Bike Summit: Inspiration

Dave Snyder gave an inspirational speech.

I thought, “wow!”, this is what I wanted to hear.

He said that “we’re winning” and “we’re on the right side of history.”

“The only problem is that we aren’t winning fast enough.”

Yes! Think success.

Then he went on to elaborate some of the benefits of infrastructure which include “allowing our neighbors to enjoy bicycling.”

He also went into the economic benefits infrastructure.

He mentioned that the anti-cycling attacks were good because it meant that we were making an impact.

I totally agreed as I saw a backlash as inevitable, but not as bad as many in San Diego fear. I think we definitely need to get to the point where we can flush all the backlashers out of the closet.

Once we get their arguments into the light, how lame they are will be self-evident.

Then he brought out numbers. The upside is that one area almost recouped their total investment in a single year.

I usually forget about the economic and other effects of infrastructure, but I do know that increased comfort and safety are the tip of the iceberg.

In some places there are even four star hotels with bike parking.

He noted that the street plans are NOT democratic. We never had a vote to give away the streets to cars.

If a travel lane is too small for two vehicles to ride, side by side, the bicycle is not the problem. 🙂

The California Vehicle manual is often seen as the bible created by “wise elders”. In reality, it’s just some people’s opinions and it’s subject to change.

Not only that, but one can innovate in the form of an experiment such as the proposed bike boxes in San Luis Obisbo.

I had often heard that traffic experiments were highly dangerous because is someone got hurt, they could sue.

I found this funny because the streets that are in code kill tons of people and there’s no notion of 38,000 lawsuits per year for that.

Yet, Dave said that traffic experiments are shielded from liability. Thus, I learned that this excuse is either due to ignorance or outright deception. Due to my Cross Traffic Study findings, this won’t be the first time we’d been lied to by Quisling advocates.

I’ll write more about Cross in another post where I look at some hard numbers.

Dave was really blowing my mind, and I glanced over to princess who was also enjoying this inspiration.

He said that the Highway Design Manual was being misused as it was for highways, only, yet somehow they started running amuck and trying to design everything like a [god damned] freeway.

He noted that in fact public streets are the majority of public space, but we treat them like they are a lost cause instead of allowing everyone to play in them.

Also, I learned that one can innovate a great deal, as a planner, and be shielded from legal liability because that’s why we have humans designing things, so they can use their intelligence and judgment.

At any rate, people really like to bicycle. 10% of tourists in San Francisco rented bicycles, for example.

After the talk, my friend let me know that in the DC bike share, there were a million trips and that there were only 19 accidents and ZERO fatalities: an extremely safe activity. Let’s think of that next time someone says, “Be safe.” 🙂


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