Sunday, August 2, 2015

You Can Arrive by Plane or Train and See Washington Without Touching a Car

The District Department of Transportation is considering adding protected bike lanes on Louisiana Avenue.  The lanes would connect Union Station to the protected lanes on Pennsylvania Avenue.  This would allow train commuters to be multi modal.  And they could lose weight since 30% of bike share users report that they have done just that.  Bikestation, a place to leave your bike while you work or ride the train, may want to expand.  With the proposed lanes, you could easily ride Amtrak down from Philly, take Capital Bike Share from Union Station to the re-opening of the National Gallery East Wing.  You could view great art in one of the best spaces ever conceived, ride back to the train station, and be home in time to watch that episode of Between Two Ferns before you turn into a pumpkin.

Soon you can take Capital Bike Share to the National Airport when you have that day trip with a backpack planned.  Or you could meet arriving friends and ride the Metro back with them.  Or you could ride out there on bike share and watch the planes fly overhead, if you have that kind of lingering suburban ennui and little concern for your hearing.

Bike friendly communities are indeed helping the local economy.  When this prediction was made several years ago, many businesses groused that they would lose parking spots.  Perhaps, but isn't that like losing a case of strep throat, or losing that weird guy who keeps following you at the party?  Embracing cycling seems to be a tide that lifts all boats.  Really.

This week was not all good news about benevolent cyclists and venal drivers.  A terrible video has surfaced showing a cyclist riding on the sidewalk, hitting a toddler and dragging her.  Something to think about when you are on the sidewalk in a dense community.  He was later fined.  The child sustained some very upsetting facial injuries.  Don't be that guy.

In more familiar scenario, a driver harassing a cyclist ended up tripping as he was chasing the cyclist.  The trip happens at 3:30 in the video, which is otherwise long. Unless you like listening to a barking lunatic rant, externalizing blame for every empty thing in his life, you might want to skip right to the schadenfreude.  The main theme of the rant is that the driver thinks car ownership is an accomplishment.  Like having a real Picasso. And that cyclists are riding because they have failed to accomplish acquiring a car.  An interesting view that would have fit right into the zeitgeist in about 1963.  I am guessing that this driver will never win the Nobel Prize.  This video presents strong evidence that phrenology was an exact science.  I'm just sayin' . . .

So, if I see you in the bike lane, and you are on a bike, let's be smug.
Elisa P.

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