Michael Miller has been forwarding around this article. I enjoyed it, even though I didn't expect to like the pollution of a 'pure' bicycle with the weight of a motor. But the author makes strong enough points that I now consider this form of transportation worthwhile.
Update: Classes start at 6pm
The Free Bicycle Maintenance schedule is as follows:
This looks like a great service at a great price.
The geography and street layout of West Louisville make it ideally suited to bicycling. The East End and South End will never be able to catch West Louisville. So what do we do about it?
But first, why is West Louisville is so superior? Click through to find out...
Well that could have gone better.
The most telling blow went to the woman who asked [paraphrased]: "How can the government ask property owners to donate their property for a bike-lane / multi-use-path / whatchamacallit, when the government itself won't put its money where its mouth is. The government is building a brand new bridge - with an astounding lack of bike-ped facilities - breaking the back of the corridor right in the middle of the spinal cord. What gives?"
Nobody had a good reply. The Harrod's Creek bridge was 'off the table'. Nobody from the government was interested to discuss it, even though it's the middle of the corridor. 'Doh! This demonstrated a stunning lack of big-picture coordination.
In another forum, some members of Metro government have tried to spin the new bridge, with 2-count 12-foot lanes, as bike-ped friendly, but this is clearly absurd, as it will be replacing a bridge with 1-count 14-foot lane. The latter becomes a 9-foot vehicular lane and a 5 foot bike-ped lane in a pinch. With the vehicular speeds restricted by the narrow passage, it's tough to argue that the 24-footer is anything but a safety downgrade for human-powered travel.
The excuse is that the inadequate bridge design is 'grandfathered in' by being on the books before our great city became 'bike/ped aware'. The bridge design money is a sunk cost. If that design no longer reflects our societal values, why should we spend a penny on it?
The answer is below the fold.
From the article:
... "I think that has more to do with Southerners' lack of physical activity rather than the food."
Bassett isn't just talking about neglected gym memberships and people who sit on the couch all day. Physical activity can be something as simple as walking to the bus stop. That's another problem, by the way: the South doesn't have many bus stops. Public transportation is paltry, and for most people the best way to get around is by car. "You don't really think of riding the train as exercise, but at least you have to walk a few blocks to get to the stop," says Bassett. States like Mississippi and Tennessee also have a surprising lack of sidewalks, discouraging even the most eager pedestrians. Many roads are narrower than those in the North — where streets have wider shoulders to accommodate winter snow — and people who want to bike or jog find themselves uncomfortably close to traffic.
"One way - or Another - We're Gonna Getcha."
People talk a lot about how Portland is a model bicycle community. Through aggressuve engineering and forsightful land use they've managed to create a city that is easy for the everyman or everywoman to bike in. Last year they were recognised as the first major American city to earn the "Platinum" level bicycle friendly community designation from the League of American Bicyclists. Jeff Mapes devotes an entire chapter of his book "Pedalling Revolution" to Portland. Recession notwithstanding, Portland has managed to prosper and has the "creative class" emigrating there in droves. That's the sunny, happy model of bicycle adoption.
But there's another, darker, model. Detroit has shrunk so much, that there's more than enough infrastructure left for bicycles and drivers to "share the road". As a result, some residents are hailing it as a bicycling utopia-in-waiting.
Meanwhile, the rest of the country hangs in a balance between the two visions. As oil prices continue to rachet back up, will we respond by quickly adopting the Portland model, and prospering? Or will we collapse like Detroit, and all have to ride bicycles because that's what we can afford. The rest of the country is poised on the top of the oil bubble, not sure yet if they'll fall left or right. The only way they don't go either left or right is if the automotive energy crisis is solved - Good luck with that!
Bikers, hikers and exercise enthusiasts are encouraged to join Louisville Metro Parks staff and Mayor Jerry Abramson at the event on Saturday, June 27, at Riverside, the Farnsley-Moreman Landing in southwest Jefferson County.
Officials will answer questions and receive feedback on the project from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and visitors will can see maps of different segments on the loop."
Event details, from the Metro Parks Newsroom: http://www.louisvilleky.gov/MetroParks/News/2009/looppublicevent.htm
(from Bike Louisville & Business First of Louisville) "Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government is seeking public input on a plan to preserve River Road and improve accessibility for bicyclists, walkers and joggers.
The meeting, part of a yearlong study led by Gresham, Smith and Partners, is scheduled for June 16th, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at Gingerwoods Event Hall, [next to Henry's Ark] 7611 Rose Island Road. The study concerns a seven-mile stretch of River Road, from Zorn Avenue to U.S. 42.
[update] See the River Road Scenic Byway Corridor Improvement Study (3.1 MB PDF file)