A few months ago, I ran across a modular colored bike lane, The Copenhagenize Flow, developed by the bicycle enthusiasts and experts at Copenhagenize Design Company. Basically, the colored bike lane is constructed using Lego-like blocks that snap together. It can be quickly and cheaply built in places where a city is considering a permanent colored bike lane, in order to test out the concept and get an idea of the results. Colored bike lanes are awesome, of course, so the idea is that the temporary lanes will help inspire a lot more municipalities to actually build some colored lanes.
It seems that some folks in Minneapolis have built off of that idea (no pun intended) and created a pop-up protected bike lane – a type of bicycle infrastructure even one level above colored bike lanes. Or maybe they just had the idea all on their own. This Minneapolis crew actually wants to use its pop-up protected bike lane to inspire a citywide network of permanent protected bike lanes – like what you see all over the Netherlands. Many local residents seem to love the demo. (Why wouldn't they?) Check out their reactions in this video:Seriously, people, copy this initiative in your own cities and get yourself some protected bike lanes! Protected bike lanes are the way to go – study after study after study has shown this. If you give people just a small taste of how nice it is to bike (and even simply live) in a city with protected bike lanes, I think they will demand them. That's what the creators of this initiative also think. Let's hope we're all right and this demo works in Minneapolis and then gets replicated across North America.
For more on protected bike lanes, aside from the studies referenced and linked above, be sure to check out Mike's great piece from last month: The rise of curbs: Protected bike lanes in the U.S. are growing up!