While New York has been very vocal in it's adoption of painted & paint-buffered bicycle lanes, Montreal has quietly been taking the bicycle revolution a step further by re-allocating lane and parking space to permanent, physically buffered bi-directional bike lanes. The growing network includes downtown streets.
As of December 2009, the closest thing that I have seen to this in the Americas are some of the Ciclorutas in downtown Bogota www.flickr.com/photos/83423898@N00/3139669132/in/photostream . Otherwise I feel the concept is much more European, - such as seen in Seville Spain www.flickr.com/photos/adrimcm/5786731273/in/set-721576267...:
Drivers have had some difficulty adapting to the changes (ie looking for cyclists, not just pedestrians when turning), a Montrealer friend of mine says that the driving culture is shifting to a high increase in awareness of cyclists.
Enabling cycling makes it a lower hanging fruit for all - including for those who may already have a car parked in the driveway.
November 30 2009