RIDE | On the line

Posted on 17/04/2011

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There was a recent announcement that bike lanes would be introduced into Robinson Road between Aspley and Geebung. This morning I noted that a yellow line has been painted on the edge of the gutter with a pictogram of a bicycle repeated along the road. I do not subscribe to the idea that a line painted in such way is a bicycle lane when no space has actually been handed over to cyclists. They remain hugging the edge of the road with no promise of space. One of the especially perplexing aspects of this is about how much is vested in the painting of a line, as if painting a line is providing something tangible, something beyond an idea. In painting the line, the local authority says ‘we would provide something if we could or had the political will to do so. But we can’t or don’t and therefore only give you a line.’ The line as an idea has to then be taken up through some kind of imagined consensus or community action where drivers and cyclists abide by the line, which often doesn’t connect to other lines. This is just a ruse – a pretense if you prefer – of politics, design and planning. Imagine if they could get away with painting lines instead of providing parks or community centres. We’d only live between the lines of intentions and drafted plans.

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