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  1. #1
    Lazy vegan bicyclist Drv1913's Avatar
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    City of Memphis' Car-free Challenge

    Thought some of you might find this interesting. The City of Memphis is challenging residents to go car-free during the month of April. People can take the challenge for one day, a number of days, or the entire month and will be eligible for prizes that help make carfree travel easier. In addition, there are 18 "model citizens" who will be doing the challenge for the entire month and blogging about their experiences - both good and bad, as well as prominent local people who will be participating on a more limited basis as their schedules allow.

    Full disclosure: I am one of the "model citizens". I plan to use the challenge as motivation to consistently apply all of the non-car backup plans that I've already worked out, which means that I will probably be doing a lot more walking this month than I really prefer, depending on how much it rains. With one exception next week, I don't anticipate having any problems, since non-car travel is already a habit for me.

  2. #2
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Congratulations! How did you happen to be selected?


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  3. #3
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    Nice labret. I've been wanting to get my ears gauged, but I can't stand not being able to swim again.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Great news! Good for Memphis!

    But meanwhile, in Nashville: Koch Brothers Quietly Seek to Ban New Mass Transit in Tennessee
    Smug, car-bashing cyclist and public transport user.

  5. #5
    Lazy vegan bicyclist Drv1913's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    Congratulations! How did you happen to be selected?
    I've worked with the organizer quite a bit through Bike to Work Day activities. I guess he thought of me when he was putting this project together. There was a general meeting where the guidelines were laid out and we had the opportunity to ask questions and decide if we wanted to make the commitment. The group is surprisingly diverse, so I'm looking forward to reading about everyone else's experiences. The blog posts start tomorrow, but people have already been posting their thoughts via twitter.

    Quote Originally Posted by plustax
    Nice labret.
    That's not me. That's the other vegan in Memphis.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Drv1913;16635043]I've worked with the organizer quite a bit through Bike to Work Day activities. I guess he thought of me when he was putting this project together. There was a general meeting where the guidelines were laid out and we had the opportunity to ask questions and decide if we wanted to make the commitment. The group is surprisingly diverse, so I'm looking forward to reading about everyone else's experiences. The blog posts start tomorrow, but people have already been posting their thoughts via twitter./QUOTE]

    Could you post a link to the blog please?
    Smug, car-bashing cyclist and public transport user.

  7. #7
    Lazy vegan bicyclist Drv1913's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
    Could you post a link to the blog please?
    The blog posts will be on the main carfreememphis.com page. Scroll down to the bottom to see the latest posts. Starting tomorrow, each day there will be two new posts - one each from two different model citizens. We will each do two blog posts over the course of the month. Individually, many people are tweeting their daily experiences, which are collected here, and also, at least one person has set up a separate blog specifically to share her 30-day experience. The only thing that I am doing outside of my two official blog posts is to put at least one picture/description each day in this Flickr set.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Thanks. What a great way to get people out of their cars!
    Smug, car-bashing cyclist and public transport user.

  9. #9
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Interesting challenge. I wonder if the city got some federal funding to put all this together. Whose brainchild was this?

  10. #10
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    How is Memphis in general for cycling around the city? I visited Memphis in the late 90s when I was living in Alabama, but I did not ride in Memphis on those visits. I remember the terrain as somewhat flat, except for the sharp decline in elevation near the Big Muddy. Most streets did not seem to have much of a shoulder, which is fairly typical of many cities in the southeastern USA.

  11. #11
    Lazy vegan bicyclist Drv1913's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zephyr View Post
    How is Memphis in general for cycling around the city?
    Hillier than it appears at first glance. Nothing like east Tennessee or some other cities, of course, but still not quite as flat as people always say it is. The streets themselves can be pretty rough, too - raggedy and full off potholes, with shoulders or bike lanes full of glass and debris. But, for the most part, it is very easy to navigate and there are usually lower-speed alternatives to the major busy streets. Everything about getting around by bike is slowly but surely getting better here though. There are a lot of new and interesting bike infrastructure projects coming down the pike, and I've noticed a positive difference in motorists' attitudes and behavior in the past couple of years as well. All told, I think it's a great time to be riding a bike in the Bluff City right now.

  12. #12
    Lazy vegan bicyclist Drv1913's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    Interesting challenge. I wonder if the city got some federal funding to put all this together. Whose brainchild was this?
    It was Kyle Wagenschutz, the city's bike/ped coordinator's idea. I don't think there's any federal money involved, but it has something to do with the Green Lane Project, I think.

  13. #13
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drv1913 View Post
    It was Kyle Wagenschutz, the city's bike/ped coordinator's idea. I don't think there's any federal money involved, but it has something to do with the Green Lane Project, I think.
    Hat's off to Kyle. You never know when a great idea is going to take off.. hopefully he'll see sine results.

    One of the craziest programs I've ever heard of was from Malmo Sweden a few years ago. They had a campaign for people to send in "Crazy things you do with a car". Naturally, a lot of people would drive 5 feet to buy a loaf of bread.The program would laugh at them... but also make people think about how they were using their vehicles.

  14. #14
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    Hat's off to Kyle. You never know when a great idea is going to take off.. hopefully he'll see sine results.

    One of the craziest programs I've ever heard of was from Malmo Sweden a few years ago. They had a campaign for people to send in "Crazy things you do with a car". Naturally, a lot of people would drive 5 feet to buy a loaf of bread.The program would laugh at them... but also make people think about how they were using their vehicles.
    Another city had the idea of giving away a bike during Bike-To-Work week. But instead of giving it as a reward to somebody who biked to work, they gave it to somebody who drove all week. The reasoning was that the driver wouldn't already have a bike, and might try biking to work if given one.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  15. #15
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    Another city had the idea of giving away a bike during Bike-To-Work week. But instead of giving it as a reward to somebody who biked to work, they gave it to somebody who drove all week. The reasoning was that the driver wouldn't already have a bike, and might try biking to work if given one.
    This seems like a silly idea. I prefer the OP's style of making role models out of people who are doing it day-to-day.

  16. #16
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    This seems like a silly idea. I prefer the OP's style of making role models out of people who are doing it day-to-day.
    Agreed. I remember the motorist who won the bike said she would ride it to work, but I don't know if she followed through.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

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