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Old 02-24-07, 03:48 PM   #1
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Pro Bike, Pro Car?

Hi everyone,

I'm kinda new here, and I've been reading a bit and trying to lurk around before coming on and making an idiot of myself, but I suppose now's as good a time as any

I've been reading about the fight against sprawl, and living 48 miles from my work in a spread out town (hopefully remedying that at the end of my lease) I can understand that completely.

However, I've noticed that alot of the "cycling advocacy" seems to be less about promoting cycling and more about fighting driving.

Before I got my car (just bought one 4 months ago) I rode motorcycles to work for 6 years. If I take public transport, it's about 3 hours each way (to work 9, makes it a 15 hour day) vs about 90 minutes round-trip on the motorcycle. I got a motorcycle because it was inexpensive, easy on gas and the environment, I didn't have to deal with traffic (lane splitting is legal in CA, and safer everywhere) etc.

Now that I've decided to suck it up and at least try commuting again via public transport, except this time with the bicycle to get me to and from the train, I'm looking at the state of my town and how it's layed out and the way most drivers drive, and wondering what I can do to change this.

I've never thought that straight up confrontation with a larger group was the best idea, at least for me, so I'm trying to collect my thoughts before talking to the planning division and city council, in a way that shows how making a town that has better public transport and is more bicycle friendly is also better for those who drive.

Obviously, it cuts down on congestion.

Obviously, it helps the environment.

Obviously, for a town which is trying to attract yuppie families (homes from the $800,000's) a good bicycle infrastructure could be seen as being better/safer for children who roam around on bicycles, as well as for families who want to ride together.

What else can I throw into the mix to help demonstrate the importance of bicycle friendly infrastructure (as a concept, regardless of if it's wider lanes, or bike paths, or bike lanes, looking for really basic advocacy concepts, not which method to go with at this point)

I know this is going to be a long fight, and I'm hoping to win people over to the cause early, and then as new areas are built out (they're building here ALL THE TIME) hope that they'll be built with bicycles in mind.

Who's had success planting these seeds in their community?

What did you do?


-- James
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Old 02-24-07, 04:18 PM   #2
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The way I would spin the issue is that you can't attract the most desirable kind of employers to town unless you have a good quality of life. Cost cutting employers in declining industries may be impressed by an ultra thrifty local government and an exploitable pool of cheap untrained labor, but the rising stars of business expect more.
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Old 02-24-07, 04:36 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by jbarros
However, I've noticed that alot of the "cycling advocacy" seems to be less about promoting cycling and more about fighting driving.
Some people need to have a bad guy to blame.
This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.
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