Courtesy Moriza via FlickrI’m hard pressed to think of three places less likely to invest in bicycle infrastructure than Detroit, Dallas, and Abu Dhabi. But they are. Motor City will add 30 miles of bike lanes, focused in its southwest quadrant, with hopes to add hundreds of miles more in coming years. Dallas citizens, planners, and politicians begin meeting this month to overhaul a 25-year-old bicycling master plan. Oil-rich Abu Dhabi is working to execute its 2030 plan, which includes Smart Growth principles that will improve its lackluster record for cyclist and pedestrian safety.
There’s something of an iPad phenomenon here — cities want to have what the cool cities have, and cool cities have successful bike networks. Nothing wrong with that sort of me-too-ism.