Making for a Bike-Friendly City

Bicycle Parking at UC Davis

Chicago recently passed laws to institute fines against motorists who cause accidents with bicycles. As a cyclist, I think that this is a great thing.

I’m fortunate to live in a city (Minneapolis) where we take cycling seriously — as both recreation and a form of transportation. But even with that level of commitment to the activity, we still have issues with being protected by the police. I know of multiple people of the type who would admit to fault if it was theirs, who have been hit by cars, assaulted by motorists, and so on, only to have the cops write up a report that blames the cyclist (if they bother to write a report at all). While these laws are a great contribution to making Chicago a more bike-friendly city, and something that Minneapolis should institute as well, they are unlikely to do any real good.

To make this change more immediate, a few things have to happen:

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Image Credits: Askpang/Creative Commons Zero (CC0).

The Bike’s Place in an Energy Policy

So a friend astutely pointed out that if there’s a recession on, it’s not necessarily the fault of the housing market. His theory is that it’s an issue of the rising costs of energy, and I’d say that that’s fairly sound. Energy costs are up across the board — it’s more expensive to heat my apartment, run my electronics, and fuel my car. In the case of the car, almost twice as much as when Bushie came into office. The entire economy runs on gas (god help us), and when fuel costs go up, the cost of goods go up as it requires more money to get them to a point of sale.

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