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To be fair, Albuquerque is not closing their street to vehicle traffic. Instead, they're making enhancements to improve bicycle safety and make it a better conduit for bicycles, similar to what Minneapolis, MN is doing with their proposed Riverlake Greenway.


There's nothing wrong with creating dedicated mixed-use pathways, and I'm all for closing roads down to private vehicular traiffic.

But we're never going to have a comprehensive "shadow" network of bike roads that mirror the "real" roads.

And so long as there are crappy, chopped up, meandering, insufficient multi-use trails, entitled drivers are going to point to them as the "ghetto" in which cyclists are supposed to operate.

Take the Mt Vernon trail, as a great example, or the trail that runs parallel to Rock Creek Parkway between the Calvert Street Bridge and Independence Ave.

They're completely unsafe for riding at more than 5 mph, but drivers love to work themselves up into a self-righteous froth when they see a cyclist riding on the road through these stretches. After all, "we built you a bike-road right over there!!!"

I'm sorry Fisher got tagged by a car. It happens--though not very often.

But if he'd been mildly injured by a car while walking in a crosswalk, would he be clamoring for a system of elevated walkways for pedestrians?

we'll never have a bike-only network so extensive that it will meet all of cyclists' needs. Not even all of a cyclist's needs. When I was on Chris Core I told him (maybe it was off camera) that even when the Rock Creek Trail was upgraded, cyclists would still ride in the road because it would offer advantages the trail couldn't. Still, I like the idea of a bicycle boulevard with slower speed limits and a bikes first mentality.

Here in Baltimore, many of the existing roads are barely used by cars. One-way streets and physical barriers funnel car traffic to a few major streets. Our bike plan seems to be to paint "sharrows" on those same congested streets and call it a day. I've wondered if we couldn't adapt some of the existing, underused infrastructure to be very bike-friendly. A little help crossing major intersections, bike lanes in both directions on a street that's one-way for cars, cut a little bike path through barriers that block streets off, and you have a bike route. Residents along the route would have a street that forces cars to go slowly, which would be a good thing.

I definitely think that DC needs to consider developing some roads into Bicycle and Pedestrian Boulevards. Personally, I don't see why that means _banning_ vehicular usage. Instead, I think it means creating disincentives to drive through there. For instance, copious stop signs that only apply to motorists, street/sidewalk pavings that are more like the streets of Rome's old city. I can imagine that 18th Street from Adams Morgan down to U and then 17th Street down to Mass would be an excellent candidate for such a street.

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