Why are bike lanes such heated symbols of gentrification?

At a tense D.C. meeting over a proposed bike lane last month, one cycling advocate seemingly tried to add legitimacy to her argument by declaring that she had lived in the city for eight years. Bike lane opponents — mainly congregants of a prominent D.C.

via The Washington Post

I just had a conversation about the cultural perception of “biking” at the ULI Washington’s Conference on Health and the Built Environment. As urban planners, I think its crucial to be aware of cultural sensitivities to particular issues.

Although it may be to the detriment of communities of color, they may be late-adopters to more contemporary concepts of land-use planning like Walkablity/Bikeablity/Pedestrian Friendly-Streets. In some communities you will even see some resistance to these practices.  Owning a car is a status of success. People won’t want to relinquish those symbols so easily.

 

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