After two groups in a progressive area of Brooklyn, New York called aggressively for the removal of a 9 month old bike-lane this month, Elisabeth Rosenthal of the New York Times noted in an article in the Week In Review that “in Europe, bike lanes crisscross cities, wind turbines appear in counties with high-priced country homes and plants that make green energy from waste are situated in even the wealthiest neighborhoods.” She notes also that Brooklynites are not alone: there are very active groups proposing a wind farm in Nantucket Sound and a rapid ride bus system in Berkeley, California. What’s happening here?
After considering the prospect that the bike lane may indeed be badly designed, and even that the wind farm proposed for Nantucket Sound may endanger a pristine body of water, and even that the proposed bus system may indeed reduce traffic flow and parking availability (and thereby hurt local businesses), Rosenthal can’t help but see a pattern: opposition by residents to local development is in direct conflict with the projects that they tend to support as long as they’re in someone else’s backyard. So how come people don’t object to projects like this in Europe and the rest of the world? Because they’re already in place: when there’s a wind turbine by your sisters house you’re less likely to object to one by your own.
To read more you can view Rosenthal’s article here.