Many years ago I walked to my job at the university along a busy, narrow sidewalk, crowded with students, sometimes spilling out to walk on the busy 4-lane street.
Today that street is still four lanes, but two of them are now bike lanes. The sidewalks are wider, and there's a band of grass and sometimes (gasp!) trees between the sidewalk and the street. It's not perfect - there's still parking beside the bike lane, which creates a door-prize hazard. But it's beautiful, especially at this time of year what with all the blossoms on the trees, and it's appropriate; the university is filled with student pedestrians and cyclists.
I just found out that city council has voted in favour of another major street in this city getting the same treatment. The street will be narrowed, the fifth car lane will be eliminated, and bikes lanes will be added, grass, plants and trees planted. And a whole heckuva lot of pedestrians, residents and cyclists are smiling. And another big bunch o folks are mad as he11.
This columnist is clearly happy about the decision. But yesterday, The Star's editorial said they didn't like the plan. This is the same newspaper that's been doing a whole series on the bike versus car battle", bits on "sharing the road", etc.
This city is famous for coming up with reasons to not create bike lanes. Despite the official plans, we are way, way, waaaay behind. I truly think this is the right move. It's not like they're closing the street completely like they're actually trying out in Manhattan on Broadway. They're making it four car lanes instead of five. So for all those folks getting all hot under the collar over this, I encourage you to get a grip.