by Diana Nelson Jones/March 24
Pittsburgh now has its first law respecting bicyclists as commuters and respecting their bicycles at least a fraction of the way our infrastructure decisions respect cars.
Now, when developers plan a large project in the city, they have incentives to swab a car space for a bike space and only have to provide one secure bike space if their project is more than 6,000 square feet, a second space if it is over 20,000 square feet and a third space for every 10,000 additional square feet. That's not many secure parking spaces for bikes but it's a start.
New apartment buildings have to provide a space for every three units in a development with 12 or more units.
You can read the ordinance (if not completely extricate all the meaning) at http://www.city.pittsburgh.pa.us/cp/assets/bicycle/Bicycle_Parking_Ordinance.1.pdf
It's a good day for bicycle drivers in Pittsburgh, and a good ride for cyclists in many progressive cities but it's still a disturbing country, politically and culturally.
The League of American Cyclists is taking to task Republicans who ridicule policy makers for the unprecedented gall to think beyond cars when thinking infrastructure. They'll get some yuks out of making fun of all the little lightweight people who don't fall in line with the Amurkan Way.
Some interesting comments from bicycle people: http://www.bikeleague.org/blog/2010/03/lahood-gets-it-others-do-not/
Surely, many Democrats are just as thick. Let's be bi-partisan here. Most Americans of every stripe are as thick as a box of bricks when it comes to thinking through the argument for and against environmentally sound policy. Thinking through and reading and listening to people who have thought it through...? Not a handful of people every 20,000 square feet.
The "sea change" that Ray LaHood did not refer to in his recent policy statement about the administration's commitment to transportation options was the shift in the type of jobs we would be doing, not the lack of them, if we had the political and cultural will to live under sustainable policy....
... oh, enough fantasizing for now...