Stuff that matters

bicycle rights

Cyclists and walkers are building their own bike lanes and crosswalks.

For decades, advocacy groups like Critical Mass have organized to increase biker visibility and safety on city streets, but now a new form of action is springing up. From San Francisco to Portland and New York to Boston, cyclists are putting up their own protected bike lanes using traffic cones, CityLab reports. And some of those cones come with a message — if not a memorial.

Pedestrians are getting into the game too. In Portland, activists with PDX Transformation are laying down their own crosswalks.

Portland hasn’t exactly embraced the DIY urban planning. The city’s police have gotten rid of at least one crosswalk. But the anonymous mastermind behind PDX Transformation told the Portland Mercury, “I’ve found if I dress up with a reflective vest and hardhat, no one bugs me.”

There’s good reason for these guerrilla actions: Cyclist deaths are on the rise in cities like New York, and last year, pedestrian deaths in the U.S. increased by an estimated 10 percent.