March 4, 2009
This is Don! He looks pretty technical... but he rode the Batavus and not his mountain bike. He had his suit at city hall so he just wanted to ride in his wind proof jacket and change at work. Don is less concerned with style than I am. But to his credit, he does just hop on the bike in his normal clothes, which is what I generally advocate. If he's not working, Don could just live in jeans and a t-shirt and bed head. He is like a lumberjack. Camping really becomes him.
Council is deciding on whether or not to invest (and to what extent) in the sorely needed improvements to bike infrastructure here in Edmonton.
We have lots of 'bike lanes' that just end suddenly. Broken links in trails. Weird signage. And even our bike lanes aren't like specialized painted lanes, they're just streets that happen to have a sign on them with a little bike. These changes are really important because they're a long term investment that will have significant environmental and health benefits for people who are encouraged to try biking, even if it's seasonally, as transportation. Edmonton has tons of great trails and a beautiful river valley so the recreational biking in the city is thoroughly enjoyed by 'sport' cyclists. However, it's the increased use of bikes as a viable mode of transportation and a vehicle on a regular daily basis that we really hope for.
Funny. People freak out because they read that the plan is $100 million over the course of 10 years. But... even if there's grumbling, nobody really freaks out about paving new roads out to new subdivisions for cars. And those new roads take wicked beatings with the weather and the encouraged use of cars, which means dumb traffic, not smart traffic. Fixing up bike infrastructure is using what we already have, but pimping it!
Anyway, nobody likes to spend lots of money on anything in this city. And for some people maybe it seems frivolous, but I see it as an investment in the future of the city and I think it would be healthy for the city to make a commitment to reduced emissions and active transportation by approving plans like this. Sure, there's a global economic crisis, but this strikes me as a way to plan ahead. I know it's hard for some people to get their head around.
Go read all about the wonderful work Don is trying to do with the bike plan.