Why NBG when we need better city cycling?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Cycle America/N, Feb 25, 2003.

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  1. Similar to the psychology employed in the movie "Field of Dreams" where the mantra, 'if you build it
    they will come' turned a baseball field built in the middle of a corn field into a vibrant gathering
    place that attracted fun and visitors from miles around, this is what we foresee for the
    transnational network of roads we call the National Bicycle Greenway. Once we've connected the edges
    of the cities throughout America with those safe bikeable roads and paths that we here at the NBG
    foresee, people within them will pressure their local governments to build infrastructure that
    accesses the bicycle heaven calling to them from the outlying areas.

    What's more is that instead of driving their cars and bikes to these bicycle wonderlands, because
    they will not, by design, be car or parking friendly, there will be a push to replicate them closer
    to home as they become the standard by which those roads and paths of the future will all be built.

    We have an example of this here in California. And yet because the attraction was built around an
    agency of environmental depredation, the car, and not the earth friendly tool that the bicycle is,
    the Filed of Dreams that could have resulted became instead the Field of Destruction. Years ago when
    the "visionaries" in our Dept of Transportation built Hwy 5, it was initially in the middle of
    nowhere. But little by little as roads reached out to it, like tentacles in the brain, it became
    less and less remote. Soon whole cities sprung up around this freeway as well as all of the
    infrastructure that services its long distance cars and trucks and RV's, etc. And what has been the
    result? California suffers from the overcrowding and gridlock that car centered development can't
    help but engender.

    With this in mind, the question remains, do we cover even more of America with car roads in what
    remains of its outlying areas or do we exercise some vision and rebuild this nation by placing the
    bicycle at its center and work backwards from there? With a National Bicycle Greenway in place, we
    can be positioned to redesign the cities that will spring up around it with bicycle transport at its
    epicenter.

    You see, if we don't ask for our bicycle interstate network now, it just may be too late. For
    everyone......

    M A R T I N K R I E G : "Awake Again" Author Bent Since '83, Car Free Since '89, Attacking with
    Love Coma, Paralysis, Clinical Death Survivor '79 & '86 TransAm Vet - Invites you to:
    http://www.BikeRoute.com/SCNBGFest N A T I O N A L B I C Y C L E G R E E N W A Y
     
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  2. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "Cycle America/Nat. Bicycle Greenway" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:250220031150394299%[email protected]...

    > Similar to the psychology employed in the movie "Field of
    Dreams" where
    > the mantra, 'if you build it they will come' turned a
    baseball field
    > built in the middle of a corn field into a vibrant
    gathering place that
    > attracted fun and visitors from miles around, this is what
    we foresee
    > for the transnational network of roads we call the
    National Bicycle
    > Greenway. Once we've connected the edges of the cities
    throughout
    > America with those safe bikeable roads and paths that we
    here at the
    > NBG foresee, people within them will pressure their local
    governments
    > to build infrastructure that accesses the bicycle heaven
    calling to
    > them from the outlying areas.
    >
    > What's more is that instead of driving their cars and
    bikes to these
    > bicycle wonderlands, because they will not, by design, be
    car or
    > parking friendly, there will be a push to replicate them
    closer to home
    > as they become the standard by which those roads and paths
    of the
    > future will all be built.
    >
    > We have an example of this here in California. And yet
    because the
    > attraction was built around an agency of environmental
    depredation, the
    > car, and not the earth friendly tool that the bicycle is,
    the Filed of
    > Dreams that could have resulted became instead the Field
    of
    > Destruction. Years ago when the "visionaries" in our Dept
    of
    > Transportation built Hwy 5, it was initially in the middle
    of nowhere.
    > But little by little as roads reached out to it, like
    tentacles in the
    > brain, it became less and less remote. Soon whole cities
    sprung up
    > around this freeway as well as all of the infrastructure
    that services
    > its long distance cars and trucks and RV's, etc. And what
    has been the
    > result? California suffers from the overcrowding and
    gridlock that car
    > centered development can't help but engender.
    >
    > With this in mind, the question remains, do we cover even
    more of
    > America with car roads in what remains of its outlying
    areas or do we
    > exercise some vision and rebuild this nation by placing
    the bicycle at
    > its center and work backwards from there? With a National
    Bicycle
    > Greenway in place, we can be positioned to redesign the
    cities that
    > will spring up around it with bicycle transport at its
    epicenter.
    >
    > You see, if we don't ask for our bicycle interstate
    network now, it
    > just may be too late.

    This is a wonderful idea.

    The biggest obstacle I've found in advocating these projects is the move toward what I call the
    "parkification of open space." The easiest way to pay for parks is to fence them in, build a parking
    lot, and charge people admission to that parking lot. So trails and points of access other than the
    main roads are often discouraged. In fact they're fought against with all kinds of BS excuses, such
    as the difficulty of getting easements across private land, etc. The bottom line is that they want
    the money from the front gate. In some places parks are actually seen as a valuable revenue
    generators.

    If anyone has any concrete ideas about this, I'm all ears. I'm headed to a county planning
    commission meeting in about 45 minutes, this being one of the issues to be discussed.

    Matt O.
     
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