Thinking Beyond the Car
(updated: Aug 27, 2007)
This week in USA Today was an article about the Complete Streets Program. This is a program designed to accommodate all types of travel, not just cars. Here is a link to the article:
Boulder, CO rules
There is a good discussion going at the end of the article. Of course you get the jackasses that don't think bikes belong on the road.
And in last Wednesday's Star News there was an article about the Blue Clay Corridor project: Sharing the road
It is great that the paper is bringing attention to cycling here. The article was a result of the meeting I attended a couple of weeks ago on the Blue Clay Corridor Bicycle Facilities Study.
At the meeting the Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (UAMPO) presented large maps of proposed off-road paths that would connect from 23rd St. downtown all the way to the Cape Fear Community College North Campus, which is conveniently located near the Blue Clay Bike Park.
I thought it was great that they were being so proactive. A lot of the land in the area is owned by the Trask's, and they're getting everyone on board early enough to be able to do this, rather than attempt to retrofit something later when it's much more complicated and expensive. The area is slated to have 2000 homes, apartments, a new school, shops, and a fire station. And it will have paths that connect it all together. Sounds like where I want to move.
In fact, two of the guys from the UAMPO asked me for directions to the bike park so they could check it out. When they came back, they told me that they wanted to change the plan to have the path go right by the park along the powerlines!
I was very impressed by the MPO and I wished more people had attended the meeting. Just showing up makes a big impact. And the Star News has been really supportive, recently publishing two articles bringing attention to cycling.
So a day after the article was published, someone wrote a letter to the editor:
I just had to chuckle.
EDITOR: I just had to chuckle. My wife and I rented a house in The Cape development while our home in Leland was under construction. We traveled River Road daily, and encountered hundreds of bicyclists in our travels.
A majority did not use the bike path and endangered themselves and the motoring public by their actions. We made comment to each other and others in the area about this situation.
Then comes your article on bikers and how they enjoy the River Road corridor because of the lack of stop signs and the bike path, which as they state provides for the safety of the bikers.
Well, look at the pictures with (a recent Star-News story). The folks you interview are not in the bike path. …
A picture speaks a thousand words. What a bunch of hypocrites.
Save up, earn it
So of course I had to fire off a reply to the editor about the chuckler. I hope it gets published next week. If so, I'll add it here.
Look at the picture from the paper. The cyclists aren't even over the line. WTF?
It's obvious we need more awareness of cycling here. The good kind. And not the despicable Tour de Dope fest that took place this year. All it would take for drivers to respect cyclists is to stick them on a bike and make them ride on the roads around here. That would shut them the hell up for good.
But now I don't worry about it too much. While I'm all for the Complete Streets Program (note that North Carolina does have one), my view is that in the future, when the energy crisis is upon us thanks to years of thoughtless car-centric thinking, planning, and building, cyclists are going to own the roads.
1. Sean said...
What an asshole. On a brighter note I was downtown for the farmers market and saw plenty of bikes around town. Even if they are endangering themselves .
Aug 4, 2007 @ 11:38 AM
2. Thomas said...
I think its a shame that the US is so far behind everyone else when it comes to being resourseful. Many people thought the little bike trail in Morehead was foolish but look how many people use it now (for exercise). For right now, there are only 10 or so commuters but I think that will catch on.
Aug 4, 2007 @ 1:28 PM
3. Justin said...
I submitted a letter to the Star News that basically (hopefully) made this guy look ridiculous.
I mean, he does have a point ... there's that one gypsy bicyclist toward the back who's touching the white line. Even though there clearly isn't any cars coming up behind him, he should know better. Lord knows I stay in my lane 100 percent of the time while I'm driving my car.
Oh yeah - that whole second paragraph is total sarcasm.
Aug 4, 2007 @ 2:19 PM
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