"Build it and they will come." That line from the movie Field of Dreams is accepted wisdom now, used in discussion of projects such as the arena in downtown Louisville. The counterpoint to that, "Don't build it and they won't come," is hard to argue with.
While parked on the Clark Memorial bridge yesterday I was moved to wonder what is the motivation to not "build" bike lanes in New Albany.This would seem to be the easiest construction project imaginable-paint applied to an existing roadway.
The difficulty in construction lies not with road-building equipment but within the recesses of some cranial cavities.
While looking at tire tracks burned onto the bike lane emblem on the bridge surface (recently pictured on the cover of LEO), I thought of the fear which must have motivated the anonymous dolt who laid that editorial statement for all to see. It seems a kind of motorized version of the spraying that un-neutered male cats practice. Cats are driven instinctually to spray turf
they wish to claim. How sad to think that humans of such limited powers of reason have command of a 3,000 pound machine. How much more harrowing to think that machine may meet up with a cyclist who has crossed a territorial line.
We can paint the lanes to demarcate our turf as cyclists, but no such simple fix exists to alter the psyche of those who fear something about "those who aren't me". Unfortunately, the only thing to possibly change minds is continuous repitition of the sight, of people moving without cars, which must set off something twisted in certain eyes.