Skip to Content
Streetsblog California home
Streetsblog California home
Log In
Bicycling

Dashed Bike Lanes: Better Than Nothing, or Total Trash?

3:32 PM PDT on August 24, 2021

There’s an increasingly popular slogan and hashtag among bike advocates, “Paint is not protection.” It’s basically a factually true statement: Bikeways that consist of road markings, with no three-dimensional barrier or grade separation between people driving and folks on bikes, do not physically prevent the former from striking the latter.

Here in Chicago, the catchphrase is regularly used by advocates ranging from fairly left-leaning folks like the person who runs the Milwaukee Avenue Bike Lane Twitter account, to the relatively non-radical, Chicago Department of Transportation-friendly Active Transportation Alliance. The implication is that when city officials install paint- or thermoplastic-only bikeways, they’re short-changing bike riders, generally due to the officials lacking the guts to take more space away from motorists.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Or do they represent a depressing surrender to car culture, when city officials should be doing whatever it takes to provide physically protected or grade-separated bikeways on retail streets? Judging from the responses to the above tweet today, many local bike advocates take the latter position.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog California

Advocates Hammer City College Trustees’ Climate Hypocrisy on Frida Kahlo Way

City College talks a good game about supporting bike lanes and better transit, until it comes to losing a few parking spaces

March 1, 2024

Friday’s Headlines

Some cities are reaching Vision Zero targets (not in CA); Walking is dangerous because drivers are; How is SF's Central Subway helping Chinatown? More

March 1, 2024

To Recruit Transit Workers, More Than Higher Pay Is Needed

Labor shortages continue threatening public transit systems, and a new report adds another layer to the conversation.

February 29, 2024

Eyes on the Street: 8th Street in West Oakland Looking Good

A project to transform 8th from a deadly speedway back into a residential street is making real progress

February 29, 2024
See all posts