New York City is pushing an awesome, ambitious bike plan (they aim to double bike commuting rates in five years) which means this past year or so, residents have been discovering things Portlanders take for granted—green bike paths, bike lanes on major streets, and, oh yes, bickering about whether bike investments are worthwhile.
NYC is a model for Portland in a lot of ways; while our city is rolling out a plan for miles of painted bike lanes and bike paths on neighborhood streets, New York is pushing through huge changes on major streets. That means the city government has been making the streets much better for bikes much more quickly, but they're also expending serious political capital and pissing some people off. Including the New Yorker's John Cassidy, who yesterday published a piece called "Battle of the Bike Lanes" in support of a new lawsuit to get NYC to remove a bike path next to Prospect Park because it's an "arbitrary and unfair actions by the government."
The New York Times' Andy Sternbergh has a point-by-point takedown of the piece. This feels like Portland's own debates over expanding bike facilities blown up by 100—not only is New York making faster strides than Portland, but citizens' reactions have been much larger. Though people complain to each other and Sam Adams' voicemail about bike spending, no one has filed a lawsuit demanding a lane removal. The biggest fight we've seen was about the bike lane on SE Holgate, but after a lot of yelling at public meetings, even that lane remains.