Why Don’t Americans Have Bike Barriers?

The Dish

Dunsmuir Separated Bike Lane

They’ve been proven to save lives in countries such as the Netherlands and Canada, so why their absence in the US? Architectural historian Steven Fleming argues that macho bike culture deserves some of the blame:

A sad irony in the history of bicycle transport is that keen cyclists aided and abetted motoring lobbyists, who wanted the whole road for cars.

Bike store owner John Forester was a keen “vehicular cyclist.” He could keep pace with cars, assert his right to a lane, and gracefully somersault onto the grass if ever a driver looked but didn’t see him. He published these tips in his 1976 book Effective Cycling, with some good intentions, but also a hint of male pride. By the way he opposed the Dutch-modeled cycle tracks he feared would spread to the US, you could be forgiven for thinking his secret fear was being made to ride beside women and…

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