Ogden Knows Best: Bike Lanes

If you are a cyclist or you keep up with the news, you may have heard that Mayor Ballard announced the City plans to double the number of bike lanes by the end of the year. Indianapolis has already added 30 miles of bike lanes since 2008 and the long-term plan calls for a total of 200 miles within the next 15 years.

As usual, Paul Ogden found a reason to complain

First, Ogden says that the $10 million being used on bike lanes could have been used for other things and the City has misplaced priorities.  Apparently, Paul was too busy looking for something to criticize to READ the article.  The bike lanes are funded by a grant from the Department of Energy.  It is a part of the SustainIndy program and that is why the City received the funding.  The money could not have been spent on the library or the parking meters that Ogden mentions.

Second, Paul complains about the bike lane safety and wrote in his comment section on what an avid cyclist he is compared to the Mayor and “many of the people who go ga-ga over the bike lanes.”  We especially enjoyed the part of the rant where Paul talked about how fast he can ride his bike.   Apparently, Ogden would throw INDYCOG in the group of folks who don’t know what they are talking about as well.   

According to the IndyStar,

Cyclist Kevin Whited attended the announcement to show his support as a member of the non-profit group Indy Cog, which promotes cycling and bike safety.

He said Indianapolis can look to other cities like Minneapolis and Portland, where when bike lanes were added, bike ridership picked up.

“To me it’s very exciting as a bicyclist. Having infrastructure, having bike lanes just makes it easier to get around the city. I mean it’s a really exciting thing and it’s very cost effective,” said Whited, who bikes to work every day.

Note that Whited bikes to work every day.  But hey, we’re sure Ogden knows best.


About Washington Street Politics
Covering policy and politics from end to end of Washington Street in Indianapolis

9 Responses to Ogden Knows Best: Bike Lanes

  1. Matt Stone says:

    I think it’s misleading to write about bike lanes and then post a picture of the Cultural Trail, which is NOT a bike lane. It is a multi-use path similar to the Monon, the Canal Toepath, and the Central Canal. and is funded differently as well. I’m fairly certain the Cultural Trail is part of Indy Parks, whereas the bike lanes fall under Indy’s DOT.

    As for the funding, WRTV’s is the only article that specifically mentions Department of Energy.e Star’s says it’s a mix of federal, state, and local funds from Rebuild Indy (IE water deal).

    And sure, there are some great bike lanes. I’ll admit it. There’s also some shitty ones that should be avoided, and should not be the basis for further bike lanes and, IMO, aren’t safe to use. I invite you, WSP, to ride along Michigan Street downtown and as you pass Meridian and Illinois, try to avoid all those bumps and debris while staying in the bike lane. Or try making the awkward transition on Illinois Street from the bike lane to the traffic lane, then BACK INTO the bike lane, because that’s how it’s honestly set up.

    I’m also concerned about where the money is coming from to keep these lanes maintained for future years. This money from the water deal isn’t going to last forever. Could bike lane maintenance funding be on the chopping block in the next round of budget cuts?

  2. Wow, you are seriously complaining about the PICTURE with a post. Give us a break.

    RTV6 mentions the Department of Energy and that it is funded by grants. We can’t help it that Ogden spouted off without reading the other articles or that only one article mentioned the grants.

    We’re not cyclists but we’re going to believe the INDYCOG guys over Ogden. They don’t appear to have any kind of bias. They are non-partisan and their only goal is promoting safe cycling.

    Sorry, but it seems like you guys are always looking for something negative. It is always easier to find things to complain about than to be happy about progress.

  3. Matt Stone says:

    You slam Ogden for not reading an article, and you post a picture of something that isn’t a bike lane on a post about bike lanes. You’re going to hold others to a high standard of accuracy, but not your own group?

    No need to take Ogden or Indy Cog at their word. Do what I do. Get out and about and talk to cyclists. You’ll hear their concerns. Some praises and kudos, and some criticism. Look at the Comments section in the Star’s article. I bet most of them have no idea who Paul Ogden is or even read blogs, and they’re saying many of the same things I hear about.

