The BFC award recognizes Indianapolis's commitment to improving conditions for bicycling and its practice of making a focused investment in bicycling programs and facilities. The BFC judges were particularly impressed with the city's quick turnaround time in adding its first on-street bike lanes and with its comprehensive plan to construct at least 200 miles of on-street bike lanes throughout the city.I am a bicyclist. From April through October, I ride my bike 2-3 days a week into the law office downtown. I ride on those "on-streek bike lanes" (on Michigan and New York streets) referenced in the press release.
I really think the Mayor was trying with the creation of those bike lanes, but the fact is they are extremely dangerous. They run between traffic at points, cross lanes at other points, and run right next to parked cars, a situation any experienced biker will tell you is extremely hazardous because of car doors being opened by people who may well not see a biker over their shoulder or in the rear view mirror. I have also seen countless people driving with wheels in the bike lanes.
In addition, much of the pavement in the bike lanes is broken and you have to dodge the occasional pot hole. Being confined to the narrow lane with traffic all around makes it difficult to manuever out of the way of those hazards.
Indianapolis downtown streets have always been extremely easy and safe to ride on. The lanes in most places are extremely wide and a halfway decent bicyclist can pretty much keep up with traffic. Adding the bike lanes narrow the car lanes (and indeed takes lanes away at some points) confining traffic into a smaller area. It is actually a less safe situation for the drivers of the cars and the bikers in the bike lane.
The Mayor deserves an "A" for effort on the bike lanes. But an award for being a Bicycle Friendly Community because of those unsafe bike lanes? No.