Sunday, February 27, 2005

Critical Mass!

From the birthplace of Critical Mass, San Francisco, Bikescape takes you on the this months ride.

One of these days I would really like to have a segment in the show where I run four or five short sound scenes from Critical Masses around the world. If you have an mp3 player that records, you can do it! Send 'em in and I'll get 'em on!

listen to the podcast

Links from the show
Return of the Scorcher
A 30 minute documentary directed by Ted White

We are Traffic
A Movie about Critical Mass

Here's a link to the Waterford track bike I saw during the ride.

sf lan

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jon said...

From my brother, Jim...

That was an interesting tour of Octavia Blvd. The ideas for urban
planning there sounded like what they've had in Utrecht since the mid
80s or so. Utrecht's roads were mostly given over to bicycles and
pedestrians and the space for car traffic was narrowed to something
like five mph, one-way streets. So, if you need to take a car into the
center, it's possible, but extremely inconvenient because you end up
in a maze of one-way streets driving slower than the bikes and even
most pedestrians. But if you need to bring a car or truck into the
center to move into a house or something, it's still possible to do

Anyway, Utrecht's downtown is probably as or more beautiful than
Amsterdam and it's a pleasure to be there because the streets are
quiet and clean of exhaust. Of course, the ancient canals and old
houses are pretty cool, too. I think the effort was a big success and
light years ahead of anything in this country, though NYC is actually
starting to use some of those ideas in bits and pieces. Here's a Web
site about it.

Of course, it's been a long time since I was in Utrecht and I can't
say how things are there today. But for some time, I used to pass by
the city on the train from Amsterdam and didn't get around to visiting
Utrecht till some time later. The city didn't look like much from the
train. There was one of those modern train stations surrounded by a
somewhat soul-less shopping area. But when I finally did venture off
the train and into the center, the modern and bleak shopping area gave
way to an amazing older part of town. From what I understand, there's
an effort today to overhaul that area around the train station.

I think the policies of trying to reduce the use of cars in the city
was easiest to accomplish in the older part of town where the streets
are old and narrow and were already best suited for pedestrians. It
must be much harder to take a neighborhood like the one in San
Francisco that was divided by a freeway and reclaim (or reinvent it)
as a real community.

Anonymous said...

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