG or Greg Billing of WABA are registered lobbyists. Maybe I'm wrong. Who cares when lobbyist is such a good way to make the opposition look bad? [What happened here was advocacy, but we like advocates]. Nor would I call these groups outsiders since they have members from Alexandria.
the bike lobby and others conduct a, perhaps unintended but nonetheless disruptive campaign targeted at people who are simply trying to get where they’re going, either on foot or in a vehicle. Like an invasive species pushing into spaces successfully occupied by natives. In Alexandria we are trying to create a new space that accommodates everyone.
Are the cars and pedestrians the natives, and cyclists the invasive species? Regardless, yes we are trying to create space that accommodates everyone.
Under cover of the mostly untried “Complete Streets” policy, lobbyists’ rhetoric was used to obscure the real difficulty of mixing multiple modes (cars, trucks, buses, pedestrians, bicycles) while ensuring safe passage for all. Despite attempts around the world, mixing modes can produce new accident patterns and many near misses. This happens most often in places like this small section of King Street. Here, a high incidence of traffic accidents, narrow roadway, limited sidewalks, and steep hill, all combine.
You know what would help reduce the mixing? Bike lanes.
The number of lobbyists from outside the city was surprising
And that number was how many?
but about how to change this small and very dangerous section of King Street to accommodate everyone. Safely executing this for all three modes may not be possible without greatly increasing all around risk.
I fail to see how removing parking and replacing it with a bike lane decreases safety.
Finally, it was stunning to hear the bike lobby characterize cyclists as “traffic calming devices” or “buffers.” The ethics of this rhetoric, which advocates deliberately putting cyclists in the way of harm, is immoral and irresponsible. As an early speaker, a safety expert testified: the goal of situations like the King Street renovation is to reduce—not increase—risk to ALL users.
I wasn't there, but this doesn't sound right. Bike lanes are traffic calming devices (or so the theory goes), not bicyclists.
What's most amazing about this article is that she only mentions parking once and never in the context that this is what residents are fighting for. No, residents on King Street are concerned most about safety and the safety of cyclists. This is why they oppose the bike lanes. Bold.