|[Behold its glory.]
Then a plan is made. It's probably a decent plan, something about bike lanes or bicycle boulevards or a new extension to a bike path or even (god forbid) an unprecedented protected bike lane.
Third there are meetings. At these meetings, it seems like everyone complains. We can't do this! It's impossible, too much traffic. But parking! Everyone begins their sentence with "Don't get me wrong..." or "I love riding my bicycle, but..." or "Some of my best friends ride bikes..."
Finally, the plan is passed and (much later) the "something for bikes" is built. Often it is half-ass, which is a metaphorical term that refers to when you don't pull your pants all the way up. You've still got the "pants on," so you can't be accused of not making an effort. But your ass is showing...
In the bike planning world, to be "half-ass" means to have done something so symbolic as to border on meaningless.
The classic Minneapolis example would be the Hennepin Avenue bike/bus lanes, where a decent idea (bike/bus-only lanes on a major street through downtown) became so compromised in implementation and enforcement as the kind of laughingstock that throws into question the very legitimacy of road design in the first place.
The existence of this half-ass infrastructure is not only almost lost today, but triggered the birth of an advocacy group (the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition) which has grown astoundingly in size and influence.
Hennepin Avenue isn't an "official winner." Rather, it remains the archetype for a half-ass bike lane, now and forever. So stay tuned, the first Official Winner will be announced this week!
|[Hennepin Avenue, Half-Ass Emeritus.]