  4. The bike lanes are also being funded by RebuildIndy money.

    I don’t buy that “different pot of money” theory. The fact is money is fungible. If you spend money one place, that’s ultimately less you have to spend on something else.

    As far as not believing bike lanes are safe, google the issue….there are plenty of bicyclists who don’t think bike lanes improve the safety of commuting by bicycle. Do you really believe running a bike lane next to a line of parked cars is safe? That’s done on the downtown streets, particulaly on New York. Ever hear of the term “dooring?” Bikers get killed when car doors get flung open into bike lanes, either by hitting the door or swerveing suddenly out into a traffic leane.

    Safety experts teach you to “ride wide” so vehicles see you and and then move to the edge of the raod as the car approach. It’s vey important that the vehicle sees you. Bike lanes throw that safety device out the window. by confining the rider to the narrow edge of the road where they may never be seen by an approaching motorist. You also have broken glass, gravel and pot holtes in bike lanes that cause bikers to suddenly swerve into traffic. Then you have the speed disparity problem of bike lanes on such roads as Allisonville where cars are going 50 mph and bikes are doing 10 mph or less. Speed disparity creates a very unsafe situation.

    I didn’t say everyone at IndyCog doesn’t know what they are talking about. Clearly Kevin Whited doesn’t. He like many in the recreational bicycle crowd loves the fact that they have someone who is paying attention to them … even if what is done doesn’t help make bicycling safer for those of us who use our bicycle for commuting.

  5. Here is an excellent article enttitled “Bicycle Blunders and Smarter Solutions on the subject of unsafe bike lanes. I have included a snippet from the article.


    “Bicycle facility design is serious business. Done wrong it kills. Some communities squeeze bike lanes into roads that do not have enough room. They create serious safety compromises.

    Believe it or not, most streets are better off without bike lanes. Bike lanes have a lot of physical requirements to be safe. If you bend these requirements too far, you wind up with a bicycling environment more hazardous than the same street without the bike lane. ”

    It appears tthat Mayor Ballard and the recretational bicycling community where so enthralled by bike lanes that they didn’t spend any time thinking about bicycle safety.

    Regarding speed disparity as an issue, putting bike lanes on Dean Road (much lower speeds) would have made mroe sense than putting them on Allisonville Road…a major traveled road with high speeds.

  6. Retired IPD says:

    When’s the last time Ogden won a case? All the ones I ever hear about in the news get dismissed.

  7. Erin Rosenberg says:

    I’m very happy to see this announcement and think this is great news for the City. However, your criticism of Paul’s article is simply incorrect. The money is clearly, in every single article mentioned, a combination of federal, state and local funds. The federal funding could not have been spent on anything else, that’s true, but not the local money. The federal grant may have had a local match requirement, I don’t know because the grant is not identified. But, the City applied for the grant it didn’t just magically appear, so even if that were the case, there is no question that Paul’s issue of priorities is still legitimate. Local and state governments choose to not apply for federal grants all the time because of local match requirements, most often with law enforcement grants. If the local funds are in addition to the federal grant, then it’s the exact same thing. Either way, the City is choosing to make this a priority and is spending LOCAL funds that could, absolutely it’s bizarre you are even arguing this, have been spent on other local needs.

    The $10 million amount appears to be the total of all funds combined, not the city’s portion, so it’s not necessarily true that there would have been funding for purchasing new parking meters, for example. But, simply inquiring as to the amount of the federal grant or the amount put in by the City would answer that issue. Regardless, Paul is objecting to the City’s priorities. I happen to agree with Ballard’s priorities on this, but pretending that this is all $10 million solely from a federal grant with no local funds involved is not true. Why don’t you just disagree with Paul’s priority argument and actually defend the bike lane plan rather than making dishonest (I’m assuming not purposefully, but still not true) claims about the funding source?

  8. Wurstnitemare says:

    Interesting post,however Im really more interested in where Melina is getting her new outfits as of late. She is smoken !

  9. Soylent Green says:

    I am pretty sure Mrs. Kennedy bought the vast majority of her pant suits at a Hillary Clinton garage sale. Do a google image search of the two and you will see some of the same pant suits, just accessorized differently. Smoken!

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