It is a shock to find out that many roads I drive on every day are actually designated as “bike routes” or “bike lanes”. As a driver, there is little to warn you that bikes might be on the road. The sad reality is that in the end, “bike lanes” are merely streets designed for speeding cars, with white lines painted on the side.
Could we brainstorm a model for a bike lane that would be equally cheap (for bike lane costs, see Resource tab above), but have local character, be more inspirational to look at and command equal or more authority? A bike lane that is more like art or poetry? Something that inspires us to be on our bikes, and which inspires drivers to slow down and smile?
I’ve always loved this picture and video of a bikepath combining poetry and art in Lisbon, Portugal, which Joe Linton reported on for LA Creek Freak. It brilliantly combines traffic-commanding white paint with abstracted letters one has to work at to decode, forcing one to slow down and look. And if one doesn’t want to read, it has a great visual rhythm anyway.