Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Bicycle Transportation Revolution Underway

Nudnik of the week:

My father warned me that there are always more slow-witted people than smart people, and that you have to avoid the slow ones when you can.  I have tried to forgive those to whom less was given in the brains department, but Jackie Burke, a Los Angeles driver who wants to run cyclists off the road was a new nadir.  It would be impossible to avoid engaging with her since she has dehumanized cyclists to such an extent that it defies reason.  Unlike the lovable loser Nudnik, Jackie is just anti-social.  Below is a partial transcript of her statements to NPR on Morning Edition this week.  The story was about columns of cyclists who ride together for safety.

JACKIE BURKE: It's like they enjoy taking up the lanes.
SCHMIDT: Jackie Burke has lived in LA her whole life, and bicyclists slowing her down drive her crazy.
BURKE: It's very frustrating to the point where I want to just run them off the road. And I've actually kind of done one of those drive-really-close-to-them kind of things just to scare them to try to intimidate them to kind of get out of my way.

Ever wonder who lived in your old house a hundred years ago and what happened between the walls?  Ever wonder what path a Citibike took in a given day?  The Guardian UK decided to try to find out and plotted it on a map.


Want to see a progressive graphic of 32 years of bike lane growth in Washington?  Here is it thanks to GGW.

In Ireland, planners are asking themselves why the Dutch got bike lanes so right, and the Irish got it so wrong.  There's nothing wrong with learning from your mistakes or taking tips from experts.

The development of new Central Parkway bike lanes in Cincinnati was given the Fox News spin this week.  The headline emphasized the inevitable fact that the construction would cause a loss of parking, like it was a loss of fortune, or a loss of health, or a massive, inexplicable loss of hair.   Hmmmm.  by contrast, the city itself published terrific graphics of the rules to educate motorists.  Good planning.


As Metro's Silver Line opens it is sure to become a great choice for multi-model commuters who want to bike at least part of the way to work.  Best of all, they have a cool new bike storage room which will likely be filled to capacity by the end of the fall.  This great facility was previewed by Fairfax County this week.  Maybe the western suburbs can go sustainable too.  And you thought it was strip malls and big box stores out there!  (Well, it still kind of is, but as Dylan said, "The times, they are a'changin'."  Even in Reston.)

Meanwhile, for the die-hard sartorialist, urbanist, and small house lover, it turns out that we don't ride Metro much at all.  Instead we bike, notes GGW this week.  By contrast, bike share in Minneapolis has raised the use and appeal of mass transit there.  (Let's face it, in a polar vortex, even we sometimes need a transit system.

Policy and Advocacy:

In the U.K., the number of car trips and distances traveled by car have fallen to the lowest in 20 years?  Could this be a sign of what will follow in the U.S.?  Or is it just a reaction to Europe's fuel prices?  If it is a prediction of what will happen in the colonies, perhaps cycling will grow at an even fat rate than it currently is.

Time Magazine carries a piece this week on the death of the suburbs, and some former builders of 'burbs who are glad to see them go.  When you consider how many are closed off to transit and safe cycling options, you won't cry at the funeral.

A history of cycling as told through books is featured in a blog (and collection) by the Library of Congress this week.

The Danish Consul in Georgia - as in the state, not the country - is acting as the local Ambassador to promote cycling there.


I care not a whit about bicycle racing, presuming that most riders these days are juicing, or oxygenating or some other thing that seems like a bad science experiment.  But I was bemused by the story about the attention generated by German cyclists Mercel Kittel's hair.  Having looked at said hair, which evoked images of the athletes on the British Olympic teams fielded right before the Second World War (irony, he's German), I have to say it absolutely rocks.  I would not recommend it for anyone with a fleshy face, but for Marcel it is indeed, "a thing."

Delightful WashCycle reminds us of the charming film, "Girl on a Bicycle," and includes a link to the film's trailer.


Want a full-sized bike that can be easily assembled, but which fits in a backpack?  FastCompany reviews one for you.  (Yup, it's the second time I mentioned this wonder from Lucid Design of India.)

Would you like a lock fitted with a GPS?  Here's a nice review by London Cyclist of some of the latest fare - much of which has or is seeking crowd-funding.

Care for a cargo bike than can function like a van in the city?  Check out the many uses for Christiana bikes, including as a dining table and delivery truck when either moment strikes.

London nows has a 24-hour bike tube vending machine.  This is a very good idea that should be replicated in Washington.

Random notes:

Alec Baldwin was cleared of charges after he was arrested for riding his bike the wrong way in New York.  Baldwin flunked the attitude test when he got surly with a member of New York's finest.  The judge scolded him and told him to be nice.  Baldwin replied, "Are you kidding?  I'm an actor."  (Last sentence is not true, of course.)

Nice guys of the week have to be the folks at the Glasgow bike shop who gave riders from Malawi better bikes.”-response-its-helping-malawi-cyclists

So, if I see you in the bike lanes, and you are not named Jackie Burke, let's be smug.
Elisa P.

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