Great article Red Star. It's so obvious, yet even in this allegedly enlightened town we have projects like Downtown Links, which was aided and abetted by the BAC as well as local planning gurus. Downtown Links will do exactly what this article argues against: build a fast-moving, wide, difficult to cross highway right through the middle of town, from Broadway/Euclid to St. Mary's/I-10. It's so god damn stupid.
@Orvis During the debates over the RTA many of us raised concerns over Downtown Links, in particular the Dunbar Spring and (to a lesser degree) Barrio Anita neighborhoods, which will lose much of their connectivity with downtown. (Downtown Links serves to de-link people who have chosen to live in the urban core in order to link those from distant areas who wish to speed through the urban core without stopping there -- it's about making life easier for people in Marana who want to shop at Park Place Mall.)
During these debates the BAC was lobbied pretty heavily, in particular by BICAS but also others, who attempted to show that this project is just awful for cyclists. In response the BAC encouraged everyone to attend planning meetings where bicyclist's input would be considered for where to put trees and what kind of landscaping should be designed into the project. I'll never forget one BAC member accompanying us on a tour and praising the RTA's inclusive procedure. In the end the BAC took no position.
The BAC has changed a lot since those days. Back then it was mainly composed of recreational cyclists who didn't really understand or give a damn about those who use bicycles to get from one place to another, and were frightened of their own shadow when it came to opposing anything. I always called them sheep in sheep's clothing, completely cowed whenever a cop or city bureaucrat spoke. It was awful.
@E Cyclists garnered no specific gains from the street car project and it seems will do no better from the Links project...not even a Hawk crossing at 7th St./Ave. There are those who advocate beyond advising, but the overall effect of the BAC is weak as water. My view is that it has become a convenient place for the city, planners and developers to ignore and misdirect cyclists....not unlike other advisory committees and neighborhood groups in this town. We have this venue, though, for the expression of ideas and venting of frustration that exceeds that of the thinly attended BAC meetings. The door zone/sharrows situation on 4th Ave. was a concern of the BAC for years, but it seems coverage by 'Velo' got them lifted in a very short time.