I am not really a fan of the People For Bikes plan for installing exclusive bike lanes on Pittsburgh streets. I can understand their point, but have no desire to rehash here their good and bad points. All that matters is that we have a couple miles of these tracks now, which are great for publicity and promoting the idea of cycling as a normal, acceptable, expected, and respected way of getting around. So far, so good, I think, but it does not come close to accomplishing world domination.
They are ballyhooed as being safer, but from what I've seen of them so far, I don't buy the safer bit. Safety aside, for all their cost, both monetary and political, they do not even start to address cyclists' need to travel on the thousands of miles of streets that do not have and will not ever get such lanes. It is to those other thousands of miles of streets that I direct your attention.
The way I see it, the paramount issue facing cyclists everywhere is not being able to bike down any street they want or need to. They face opposition from all levels. Whether motorists, truckers, police, highway departments at all levels, media figures, politicians, pedestrians, or even other cyclists, nobody, it seems, is willing to grant that cyclists have the right to travel everywhere they already do have that right. The opposition takes different forms, but all forms share the central belief that we are not supposed to be there.
That must change. It will. I will help it change.
Here's the thing: By accomplishing that, I am achieving world domination. By cyclists. And we will prevail.