Many of you may have read this recent post, which talked about the I-195 Commission’s silly statement that double parking is more important than biking. We said the story would evolve, and we were hoping some simple nudging of the commission in the right direction would show them the error of their ways and get them behind protected bike lanes which have already gotten support from the business community on S. Main Street and the Brown and RISD campuses nearby.
Well, the story did evolve, but not exactly how we thought. In response to the article, the I-195 Commission tweeted the following:
Note the several tweets exhorting that the I-195 Commission likes bikes and all things bike-related, which to me comes off as the cycling version of “But I have black friends!”
But note also, especially, tweets 5 and 6 of the series. “we see shared traffic lane on S. Main as the best model for PVDs dense urban core (5/7)” and “a designated bike lane is better in a suburban model, not a downtown model (6/7).”
So we’ve started a campaign on twitter, since that’s the social media we use primarily. If you use another social media device, please spread it there as well. We’re asking people to #educate195, and send them examples of urban dedicated bike lanes, especially protected infrastructure. Send a tweet with #educate195 as a hashtag at @transportpvd and @195commission telling them why bike lanes are important in downtowns. For further reach, include someone from the city you’re tweeting about. We asked the Bike Coalition of Greater Philadelphia what they thought of this statement, and they said:
David Hembrow of the blog The View from the Cycle Path had this to say:
We had other Providence reactions. Anne of Small Point Cafe, whose business certainly would benefit from a bike lane going up South Main towards her neck of the woods on Westminster, shared via the Rhode Island Bike Coalition her thoughts that this makes her so angry that “I could run my bike lights off of the steam coming out of my ears.”
And deceptively named @Iowa_Jen, who is from the Iowa originally but lives in Providence, tweeted from Austin, Texas, where she’s visiting for work:
Don’t get us wrong. We think the suburbs deserve bike lanes too. We just think cities need them even more.
If you could bring examples of bike lanes from a city to somewhere urban in Rhode Island–Providence, Pawtucket, Woonsocket, Central Falls, Newport– what infrastructure would you bring? Share your pics, videos, and thoughts @195commission with #educate195.