There is a phenomenon (if it has a name I don't know what it is) where the instant something changes, it's been that way forever. The long slog to achieve the change is forgotten: onward! But let's pause for a sec, and do this thing proper. We are in a moment that's very special, and I want to honor all the dedication, responsiveness, hard work and care that's brought us to this point. Specifically, to the point at which I witnessed these glorious signs on a recent Near East Side commute:
That's right! Columbus recently posted their first Bicycles May Use Full Lane signs on Long Street and Mt Vernon Avenue! Going forward, these will be installed where protocols would have called for Share the Road signs—like where new sharrows are laid; the ever-lovely Department of Public Service is updating its protocols to guide distribution (THANKS, FOLKS!). Share the Road signs are still up, but the practice of placing new ones is officially dead. Time to rejoice!
This is a M-A-S-S-I-V-E victory for local cyclists. The "Share the Road" message is loathed, for great reason. But Columbus had invested heavily in it, and it's to their credit that they listened to people who ride bikes and changed course. It's to our credit as well. The advocacy of Yay Bikes! members, delivered with kindness and respect, can be heard. Our influence can make things happen where others', employing anger and condescension, can not.
You are among the advocates who get things done. Fund the long slog and Yay Bikes! will put your resources to good use. Staffing endless meetings. Writing original content and curating the best social media has to offer. Speaking truth to power with respect and kindness and effecting change, like we do. Until one day, when this moment, the work and Yay Bikes! itself is forgotten—because this work, and the work of our many fabulous partners, has made our streets complete. May that day come sooner than later.