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.

Download the mp3 or
subscribe to Bikescape in itunes