What is a Bicycle-Friendly Community?

On November 16, Ithacans’ efforts at filling out the Bike Friendly City application were rewarded with the award of “Bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community” certification. It’s hard to know what this actually does or means, since Ithaca is still a city where parking garages run empty while  — with the support of Svante Myrick and Gary Ferguson — on-street parking spaces were privileged over bike lanes. Where a car can kill a bicyclist and get off with a slap on the wrist. Whereas I want to thank the people who filled out the application and are cited in its text, I think it’s important to recognize those who are really on the front-lines of bike culture in Ithaca: Andrjes Ozolins, Dave Nutter, Laurence Clarkberg, and EbikeIthaca’s own Pat Dutt.

Rain!!!

I am so glad that I, as a biker, always have a bodily experience of the weather. It makes me more mindful of climate change and more in tune with nature.

I was only outside for a few hours this morning, but the rain today is steady, and by the end of the second hour, my snow pants were no longer impermeable. My son’s varsity soccer jacket was doing a good job of keeping the water off my core, but the pants pocket where I had my phone was under threat. Luckily we have an EMS in town and I was able to get

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The Non-Fossil Fuel Crowd and the News

There was some sloppy reporting in the Ithaca Journal this morning.

Let’s start with this one paragraph:

The third-floor conference room was overflowing out of the door with a crowd evenly mixed* with both Maguire Auto Dealership employees clad in company gear and urban planning advocates and concerned residents of the Northside neighborhood**, who were there largely to protest the traffic impacts*** the dealership would have on Fifth Street.

*The overwhelming preponderance of speakers at the meeting were against siting Maguire’s in the Carpenter Business Park

**Activists who do not live on the Northside were also plentiful and vocal.
***There were about a dozen other reasons people were against the project.

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More on Carpenter Business Park (and a Cry For Help)

Here are some links to writing about the Maguire Proposal:

On a most immediate level, can you imagine having a car dealership across the street — whose biggest day is Saturday — at the same time and place that the Farmer’s Market’s is also having their biggest day? Why wouldn’t we want a tenant for that spot that would fund shuttle buses to and from some existing parking structure rather than to try and cram all that traffic in? Maguire is offering, instead, to build out 5th street.

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No Car Dealership at the Carpenter Business Park

If you have strong feelings about the Maguire Auto dealership being placed within the city because it will…

  • be next to the farmers market
  • make traffic on Rt. 13 and going in and out of the farmer’s market even worse
  • greatly affect the traffic patterns of the Northside
  • eliminate the potential to develop this site in a way that could benefit a multitude of local businesses
  • generate far less tax revenue than every other possible use of the site.
    support a strip mall, big box development pattern (southern Rt. 13) within the city
  • promote more private auto dependence in a city that allegedly has the stated priorities of promoting in this order; walking, biking, transit, and then the private automobile
  • most importantly go completely against the city’s comprehensive plan for how the community has decided it would like to see the area developed,

then get active!

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Summer Reading for Bikers!

As Elsa Morante said to Patrizia Cavalli, “I want to see your reading, so I can see how you’re made.” I didn’t actually say that to Laurence, but I did take a quick snapshot of what’s on the shelf down at Boxy Bikes.  Feel free to buy your own copy of any of these titles or go down to Boxy and talk to Laurence about the collection there:

Electric Bicycles
by David Henshaw and Richard Peace

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One Bike At A Time @ TCPL Monday, June 13, 12:30 PM

If you are free, and interested in how to inspire new riders in all parts of our community, come to the bikes & health presentation on Mon June 13th from 12:30-1:30pm by Theresa Bowick from Rochester’ Conkey Cruisers.  I’ve met Theresa twice now, and she’s incredibly inspiring.  Her program started in 2012 soon after the El Camino Trail in Rochester NY was completed, and has been quite successful in a short time.

*”Getting Fit, One Person, One Street, One Bike at a Time: * *Preventive Community Health through Bicycling in a **Low Income African American Community”*

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