Think you’ve read about every possible NIMBY objection to bike lanes? Think again. These recent comments from a public meeting in San Diego’s affluent Coronado beach community are definitely, um, different.
At the meeting, city leaders were bombarded with objections — not about parking, traffic, or “scofflaws” on bikes, but about the “visual pollution” of painted stripes on the road. There’s just something about a bike lane stripe that aesthetically revolts these people in a way that, say, a dashed yellow center stripe never will.
Local news station KPBS.org says Coronado is a “haven for bicyclists” (the League of American Bicyclists named it a silver-level Bike Friendly Community in 2013). Apparently, it’s also a haven for world-class NIMBYs, as evidenced by these amazing comments captured by KPBS (we left off the names to be merciful):
- “You are covering Coronado with paint stripe pollution.”
- “The graffiti on the streets does not help our property values.”
- The lanes “bring to mind a visual cacophony that if you look there long enough it will induce a dizzying type of vertigo.” [Editor’s note: This one wins!]
- “These black streets with these brilliant white lines everywhere … believe me, it takes away from your home, from your outlook on life.”
- “It’s very similar to personally taking all three of my daughters to a tattoo parlor and having them completely body tattooed.” [Editor’s note: Okay, maybe this one.]
Now that you’ve had a laugh, here comes the not-funny part: As a result of these ridiculous complaints, the City Council voted not to continue with a plan to add 12 miles of bike lanes. According to KPBS, from 2005 to 2013, bicyclists were struck by motor vehicle drivers more than 800 times in Coronado, resulting in 48 severe injuries and 7 fatalities.