If your city is to go the bike route, and we can think of no good reason why it should not, you have to figure out the parking angle. Which, once you get into it, proves to be not nearly as easy as you might at first have thought. Here is a thoughtful piece on the on-street parking piece of the city bike puzzle which appears in Grist this morning under the byline of the ever-inventive Elly Blue. We propose you check it out with that second cup of coffee.
This is the fourth column in a series focusing on the economics of bicycling.
Bicycling and driving have one thing in common that is almost universally frustrating, time consuming, friction causing, and potentially expensive.
No matter how seamless your ride across town, no matter how well-timed the traffic lights or low-conflict the bike lanes, it's all pointless if when you arrive at work, or the store, or the music venue or party, and have nowhere to put your ride.
Worse is when you go back outside find your lock still securely attached and that sweet bike you invested in nowhere in sight.
Or when you buy the rustiest, most theft-proof bike you can find, and arrive at work sweaty because your gears don't shift and covered in grease because your chain falls off every other block.
Or when you are running late for a meeting and hastily lock up to whatever is handy and then return to nothing -- except, if you're lucky, a note informing you it's been impounded.
These are all real barriers to bicycling. And the solutions might seem difficult and costly ... until you break them down and put them in perspective.
* * * For the full text, click to this morning's Grist right here.
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About the author:
Elly Blue is a writer and bicycle activist living in Portland, Oregon. She has been the managing editor of BikePortland.org, the lead coordinator of the Towards Carfree Cities conference in Portland in 2008, and has been an active bike funnist since 2005. She publishes a feminist bicycle zine called Taking the Lane. You can find her on Twitter.
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