I headed downtown Monday afternoon for a meeting with The City: four cyclists and four city employees (The Planner, an engineer, a risk manager, and a parks guy). The four of them had already put their heads together to come up with something for us to look at.
They're not too excited about the term "detour." These will be "alternative routes." Apparently the term detour implies a level of safety equal to the intersection and automobile free bike trail. They are reluctant to encourage use of the road for cycling. It didn't occur to me until now they seem to be equally reluctant to encourage the use of the sidewalk for walking. The City would assume too great a liability to imply either is a safe activity.
"That is an S.U.V; Humans ride in them because they are slowly losing their ability to walk." - RJ, Over the Hedge
My favorite take-away from the meeting was an empirical measurement for a definition of hard-core cyclist. Ready?
That's all...1/2 mile. Ride that, you qualify.
It's always hard to measure what sort of progress is made (if any) from a meeting like this. The guys on the other side of the table have the juice, we're just the sweaty ones trying to help one or two more people ride their bikes for utility.
Snakepants wrote up a nice report of the meeting. I have a few comments there too.