Published Somedays

New cycling website coming to Wilmington?

(updated: May 4, 2010)

A few weeks ago I was downtown at Longleaf Bicycles talking to Anthony King. He had an idea about starting a Streetsblog-style site for Wilmington. I thought it was a great idea. In fact, Sunday it hit me like a hammer that we really could have used a site like this to rally people to call candidates for County Commissioner for example, and find out where they stand on bicycles and bike-ped infrastructure, then communicate those findings on the site. This is currently a void not being filled by any of the local bike clubs or sites. If no one is out there calling and meeting political leaders and potential leaders and that we represent thousands of cyclists and pedestrians who want bike-ped infrastructure, then don't be surprised when nothing happens.

To quote Anthony:

"Streetsblog focuses on sustainable transport, smart growth and livable streets issues in. several major US cities, and there is a Streetsblog Network that does the same for different localities in the country.

I'd like to have 6-8 contributors to start out with, so that if everyone contributes at least once a month the blog will receive regular updates without too much work by any single individual.

Look over the Streetsblog site, and perhaps check out some of the Streetsblog Network sites to get an idea of what issues the blog would cover and the writing style appropriate.

My idea is that the blog would be the official website of a Cyclist and Pedestrians' Advocacy group that would make sure that Wilmington improves access and safety for those on foot and on bicycles. Cities that are safe and convenient for pedestrians are safe and convenient for cyclists, and vice versa, so the two groups will find an easy alliance and combining the groups will increase our numbers.

If you look at the history or US bicycle meccas such or Davis, CA or Portland, OR you'll find they didn't magically arrive at their present status, nor did their bicycle and pedestrian friendliness organically follow from their respective cultures. In both cases a group of citizens united and exerted pressure on their local officials--even suing them at times--in order to bring about city planning that included the needs of cyclists and pedestrians. These efforts started more than 30 years ago.

The Cape Fear Cyclists do valuable and needed work for cyclists, but because their membership is primarily composed of -- and their rides geared toward-- recreation rather than everyday transportation I think another organization to pressure the city would be beneficial. Our group would not be one of "cyclists" but of everyday people who happen to get around by bike or foot (and don't want to get killed or maimed in the process).

If you're interested in either aspect (the blog or helping with the bike/ped organization) of this endeavor please respond.

I'll also ask for brainstorming ideas about a name for or nascent organization."


So this is the idea. We have a few people interested in being contributors including myself. If you are interested, please let me or Anthony at Longleaf know.

Now let's see...a name...something that also includes pedestrians.

A few suggested by Anthony:

Walk and Bike Wilmington
People Powered Wilmington (I like this but it is kinda ambiguous, I'm imagining people hand cranking street lamps like those emergency flashlight)
People Powered Transit

Let's hear your ideas.

Bottom line is that we gotta do this. There is too much at stake. I always say that Wilmington is the perfect place for bike-ped infrastructure and the potential economic payback is enormous, esp. in a tourism-based economy. Studies such as this one: Economic Impact of Investments in Bicycle Facilities, and this one: Active Transportation for America are proof that it works.

-SBA



Filed Under: General Entries > North Carolina > Wilmington



6 COMMENTS:

1. Erik (VanGo) said...

Something catchy - sounding like rock-n-roll maybe?

Walk-n-Roll Wilmington (or use "and")
Wilmington Walk-n-Roll
Walk 'n Roll Lifestyle

Pedals and Pedestrians

Wilmy Wheels and Walkers

May 5, 2010 @ 9:54 AM


2. Jimmy "Old Goat" said...

Hike n Bike
Stroll n Roll

May 7, 2010 @ 6:31 AM


3. Anthony said...

How about a straight forward name?
Bike Wilmington
or
Wilmington Alternative Transportation

Can't say it is original. Took the idea from http://bikeathens.com/ which is an effective bike advocacy organization where I used to live.

May 11, 2010 @ 5:07 AM


4. Randy said...

Good Ole' Bikers

May 12, 2010 @ 6:39 PM


5. Bob said...

Nothing like a comment from "good ole" Randy to kill discussion on anything...

May 15, 2010 @ 8:16 PM


6. SBA said...

Oh, I thought that was a suggestion for the site name. Can't say I get it though.

May 15, 2010 @ 9:00 PM


 

Comments are closed.




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