Monday, December 29, 2008

An Endless Tour with Cindy and Tim Travis

Tim and Cindy Travis have been on the road on their bikes since 2001. They checked in with Bikescape when they passed through San Francisco. Here's the interview.

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Visit Tim and Cindy's website to stay in touch with their travels and order their books here. The first chapter of The Road That Has No End is available in audio format!

Bikescape is now a member of the Streetsblog Network!
Transportation for America is the antidote to the Freeway lobby.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Press release sustainability vs. the real thing

Our Mayor Newsom just uploaded a set of videos as a state of the sity speech with forty minutes devoted to transportation and another forty to the environment.

Sorry Gavin, but your show just doesn't hold a candle to what they're doing in Amsterdam where they make a serious investment in sustainability. (ht to Pascal at Velomondial)

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Conversation with Clarence Eckerson of Street Films

Last Halloween I met with video documentarian Clarence Eckerson of Street Films and Bike TV and we had a great and sprawling discussion about the role of internet-based video and blogging in transportation activism. Street Films is a part of Streets Blog, both of which are produced by The Open Planning Project.

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After our chat Clarence went out and shot this, the definitive film about Critical Mass, capturing the essence of the ride on a balmy San Francisco Halloween.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Driven to Despair

As the exurbs transform into slumburbia PBS's Now produces an excellent piece about the collapse of sprawl. It connects with real people as it dawns on them that the often overlooked nexus between the high cost of energy and the housing crises means they need to change their lives. While they still look at driving as their ticket to freedom and they don't want to sit next to others on transit, they sit as prisoners in their mcmansions, unable to finance a full tank of gas.

For contrast, host Peter Brancaccio showcases car-free and car-lite Pasadena urbanists show that yes, its possible to have a full life in Southern California without becoming a slave to the gas pump.

It runs about twenty minutes.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sunday Streets in San Francisco

In this episode we ask the perennial Bikescape question: What is a street? Is it a place to travel through to to go to? For thousands of years streets have been a place for friends and strangers to meet, a place where the threads of community are woven, the commons. Somewhere along the way, around the time of the rise of the automobile, the purpose of the streets narrowed and they lost their sense of place, becoming instead a conduit for traffic, where each person passes through without consideration of the space, cocooned in his warm leatherette pod.

At best. At worst, its a dangerous battle zone or an inhospitable, unhuman world.

Fortunatly, as the post-car era dawns, cities are waking up to something new, yet as old as the first village - streets where anything can happen. The first modern car-free streets or ciclovias appeared in Bogota twenty years ago. There, over ninety km of urban streets close to cars every Sunday for a few hours. Now, we are seeing the meme progress into Paris, Portland, New York and, at last, San Francisco.

Bikescape, rides and walks the first Sunday Streets experiment on a lovely San Francisco day to see what develops.

The Bike Kitchen was out in force, along with some clowns from the Cyclecide bike club.
I promised a link to Don Byron who performed an album of the music of Raymond Scott.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Activism at City Hall and in the Streets

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition leads a protest on the steps of City Hall decrying the slow pace of progress on the environmental review for the Bicycle plan as a court injunction drags on. Then we go inside City hall to knock on doors to promote the car-free Sunday Streets trial on Aug 31 and Sept 14.

Finally (at 44 mins) the SFBC hits the streets to set up a photo booth to take pictures of cyclists and their bikes to deter theft.

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Free Wheelies: Pedicabs of New York: An Endangered Species

I tracked down Frederic Choiniere. He's the film maker who presented his work at the pedicab workshop during the Towards car-free Cities Conference in Portland. Here's his film about the politics that swirl around New York's pedicab industry.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The pedicab solution

In yet another in a series of podcasts from the Towards Car-free Cities Conference in Portland last June, we examine the transformational power of human fueled machines on the urban landscape. I recorded a workshop on Pedicabs with Steve Meyer of Main Street Pedi-cabs, Peter Meitzler of Manhattan Rickshaw, filmaker Frederic Choiniere, and Jonathan Magnes of PDX Pedicabs.

Hat tip for the photo to cycleseven

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Cycling opens up civil society in Brazil

Sao Paolo activists open Bicycle Plaza

As every cyclist knows biking creates community. Instead of sitting in a tin can, cyclists are out in the world, reacting to their surroundings and interacting with the friends and strangers they meet along the road. Imagine the effect of even a small Critical Mass ride in a country that has been stultified by dictatorship for forty three years and robbed of its civil society?

In another in a series of podcasts from the Towards Car-free Cities Conference in Portland, we attend a talk by Brazilians Thiago Benicchio and Eduardo Green about how it is to ride a bike in their country. The slide show that accompanied the talk can be seen here and here.

Apocalipsemotorizado is in Portuguese but you can see the babelfish translation here.

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Battle for San Francisco

Another in a series of podcasts from the Towards Car-free Cities Conference in Portland Oregon, Bikescape recorded a presentation about mobility and land use politics in San Francisco. From the origins of Critical Mass to the ascendency of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, the story is told by writer Chris Carlsson, Dave Snyder of San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association, the SFBC's Leah Shahum, and CSU professor Jason Henderson.

