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This is such a double-standard. Do we fret about unused auto parking, even when it takes up half the suburbs? No, we don't worry, we just build it, and that's why cars are mainstream. But you propose to build bike parking in the city and somehow it's a huge waste if it might not get used with today's infrastructure. However I strongly belive that we won't be seeing the really large masses of cyclists until automotive lanes (and car parking lanes) are getting replaced with wide divided cyclepaths on-street, bike parking on-street, and bike-geared traffic-signals witha green wave for the cyclists. I'm fine with riding on the street with cars, but those are the people who are already riding. Recruiting more cyclists will require building more facilites to support them first.

The damage done by mandatory car parking requirements won't be undone until those car parking spaces are removed. It's hard for people to consider cycling as mainstream when gov't refuses to build infrastructure on a scale that would support convenient mainstream use of bikes for all the short trips that the average american makes, in place of using a car for those same trips. When you see it that way eliminating car infrastructure makes sense because you're really just upgrading it with a more efficient mode of use.

Just as parking lots at wall-mart are built for the maximum number of shoppers that might ever go there, similarly city bike facilities should be built for the maximum number of cyclists who might be convinced to use those roads in the future. Why? Because since city roads can't be expanded, it is the efficiency with which the roads and parking are used that is the constraining factor to the growth of the city. Without this, most of the growth is diverted out to the suburbs to create more sprawl, rather than rich dense vibrant cities.

Any frequent reader knows that I LOVE facilities, but I don't think that's what will drive real change. There is a chicken and egg element to it - as with this case - "Why build cyclopaths when only 3% of people bike commute?" they'll ask. I think policy changes like congestion zone charging or a bicycle commuter act are more likely to create large numbers of bike commuters. Shower facility requirements and bicycle sharing programs (both of which could be considered facilities) are other things I think will have that desired effect. But I'm not against on-road facilities too.

Whoever wrote the above comments should be recruited in the bicycle advocacy world...

There is much that is implicit in those comments that illuminates a much deeper practical and theoretical understanding of the issues of social space, social ecology, transportation, etc..

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