Tom asked: The city is finally repaving a very busy street and city officials have told me they want to discourage bike use on this street. They won’t consider bike lanes because of the streets narrow width and won’t consider removing parking. Can you suggest a good alternate? There are a lot of businesses on this street I want to ride to including a bike shop!
The best alternative is to encourage cyclists to safely and legally use the roadway. Too often, we depend on bicycle lanes, which can be problematic in some circumstances. Cyclists are operating vehicles and have the same rights and duties as other drivers. The most basic of those rights is the use of the roadway. We need to learn to drive in traffic, just as we do with our motor vehicles. The Florida Bicycle Association has an excellent course to help. You may want to have some local cyclists become instructors to teach safe and legal cycling practices to others there. See http://cyclingsavvy.org/
It is troubling that local officials are trying to discourage cycling, contrary to the trend in Florida and nationwide to encourage people to take advantage of the many benefits of cycling. Perhaps you could enlist all the local cyclists in a campaign to reverse that trend in your community.