Yesterday we were walking westbound on an almost deserted Market Street, when Diana asked me why a grown man and a woman on bicycles were approaching us, riding on the sidewalk.
“Because they’re fucking idiots,” I said, “and because the city allows them to be fucking idiots.”
But then they saw us, moved to unoccupied parking spaces on Market, and commenced riding against traffic.
Of course, I was being flippant up to a point. Granted, they shouldn’t be on the sidewalk, and while ignorance is part of it, the bigger reason is an understandable discomfort (read: fear) of riding on the street alongside the cars, when neither the drivers of these cars NOR CITY HALL itself cares to acknowledge them, to calm traffic, or do anything useful to make their passage safer.
That’s why when a useful dupe like Louisville’s Chris Glasser crows about Jeff Gahan’s excellence in street grid reform, he’s actually looking at a Potemkin facade erected by congenital liars, and not the real state of affairs experienced by people who actually live here.
Speck’s unfulfilled plan: Intellectually lazy carpetbagging shortcuts from clueless Louisvillians don’t make New Albany’s streets any safer.
Meanwhile, enjoy this digression.
BICYCLING ON SIDEWALKS (The Cornell University Bicycle and Pedestrian Web Site)
There is momentum throughout the country to make our communities more walking and bicycling-friendly, thereby making them more livable. In trying to accomplish this goal, citizens are challenged by limited physical space, high volumes of vehicular traffic, and overall congestion. The question of whether to permit bicycling on sidewalks is often discussed in the planning process.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s not a good idea to encourage bicycling on sidewalks …