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Location: 40 dgrs. 48' 26.34" N, 96 dgrs. 40' 05.96" W, United States

Liberal bicycle commuter, political junkie, policy junkie, free thinker, I've got too many titles. All in all I'll leave it with a quote from the late Senator Paul Wellstone of Minn. "Politics is not about big money and power games, it's about the improvment of peoples lives."


November 14, 2005

Bicycle Commuting... Mainstream??

What if anything could ever make bicycle commuting mainstream? I myself am not sure even though I have thought about it for quit frankly countless hours. Would it be gas prices exceeding 6 bucks? Would it be a shift in thinking to have a more sustainable city, environment or life in general?
In the city that I live in we have 3 or 4 primary paved bike trails that go from one side of town to the other. These trails take you in the general direction of downtown, two of which converge a mile outside of downtown and then take you in the general direction of downtown. For some unknown reason once you get close to the city center the trail ends and because your not allowed to ride on the sidewalk downtown you are then forced to ride on the street (that fact alone puts the kabosh on many people who might otherwise commute by bike.)

I understand fully that because of the region I live in people are not going to ride year round, I do but it fucking sucks in the winter. I would say 5 months out of the year is when people would actually consider commuting by bike if they had a reason to.

Here's an idea, what if on one of our major bike trails that heads toward the city center a small coffee shack thing was placed to the side of the trail. People commuting to work could stop off and grab a bagel and coffee. There could be some chairs and table so that people could stop for 15 minutes and have a coffee and visit with others. Hey wait a minute, that would be promoting community and our elected leaders don't like communication between one another.

Honestly I don't know if this could ever work. People are in such a rush these days. "oh I can't do that I have to take the kids to the sitter in the morning, or I'm running late." The running late thing I don't get. The vast majority of people know when they have to be at work, I don't. I'm on call 24/7, when I get called to go to work I have an hour and a half to get there. I pedal to work so evidently I manage not to run late.

I'm a pessimist by nature so the whole mass movement of commuting by bike thing in my mind probably won't happen (barring any huge shift in thinking.) Never the less I like thinking about it and how it would improve so many things. What are your thoughts on the subject.

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