Sunday, August 30, 2015

Bike Share Reduces Traffic, Duh, and Brompton's Future Looks Electric

So Washington, D.C. has some of the worst traffic in the country.  Yup, in addition to being the town that was the inspiration for the phrase, "Politics is like Hollywood for ugly people," the nation's capital is now a traffic choke point.  Enter Capital Bike Share.  Did it really take a study to figure out that Bike Share reduces traffic?  Was this a waste of grant money, or does Congress need studies to be persuaded of the obvious?  Of course it reduces traffic.  I am comfortable asserting that, when I am on my bike, I am not driving in a car.  And, the Federal Highway Administration is now suggesting that America build more bike lanes to ease traffic.  Because bike lanes, well, ease traffic.  Kind of like bike share.  Same concept.  Had the study concluded something shocking, like painting the interior of your home sea foam prevents breach births, then it might have seemed worth it.  Sigh.
In the meantime, a new map helps those commuting in from Arlington find the best route without squinting at a dotted red line on a map that resembles a bad tangle of bungee cords more than any topography.  When Arlington-ers take the best route on their bikes, my guess is that they will not also be in their cars.  

Even as the automotive industry shakes off dust, The Motor City is getting a bike share program.  Huh?  Detroit was so depressed just five years ago I felt bad for the hotel staff that had lost high paying jobs and were now delivering room service to guests.  A little ironic that a city so dependent on the car business has a vision for sustainability.  Now, if they could just design something that did not depend on fossil fuels to run . . .
Oh that's right.  They have.

Late summer has seen an explosion of electric bike news. has published its annual e-bike guide.  The Awesomer reports on the Go-e bike, a kit that can turn any bike into an e-bike.  (A little crowd-funding never hurt a great idea.)  Madrid launches its electric share bikes.  And Treehugger makes the case for e-bike Radwagon as the ticket to a "car lite" lifestyle.  And incredible CEO, Will Butler Adams, of Brompton tells The Standard why the London-based cycling company's future lies in foldable e-bikes.

Must read:  Bicycling Magazine's piece on the last paperboy on a bicycle.  If you don't mist up, you must be made of stone.

Must watch: A documentary on a woman, Mama Agatha, teaching immigrants in Amsterdam how to ride bikes.  A bright note after a week of grisly stories on human smuggling and the suffering of refugees.

In memoriam: Timothy A. Holden, cyclist, former Navy Seal, was killed by a motorist while he was bicycling in Bethesda.  He was just a half a mile from home, and on a stretch of Massachusetts Avenue with bike lanes.  Double hero.  RIP.

So, if I see you in the bike lane, whether you are an immigrant just starting out, or an old hand on an e-bike, let's be smug.
Elisa P.

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