Less Talkie, More Doie April 16, 2013


We sure can talk about bicycling can’t we?  Lately it seems like you can’t swing a rusty chain around here without hitting someone talking about how the City could be doing so much more to make it safe for cycling; about how the State spends so much money on highways; and so little on bike lanes, about how great Portland, Oregon is.

In fact, here was a podcast that aired last week on Eco-RI News about the state of cycling in Providence.  You can listen to myself, Eric Weiss of East Coast Greenway, and James Kennedy of the local blog Transport Providence discussing how we could be more like Portland if we tried harder.

Tonight at the Athenaeum, WRNI hosts a discussion in their Policy and Pinot series titled Bicycles in Rhode Island.  There will be some local bicycle policy experts who will be discussing the status of the City’s Bicycle Master Plan and apparently an official from Mayor Tavares’ office announcing a revolutionary bike program inspired from the bike lane network in Bogota, Columbia.  At least they won’t be talking about Portland, Oregon.

In case all of this is too much talking and not enough doing, ask yourself what you might do to help push your City into the 21st century.  If your are currently waiting on the sidelines until the streets are safer, you might want to at least stick your toe in the water so you can be ready when Providence is criss-crossed with bike lanes Bogota-style.  Work on your fitness and skills, volunteer with the Rhode Island Bicycle Coalition, attend events like BikeFest and Bike to Work Day (May 17) so that you can stand with your fellow cyclists and be counted.

It took Portland, Oregon 30 years to get to the point where we are always talking about them.  Let’s give them something to talk about for a change.