Sunday, October 4, 2015

Cities Favor Cyclists Over Motorists As Policymakers Grasp Reality

The Economist reports that cities are starting to put pedestrians and cyclists ahead of motorists.  I am trying to feel bad about this trend, but a smile continues to creep across my face.  There are times when The Economist reveals it is slow to adapt to reality, and this is one of those times.  The reports a counterpoint, that transportation policies favoring motorists are unsustainable.  The inevitability of this shift has been recognized by Salt Lake City, where protected bike lane intersections are being added.  Not saloons or taverns, but protected boxes.  This Economist piece conjures images of a bloated old man wearing a tweed suit that was once lovely, but is now riddled with moth holes and smells like stale tobacco.

In NYC, #Citibike is beginning to climb out of the red after years of teetering on the brink of possible failure.  Nothing could damage urban cycling more than the failure of a major share system.  Bixi nearly established that horrible precedent last year before being rescued by a discount sofa magnate.  Citibike's solvency is crucial to continued forward momentum on the development of cycling infrastructure.  So if you are interested in becoming NYC's bike czar, now is the time to apply for that job.  Qualifications: Must be prepared to push back against bloated old men in poorly maintained tweed and/or the Dorothy Rabinowitz nay-sayer types with good humor.  Must stay awake during city counsel meetings or be able to sleep with eyes open and a placid smile, and wake up the second someone asks, "So what do you think?"

This week in products: Bikeradar's article on the best new helmets, GM's launch of electric bikes, and another e-bike fold-up campaign on #Kickstarter.  All are worth a read.  Query, what does it say about America that all American automative companies are jumping into the e-bike market.  That people can no longer live by car alone?

Labor union group AFLCIO reports on bikeshare worker Dolly Winter, the Norma Rae of Citibike, without the death threats and sweaty factory scene.  Nice from the AFLCIO, which has supported the automotive industry.  And yup, that's exactly how they posted her image - sideways.

It's that time of year again, when otherwise serious adults use the excuse of Halloween to don tights and ride around town.  Generally, this sort of action should be encouraged, or at least not scorned.  After all, it can briefly district a child headed toward a tantrum, and make cynical adults smile before they resume their perpetual frown.

#Pashleybicycles are works of art made in Stratford-Upon-Avon, where they have been made for many years.  What is not to like?  Solid steel bikes with every detail considered.  This is a nice profile of some of Pashley's staff.  Or as I call them, the lovely little angels of cycling.

So, if I see you in the bike lane, or fixing or moving bike share bikes, or wearing any super hero suit, let's be smug.
Elisa P.

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