Anyone can design bicycle infrastructure. I mean, if the Dutch can do it, with their limited English, how hard can it possibly be? The problem no one seems able to crack, is the one of garnering support from politicians. Oh god, must, I, do, EVERYTHING!?
Politicians care not for a few current cyclists, or even that future generations might ever thank them, for fixing all the world’s ills. They care about the immediate concerns of swinging voters. The bike plan that will get a politician elected, is the one that swinging voters are happy to pay extra tax for.
This has started me wondering, if the potential bicycle loop I have identified for my city, could be designed to appeal, let us say, to shopaholics, bigoted oldies, teenaged delinquents, 4WD owners; in short, anyone other than yuppies like me. Bird sanctuaries, mens sheds, kayak concessions, art space, urban farms, reed beds: my automatic supporters in this endeavour would hardly row over inclusions like these. But to the average voter in this city, where 93% have received no formal education since leaving high school, anything of that nature is a waste of their tax.
I reach now for my inner prol, who might appreciate a bike loop littered with shops, and supplied with pedal powered shopping trollies. I would park my car in a vertical car parking station somewhere on the edge of the loop, pick up one of those free cargo bikes, then go fill it up. Shop til ya drop—off of your bike. It would fall to architects to use levels and surface texture treatments, to separate shoppers from pace-lines, in that same corridor. But for native born English speakers like we, complex design problems aren’t really so hard to solve.