The Critic, the Commissioner and the Bike Lanes

Michael Kimmelman, The New York Times’s architecture critic, recently cruised the bike lanes with Janette Sadik-Khan, transportation commissioner for New York City.

Fresh from the experience of living in Berlin, which, like much of Europe, has had years to develop a cycling culture, Mr. Kimmelman considered the evolution of New York as a place for bikers in a new Critic’s Notebook.

“The Dutch and the Danish are said to be among the happiest people on earth, which I can’t help but imagine must have something to do with their bike culture,” writes Mr. Kimmelman.

Aside from the possibility of helping to provide smiles, he suggests the bike lanes are not seen by their critics for their aesthetic possibilities.

“I don’t mean they’re great to look at,” he writes. “I mean that for users they offer a different way of taking in the city, its streets and architecture, the fine-grained fabric of its neighborhoods.”

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