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Monday, June 30, 2008

Towards Car-free Cities Keynote Speech: Gil Peñalosa

Gil Peñalosa kicks off the World Car-free Network's first ever conference in the United States with an inspirational Keynote address. Bikescape recorded it and attended the press conference that followed.

As Commissioner of Parks, Sports and Recreation Peñalosa initiated Bogata Columbia's trailblazing Ciclovias, where each Sunday ninety one km of streets are returned to the commons for non-motorized use. 1.5 Million people use the ciclovias each week as the practice migrates to Paris, Portland, New York and San Francisco.

Gill has spent five years in Mississauga Canada as commissioner of Parks and Recreation coming up with the thirty year Strategic Placemaking Initiative. He is a senior associate with The Project for Public Spaces, The executive director of Walk and Bike for Life, a senior consultant for Gill Architects, and sits on the boards of American Trails, the City Parks Alliance, the International Sport and Culture Association and the advisory committee of America Walks.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

depave a parking lot, put up a paradise

Movie by Elizabeth Press of Streetfilms

The opening event at the Towards Car-free Cities Conference in Portland, Oregon was the depaving of a 3000 sq foot parking lot. In its place will grow a community garden along with bike parking and a water catchment system. We cover the asphalt removal, then go on a tour of past depaving sites.

Bikescape was there to cover as much of the rest of the conference as one little podcaster could. Stay tuned for many more posts on this important get-together.

The closing song, Chicken or Beef was written and performed by Reptet at the bike art show at Portland City Hall.

I traveled with two San Franciscans who are blogging about the conference. Steve Jones is with the San Francisco Bay Guardian and is posting on their politics blog and Brian Smith runs the excellent Car Free USA blog.

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Democracy in action: The San Fracisco Bike Plan

Bikescape goes to a community meeting of the San Francisco Metropolitan Transportation Authority as the city solicits public input about the stalled bike plan. We encountered vociferous opposition from parents at three schools on Broadway who feel they must drive their kids to school each day. This begs the question: Why are double parkers considered "stakeholders" and why are their dangerous and illegal actions considered a "reality we must deal with" while all the while demanding harsher enforcement for "scofflaw bicyclists."

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Be sure to voice your opinion with the MTA!

Read former Bogata Columbia Mayor Enrique Peñalosa's op ed in The Sunday NY Times

Stay tuned for coverage of the Car-Free Cities Conference and Pedalpalooza in Portland

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Police and media get it wrong in bike fatalities

Bikescape revisits the March killings of Kristie Gough and Matt Peterson during a training ride in the Bay Area by a sheriff's deputy who crossed onto the wrong side of the road and hit them head-on.

We speak with bicycle lawyer and Velo News columnist Bob Mionskie about police bias in this case and toward cyclists in general. Next, we meet with San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Leah Shahum to get to the bottom of the shameful blame the victim attitude taken by the mainstream media and how we can shape public attitudes.

Then we look at a new podcast by James Howard Kunstler and check out the events calendar.

NEW!! Leave voice messages about burning issues with Bikescape and be on the show! Just open Skype, call user name Bikescape and talk!

Mionskie's column on Velo News is here.

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Photo of Leah courtesy Martin Krieg
Photo of Bob courtesy Andy Thornley

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Jim Kunstler on Colbert Report

"You're probably one of these people who think the world has a creamy nougat center of oil but it doesn't."

Monday, April 07, 2008

Bicycling and the Law, Bob Mionske speaks at the SF Bicycle Coalition

Two time U.S. Olympic cyclist and 1990 U.S. National Champion, Bob Mionske went on to practice law and now advocates for cyclists. His new book Bicycling and the Law: Your Rights as a Cyclist is a must read for activists. Bob also writes the Legally Speaking column in the Velo News.

He gave a talk at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition last month and Bikescape captured it for you here.

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Monday, March 03, 2008

around the world by bicycle

As Bikescape marks its third birthday, Victor Weinreber sets out on a bike trip around the world that will take at least that long. We meet up with him as he finishes his warm-up trip across the USA and prepares to start the actual trek which begins and ends in San Francisco.

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Read Victor's journal and diaries of other long distance bike tourers.

Victor sent links about the tools he uses on his trip, such as his cool, home built LED lights, his water bottle/bidet, his 14-speed Rohloff hub, and his Hennessey Hammock tent.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

return of the scorcher

Podcasts are on hold while I my ibook goes through a permissions nightmare. In the meantime, this film from 1992 by Ted White that inspired the name for Critical Mass should keep you occupied...

Sunday, January 06, 2008

2007: a look back

Let's recap the year, shall we?

In this episode I collect all of the random recordings I made over the year but failed to include in any shows. We spend some time at last summer's Shake your Peace Festival where we met the B:C:Clettes, a bike ballet troupe and listened to a bicycle-based musical device called Antsy Pants.

Then we meet up with Critical Mass at (Peewee) Herman Plaza as the crowd gathers to discuss whether the ride is still relevant after fifteen years. We also check in with my six-year-old as she learns to ride on two wheels.

Next, we get updates on the Bay Area Air Quality Management District's embarrassing memo from HR that forbade employees from riding their bikes in the course of their duties, as well as lots of other news from the two wheeled world.

The song, Bicycle by the band for kids of all ages the Jellydots can be downloaded here.

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