Monday, March 19, 2007

Transportation Alternatives

Today I am sitting here with several different newspapers from the past few weeks in front of me with various headlines that read "Effort to reclaim our streets is picking up speed", it's time to get back to simpler, safer, less polluting forms of transportation, and "NYC street carnage", calls to make city safe for walking after weekend deaths, and "Bicyclists give gift to a chief who gave them hell" and "The Ghost Bike Project",and "Mean Streets, Getting hit is still a problem downtown" and as I stated in an earlier post New York is a pedestrian town. What I did not state is that New York is also a non friendly bicyclists town. Most every street here in New York is like a highway. When the traffic light says walk, I run. The bicycle lanes in the streets are located right next to parked cars whose doors could open at any time without notice right in front of you while riding your bike. Critical mass is a movement of bicycles in the streets who address issues such as safer streets for bicyclists. They hold monthly bike rides that are organized by the bicycle advocacy group Times Up! They have ghost bike memorials, tributes all across the country of white painted bikes to all of the bicyclists who have lost their lives as a result of mean streets and they are often arrested by the police just for having bike rides. I don't know the statistics but about a decade ago if I remember correctly, these bicycle headlines never existed, the streets were not so congested with automobiles and there weren't so many bicyclists injured and Critical Mass was not so busy with bicycle memorials as they are now. And most of the time drivers of automobiles are given a summons for failure to give a pedestrian the right of way or not even penalized at all as if bicyclists are just road kill. It is my hopes that these laws will change one day and New York will make its streets more bicycle friendly. Will a pedestrian safety plan save lives? Transportation Alternatives is working to reverse the decades-long process of public space "nibbling" that has resulted in wide, car-oriented streets that breed needless traffic, carbon emissions and pollution while putting walkers and cyclists at a dangerous disadvantage. Maybe the traffic increase has to do with the population explosion. In China they use bicycles as their main source of transportation, China is renowned as the kingdom of bikes, how must their bicycle friendly streets rate be? And what does this have to do with a No Police State? You can read more about these bicycle advocacy groups at http://www.transalt.org , http://www.critical-mass.org , and http://www.times-up.org . Have a great day.



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8 comments:

GeologyJoe said...

Glad to see other people realizing that bicycles in American cities need to be a reality. Thanks for helping get the word out.

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