Wednesday, February 22, 2017

It's only as good as you want it to be

Bicycling infrastructure. We get so little of it even though we deserve more. It gets rationed over the years. It gets the lowest priority in urban development. And then, when winter comes, it's completely neglected.

Last week's examples from Boston show magnitude of the problem. Just take a look:

The truth is - it's not enough to build it. It has to be maintained too. Unfortunately, it seems that Boston has some serious problems understanding that once the infrastructure is in place, it can't be simply left alone. And especially, not in winter.
It's not just Boston. Our suburban Minuteman Bikeway got neglected as well.

Sometimes I think that protected bike lanes were built to provide extra storage for snow in winter months because, you know, "no one rides bicycles in winter anyway." Our New England winters are likely also the reason why Boston's government was so reluctant to install any kind of real protection (in form of bollards, curbs, etc.) along those new bike lanes. Why do it if it gets damaged later by snow banks and snowplows, right?

Of course, this is not a problem anymore. The issue is gone, since nature solved it right away starting last weekend. Most of the snow melted, winter is nearly over and now we can pretend that the problem never existed. Until the next year...

Unfinished projects bother me a lot. It's not just a statement that you didn't really put much effort to solve the problem. It also shows that you just don't care.

For those of you who don't understand what I'm bitching about, here is everyone's favorite car analogy:
Imagine you had to drive from Boston to New York but the nice 3-lane highway was cleared off all snow only up to Hartford, CT. The other half of the way would not be plowed at all. Would you be happy with it?

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