Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Masonic Avenue bike lanes: Gaudy monument to wishful thinking

John Pritchett

The cartoon above
 mocks the Honolulu rail project. 

No need for a cartoon to mock the new, bright green bike lanes on Masonic Avenue. A photograph will do the job, like the one below:

Photo: Kevin Hume

The picture above isn't really representative of the new Masonic Avenue, since few cyclists are using the new bike lanes, as I pointed out the other day. 

That makes the hard-to-ignore, brightly-painted bike lanes a monument to futility and bad planning, like the abandoned rail supports above. (Actually, the Honolulu rail project is more likely to be completed than California's high-speed rail project only because it's a much smaller project.)

Seems like bad PR for the project's supporters after a ten-year campaign of disinformation by City Hall and the Bicycle Coalition, with more than 32,000 motorists and more than 12,000 passengers on the #43 bus passing those gaudy, empty bike lanes every day. 

I've hammered London Breed for supporting this dumb project, but her appointed successor, District 5 Supervisor Valle Brown, is apparently determined to continue that clueless tradition:

Supervisor Vallie Brown, who now represents[District 5], recalled the death of Linke and said it renewed calls for The City to do something about the dangerous corridor.

City officials said from 2009 to 2014, there were 113 traffic collisions, 14 of which were pedestrian collisions and 24 bicycle collisions on Masonic from Geary to Fell.

While officials celebrated the new corridor, Brown said she questioned whether or not to celebrate the new corridor when she believed there was still work to be done. Ultimately, she said supported the project and said projects like the one Masonic will need tweaking when they first debut.

Since supporters of this project keep repeating the falsehood about Nils Linke's death, it now qualifies as a lie: Masonic Avenue and the Nils Linke lie.

On the accident numbers: I analyzed the city's "collision" numbers from the six-year period between 2004 and 2009 and came to a different conclusion about Masonic. 

But credulous city reporters and politicians now just parrot the misinformation in City Hall press releases about Masonic.

The only plausible "tweak" to the Masonic Avenue bike lanes is the approach to the Panhandle, where a right turn onto Hayes Street and a left turn onto Ashbury might provide a more acceptable route to the Panhandle for south-bound cyclists.

Just because you build it doesn't mean they will come: Portland and Vancouver spent loads on bike lanes for very little gain.

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