How do you legally create bike lanes in a city?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    How do you legally create bike lanes in a city?

    Hi people,

    Enraged at further loss of life, and thinking of what I can do in my city, I was wondering does anyone know the due process that usually is needed to petition a city to create bike lanes?

    Generally what has to happen?

    I am in Mississauga, Ontario, but the reality is, the 'due process' should be similar throughout N. America / Europe / Australia

    Any ideas? Where to begin?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by macmac
    Hi people,

    Enraged at further loss of life, and thinking of what I can do in my city, I was wondering does anyone know the due process that usually is needed to petition a city to create bike lanes?

    Generally what has to happen?

    I am in Mississauga, Ontario, but the reality is, the 'due process' should be similar throughout N. America / Europe / Australia

    Any ideas? Where to begin?
    No idea how to create new bike lanes - I lived in downtown TO for a while (worked as a courier) where cars are moving so slow that I never felt threatened. However, traffic seemed to get scarier every km further into the sprawl. Then I moved to Ottawa where there are lots and lots of bike lanes and paths everywhere, and traffic is still nice and slow downtown.

    I just spent a week with some collegues in a large southern US city's suburbs, and when trying to describe the traffic to someone back home one guy said "it's like Missisauga wherever you go!"

    So my advice to you is, if possible, get the hell out of missisauga.

    Edit: (my 4 year old posted my response before I had a chance to give you a less tongue in cheek answer)

    Check out http://www.tbn.ca/
    This is only one of the many groups who are trying to do the same thing.

    It's gonna be long, hard fight, but it's the good fight, and another voice can only be a step in the right direction. There are already thousands of people saying the same thing you are, but you've gotta be heard over the hundreds of thousands who believe a bicycle on the road slows down their drive (even though it is actually the other thousands of cars who chose not to ride bicycles who are slowing them down).

    Good luck!
    "Newfoundland dogs are good to save children from drowning, but you must have a pond of water handy" - Josh Billings

  3. #3
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    I work in the engineering dept of a city and the biggest hurdle is the lack of available lane space on current streets. Some streets are wide enough to possibly add a bike lane but most are too narrow and it would take a very large amount of money (tax dollars) to rebuild. On top of that, there are right of way issues that have to be addressed. If in fact there is available right of way, if the city does not own it then it will probably have to be purchased. The easiest place to start is by lobbying for bike lanes to be included in the design of new street construction.

  4. #4

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    I can understand the 'lack of space' issue. However, the city in which I live in, Mississauga, has open wide streets...boulevards in fact. Space is not the issue here. I just fired off an e-mail to my local Municipal representative asking what plan does our city have with regards to bike lanes. I'll keep everyone posted as this gets underway.

  5. #5
    Don't worry, be happy!
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    meetings meeting and more meetings. Does your city have a large bicycle club? We have a bicycle advisor group, the washington bicycle alliance, stuff like that. That is where you start.

  6. #6
    Big Boned
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    Dunno about legal, but...

    All it takes is spray paint and cojones.

    Ever see that Seinfeld where Kramer turns a three-lane highway into two lanes? Sweet.
    Never rub another man's rhubarb.

  7. #7
    Kosher Princess
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    Idea!

    Quote Originally Posted by rfields4013
    The easiest place to start is by lobbying for bike lanes to be included in the design of new street construction.
    Word.

    As new communties are planned, you can petition at public hearings. Bring your Bicycle Club, and all who ride to get your concerns across. However, if you live in a strictly Jewish Orthodox neighborhood as I do, "Fa-GET-a-boud-IT!"

    Jews for Jesus have a greater following than Jew[s] for Jabberwocky.

  8. #8
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    "Firing off an email" is a good start, but if you're serious then it will take years and a sustained effort. Being knowledgeable (i.e. any transportation grants available?), voicing your concerns by going to city meetings/city advisory board meetings, and keeping the pressure up is important. Being positive (cite health benefits, reduced traffic congestion, traffic calming with narrower lanes, bike lanes as buffers to sidewalks, etc.) and involving businesses, residents, and city leaders as advocates for your cause is a strategic way to get things done faster. Eventually it will pay off.

  9. #9
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    Lot's of people using the proposed bike lane, brings it to politicians attention.

    Try Saturday rides, lots of people, invite VIP's, have fun.

  10. #10
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    macmac, Many cities have a bicycle advisory panel or something of that nature. If yours does not, get one councilor on your side and start one. You mentioned in a earlier post that your mayor is not supporting this, but she doesn't have too, get the right people on your side and she will not have a choice. Get some people together and look for grants, Communities in Action (Active2010.ca) would be one I would check out, also the trillium foundation, if you can advocate for grade school children then the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario has money. You will need established community partners, bike clubs, neighborhood associations, local YMCA, environmental organizations, school boards, health unit. Attack from all sides. There is a conference in two weeks in Kitchener that may be of use to you, info here.

    Or do this

  11. #11

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    I'm actually a high school history/geography teacher. One of my plans is to attack from an educational perspective. This effort will require a lot of planning. I still have not heard back from my local representative.

  12. #12

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    Just an update: My city does have a cycling advisory comittee and i have requested to join it. ...now i wait and see...

  13. #13
    It's about showing up.
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    You have a built-in angle.

    You can develope a sense of need by co-opting the high school bike traffic as being at risk. In order t do that, though, you have to have that traffic. Do you even have bike racks at your school?

  14. #14

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    A thought.

    I have a few thoughts. In my small city, the local cycling advocacy group hooked up with the person in charge of traffic and parking. Because of the weather here in New England, they repave streets frequently. The group took advantage of the repaving and convinced the city to add bike lanes to some of the streets. We started small. They started with single streets near a couple of colleges. That's been it so far, and we're still fighting to add more. Good luck.

    DBomb

  15. #15

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    Thanks for the support and ideas. As for the bikes racks at the school, surprisingly we do have bike racks and a large number of students who bike. The racks tend to be full on a regular basis. Maybe that is an arguement to have bike lanes put on that street. Still no answer from the cycling committee or my local representative. If anyone has any ideas how I can get the students involved that would be ideal. Please feel free to comment.

  16. #16
    Witty McWitterson
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    The answer is pretty simple. Get involved. In the advocacy arena. In the Planning process (plan commission or the like, Comprehensive planning committees, Tourism councils, etc.). In the Government (council/Alderman).

    The going will be slow until things get happening, then its quick. It can be very frustrating, that's why I don't work for the City anylonger. I was a planner by profession, but the pace at which things moved is...um frustrating. And then there's the council memebers protecting their ass. They're a joy to work with....
    Just a regular guy.

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