Outreach and Vision: A Bicycling Moon Shot

“The US has the best road and traffic system in the world.  From the facilities and traffic viewpoints the US is the world’s best nation for cycling, just as it is for motoring.”
–John Forester, Bicycle Transportation

hello black and white

I visited some of my favorite local bicycle shops yesterday to touch base and share news of happenings in the bicycling world.   It’s energizing being around people whose love of cycling is infused with a strong local knowledge base.  I share news from my neighborhood and travels, and on cycling planning and developments.  But the biggest gains happen when I listen and people fill me in with their perspective.  The exchange of information through casual conversation is mutually beneficial.  Bicycling is all about the vernacular, the everyday world.

a brush with horses

these horses in Corrales caught my attention as I was cycling by and I stopped to say hello

yeah I might have some food NOT

horse brown and white

“Balancing the [economic] growth with the environment is one of the big big themes for the new goals.”  –Jeffrey Sachs, senior UN advisor and director of the Earth Institute at Columbia

The solutions we need to create today are interdisciplinary and holistic, because the challenges we face are interrelated and systemic.  Our innovations need to apply a wide range of knowledge from multiple fields to affect complex systems in many ways.  Making cycling easier and safer helps by tapping into the renewable energy potential inherent in people.  It’s heartening to know the analytical framework has advanced to where cycling is recognized as a positive factor for making improvements in every area we are trying to grow and develop in.  Cycling is renewable transportation, energy efficient, healthy, low cost, and democratically based.  It makes total sense to facilitate better access to the mainstream transportation system to help more people enjoy walking and cycling.  Change begins by desiring it.

one beautiful flower

Spring has been unexpectedly lush in New Mexico. We have had about 4-6 times the average precipitation in May

above Copper flowers

“Transportation investments should emphasize overall mobility needs and choice among modes in the regional and Intra-city movement of people and goods.”  –Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Comprehensive Plan amended through 2013 (policy D.4.r.)

All the challenges we see for implementing better bicycling are really opportunities to pull together our resources and collaborate in a similar fashion like we did with the Apollo program, the moon shot.  As I spool down the urban trail and glide by the river and past local farms I realize in that moment there is an elegantly simple solution.  We know what to do.  Designing a city with world class bicycling is a good goal and one that makes a difference in changing our lives, uplifting people and helping us exemplify shared leadership in a globally aware world.  Bicycling infrastructure investment means a brighter future.  I don’t think we were crazy or overly optimistic for wanting to go to the moon.  It was an important step.

San Mateo Mtns sunset from City View

References:
Jeffrey Sachs interview on the Charlie Rose show
“China’s eyes are on us [The USA].  They are saying you do it, we’ll do it…The world is having a big sigh of relief finally seeing the world’s two largest economies are working together on this [reducing carbon production and increasing renewables].”  –J. Sachs on the Charlie Rose show

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