They Built 335 Miles Of Bike Lanes In 24 Months

Who says change can’t happen quickly? One group says they’ve figured out the playbook for fast-tracking bike lanes.

Woman rides bike in New Orleans.

New bike infrastructure in New Orleans. (Photo courtesy City Thread)

The opposition to bike infrastructure gets outsized attention that prevents progress, according to organizers who are rapidly building bike lanes in multiple U.S. cities. They want the political megaphone handed instead to supporters by involving them in the planning process. 

In this episode of the podcast, Next City Executive Director Lucas Grindley talks with journalist Yasmin Garaad about her reporting on a program called The Final Mile, featured in her Next City story titled “How Five U.S. Cities Built 335 Miles of Bike Lanes in 24 Months.”

We also meet Kyle Wagenschutz, now a partner with City Thread, who helped lead that breakthrough in Austin, Denver, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Providence. He says advances aren’t stalled because practical solutions are missing.

“The primary reason that cities aren’t moving forward isn't because they can’t solve those operational challenges, it’s because the politics aren’t working,” says Wagenschutz. “The mechanism by which cities actually build things in the public space — like how we actually sort of create and transform our cities in new ways — is a political process. And the system of politics in our communities is actually broken. It’s built on creating adversarial relationships between people that should be working together.”

Listen to this episode below or subscribe to Next City’s podcast on Apple, Spotify or Goodpods.

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